Four Steps to Power
Jeremiah 6:16. "This is what the Lord says:
'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find
rest for your souls.' But you say, 'We will not walk in it.'"
At the time this was written, Judah was at a crossroads in
her history. We in America are also at a crossroads--as a
nation we're on a slippery slide on the way to a cliff with
oblivion at the bottom of the cliff. What the Church needs
right now is power. There are four key steps to obtaining
power from God:
- Deny ourselves,
- Humble ourselves,
- Pray--prayer, prevailing prayer.
- Seek God's face
Ephesians 3:1-7, "For this reason I,
Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--Surely
you have heard about the administration of God's grace that
was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to
me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading
this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into
the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in
other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit
to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that
through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel,
members together of one body, and sharers together in the
promise in Christ Jesus. I BECAME A SERVANT [MINISTER]
OF THIS GOSPEL BY THE GIFT OF GOD'S GRACE GIVEN ME THROUGH
THE WORKING OF HIS POWER."
- DENY YOURSELVES: In verse 7 he said he was a minister
or servant of this gospel. You don't become a minister unless
you're a prisoner of Jesus Christ. He was a prisoner because
he kept opening his mouth. He states in verse 1 that he
was a prisoner of Christ Jesus." Paul was first a prisoner
of Christ by denying himself. Your first step to power
is to deny yourself. Chain yourself to Christ is the
first step to power. Paul was a prisoner for the Gentiles,
other people, as verse 1 states. Mom's with little children
feel like they're prisoners in jail. They in fact are prisoners
of Christ for their children.
In verse 6 we see that Paul was given a dispensation--a
stewardship to preach the gospel. The mystery was the gospel
that made the Gentiles and Jew co-heirs of the kingdom of
God and the Promises of Christ. That message angered the
[unconverted] Jews to no end.
Verses 8-13, "Although I am less than the least of all
God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the
Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make
plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which
for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold
wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities
in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose
which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and
through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and
confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged
because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory."
I.e. Don't worry about my chains. Rejoice that I'm a prisoner
- HUMBLE OURSELVES: vs. 8, "Although I am less than the
least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach
to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ
Paul considered himself less than all the saints. He felt
he was the least of all the saints. God uses the humble
to show forth his power. You can deny yourself (step one),
but can still have a problem with pride. We think we have
something going for us, when we really don't. We can have
all the doctrine right, but forget the depth of God's power.
Never think you know it all. Don't care so much about head
knowledge, but be happy because we know God. Solomon had
spiritual head knowledge beyond our ability to understand,
yet his salvation is in question to this very day.
- SEEK GOD'S FACE: Vs. 8-11, "Although I am less than the
least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach
to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to
make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery,
which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created
all things. His intent was that now, through the church,
the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers
and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his
eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our
Every sermon reveals the insight, depth and span of God's
knowledge and riches we have in Christ. The manifold wisdom
of God is being revealed in and to his Church, Christ's
body of believers. Even the heavenly realm of holy angels
are learning by watching and listening to what is being
taught and preached within the Church, Jesus Christ's body
- IV. WE CAN PRAY WITH BOLDNESS. PRAYER MOVES MOUNTAINS.
We obtain the power of God when we ask for it, and we deny
ourselves when we pray for God's power. Every single revival
has started with earnest prevailing prayer. If you don't
believe me, just read this:
There is a tombstone in upstate New York
which reads "Daniel Nash, labourer with Finney, mighty in
prayer." Daniel Nash prayed in every town Charles Finney had
a revival in. Over 100,000 people were brought to Christ in
Rochester, New York. It's hard to minister without power.
There's a whole other level of power here that we need. "
"Father Nash," as some called him, would quietly slip into
a town three or four weeks before Finney's arrival, rent a
room, find two or three other like-minded Christians to join
him, and start pleading with God. In one town the best he
could find was a dark, damp cellar; it became his center for
intercession. In another place, Finney relates, When I
got to town to start a revival a lady contacted me who ran
a boarding house. She said, "Brother Finney, do you know a
Father Nash? He and two other men have been at my boarding
house for the last three days, but they haven't eaten a bite
of food. I opened the door and peeped in at them because I
could hear them groaning, and I saw them down on their faces.
They have been this way for three days, lying prostrate on
the floor groaning. I thought something awful must have happened
to them, I was afraid to go in and I didn't know what to do.
Would you please see about them?"
"No, it isn't necessary," I replied. "They just have a spirit
of travail in prayer."
Do you want to see the affect of Daniel Nash's intercessory
prayer in just one city? Read on. "A convert in Rochester,
New York, left a description of Finney's revival ministry
in that city in which more than a hundred thousand came to
saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus within one year. He wrote:
"The whole community was stirred. Religion was the topic of
conversation, in the house, in the shop, in the office, and
on the street
The only theater in the city was converted
into a livery stable; the only circus into a soap and candle
factory. Grog [beer] shops were closed; the Sabbath was honored;
the sanctuaries were thronged with happy worshippers; a new
impulse was given to every philanthropic enterprise; the fountains
of benevolence were opened and men lived to do good."
The report continues: "It is worthy of special notice that
a large number of leading men of the place were among the
converts--the lawyers, the judges, physicians, merchants,
bankers and master mechanics. These classes were more moved
from the very first than any other. Tall oaks were bowed as
by the blast of a hurricane. Skeptics and scoffers were brought
in, and a large number of the most promising young men. It
is said that no less than forty of them entered the ministry
"It is not too much to say that the whole character of the
city was changed by that revival," wrote this eyewitness.
"Most of the leaders of society being converted, and exerting
a controlling influence in social life, in business, and in
civil affairs, religion was enthroned as it had been in few
.Even the courts and the prisons bore witness
to its blessed effects. There was a wonderful falling off
of crime. The courts had little to do, and the jail was nearly
empty for years afterward." That's power--the power of prevailing