Friday, April 20, 2012

The Other Side of the Cross

One day I was thinking  about the Cross, Jesus' death and resurrection, and this thought came into my mind,"There is power on the other side of the cross"  Where did this thought come from?  It certainly wasn't from me.  It had to be the Holy Spirit.  As I sat to pondered this thought, I remembered in Acts 1, Jesus just before He ascended said  to His disciples,"But you will receive power when the Holy spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."  This was AFTER the resurrection, which I call "The other side of the Cross".  

Jesus knew that His disciples were weak vessels, even through they believed He had died for their sins. They still would be unable to witness His resurrection without the power of the Holy Spirit. For instance, as faithful and committed as Peter was to the Lord, he was so convinced that he would never deny Jesus, but in his weakness he did deny Jesus three times. How gracious the Lord was to understand his human frailty and to allow Peter as one of  the first disciples, after Pentecost, to stand up in the power of the Holy Spirit and proclaim the gospel. He was filled with God the Holy Spirit, the promised ONE sent from the throne of grace. Peter was bold, confident, and spoke with authority, because Peter was now baptized by the Holy Spirit and had the power in him to proclaim the truth, (Acts 2:17).

What I  didn't realize was that I was no different than Peter.  I loved the Lord, and I thought that I too would never deny him. Until one day when I was shopping and I met a sister in the Lord that I didn't want to be associated with because her outward witness of Christ was very embarrassing to me. So I tried to ignore her and slipped out of the store. When I got to my car, I will never forgot that still small voice saying, "You just denied me".  I was horrified and even to day it still makes my tear to think about it.  How gracious the Lord was to forgive me and not strike me dead.

I remember telling my spiritual mother, Lorraine Flemming, about what had  happened and she explained to me, "My dear, you received the Holy Spirit, when you were born again, BUT the Holy Spirit DOES NOT YET have you." 

WOW what a revelation it was to acknowledge that I was still in control and quenching the Holy Spirit.  No wonder I had no power to testify Jesus.  He had been given to me to witness the power of His resurrection through the Word of God, and I was denying Him  the same way I had denied the Lord Jesus in the store! 

My whole Christian life changed with this revelation. Now, I understand what Jesus meant when He said, "You shall receive POWER, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you"  The Holy Spirit needs His power released by faith, in order to accomplish the work He was sent to do...TO TESTIFY OF JESUS and His transformation in us.

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