For Jesus to be the power by which “I can do all things,” He must be the core or heart of my being; therefore, I must receive Him into my heart and remove myself (ego) from the power position of my life.
When the Israelites reached the waters at Mara, they were bitter and unable to quench their thirst. So God instructed Moses to immerse a specific piece of wood of His choosing into the waters. When this “set apart” piece of wood was immersed or received into the bitter water, it changed the quality of water to sweet… the wood changed the quality of the water and not the other way around. So likewise, receiving Jesus into our lives transforms the quality of our lives from bitter to sweet.
Bitterness in scripture means a state of suffering at the hands of another with no hope of salvation. Therefore, when we receive Jesus as our savior, we immerse His work on the cross into our lives. By taking this step, we are changing our state of suffering at the hands of sin caused by the ego that gives us no hope for the sweetness of life under the sovereignty of Jesus for all eternity. In this transformation, we become His ambassadors and conduct our lives under His authority, by which we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens (empowers) me.”
This is made possible by “the treasure received in our earthen vessels, so the surpassing greatness of the power will be seen as from God and not from ourselves.” (2 Cor 4:7) How this works is when you “turn to the Lord, the veil or pride (ego) is removed. Jesus is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit is, who is the essence of Jesus, there is freedom from the power of sin and death. So those who have that veil of the ego removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And Jesus—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Himself as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Cor 3:16-18 NLT) This transformation is made possible through the work of the cross. The cross’s purpose is to put evil men to death. When Jesus took our place on the cross, there He became the evil man for us, and “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21 NASB) When we receive Christ into our lives, the Spirit, the essence of Jesus’ life and “the Treasure” Paul refers to, is immersed into our lives, bringing Christ’s Work on the Cross with Him. By this work, the self (ego) “is crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who lives. Now because dead men don’t control anything, by the presence of the Spirit, Christ lives in me as my controlling power; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NASB) With Jesus present in our lives, the sweetness of His life transforms our bitter state of hopelessness under the power of Sin; so when “we are afflicted in every way, we are not crushed. When we are perplexed by our circumstances, we are not despairing. When we are persecuted for our faith, we are not forsaken; and when we are struck down by betrayal, grief, illness, loss, and the like, we are not destroyed. This is true because we are always carrying about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, that is His salvation work on the cross, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our bodies.” (2 Cor 4:8-10 NASB) In our suffering, we reveal that there is another way to live. A Spirit-filled life is available to us when we consent to the death of our ego with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. This makes it possible for the life of Jesus to flow unhindered in and through our lives. By receiving Jesus into our hearts, He becomes the core of our being, and we now share in His resurrection power, by which we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
A new life is yours for the receiving, a life of resurrection power, a Spirit-filled life empowered by the same Spirit being, the Treasure, who raised Jesus from the dead. You can do all Things through Christ when faced with any obstacle or suffering when you concede that “all things come from Him and not from ourselves.” By realizing this, you can live the Spirit-filled life Jesus made possible, and God promised when He said, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29 NIV)
The choice is yours…
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.