Formations lesson for July 28: Personal, Powerful, Unhindered
July 12 2002 by Haven Parrott , John 14:6-7a; Acts 28:31

Formations lesson for July 28: Personal, Powerful, Unhindered | Friday, July 12, 2002

Friday, July 12, 2002

Formations lesson for July 28: Personal, Powerful, Unhindered

By Haven Parrott John 14:6-7a; Acts 28:31

A friend of mine wanted to surprise her busy husband by helping with the yard work, so she fired up their new mower and began to push. She muscled that mower around trees, labored mightily to propel it up their moderately-sloped front yard, and struggled valiantly to restrain it when it threatened to get away from her on the down grade. After much sweating and straining, the job was finished and Kathryn was spent.

That evening she related the exhausting experience to her husband: "Honey, I never realized what a chore it is to mow the yard. I can't believe you have the strength to tackle that job week after week."

David flexed his biceps a bit before responding, "Well, thanks, but it's really not so difficult - the mower does most of the work. That self-propelled engine really makes a world of difference."

After a moment of stunned silence, Kathryn yelled, "What do you mean self-propelled?"

Obviously, Kathryn hadn't known about that feature of the lawn mower. She was not aware of the help that had been built-in, just waiting to be engaged. All that perspiration and strife, all that exertion and struggle ... and all the while, there had been help available to complete her mission, help that would have made a difference.

Kathryn and I have shared a few laughs over her ignorance of lawn-mower engines, but I wonder if her experience isn't a parable of the way we often try to live the Christian life.

When we accept Christ as Savior, we're given a new nature. Our spiritual engines are "fired up," so to speak. Our sins? Forgiven. Our eternal destination? Secured. And, wonder of wonders, the Spirit of God takes up residence in our hearts for the purpose of living Christ's life through ours.

Yet, out of ignorance or stubbornness, we sometimes fail to engage the help that has been built in. We wear ourselves out when we try to live the Christian life without allowing the Holy Spirit to "propel" us - all the world sees is our sweat, strain and struggle. It's not exactly an appealing advertisement for the abundant life.

Jesus came to show God to the world "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John. 14:9).

He left to His disciples the same responsibility. But He knew they'd need help. So He promised the coming of the "holy helper," the one who, like Himself, would enable them to do what they were unable to do on their own - show the lost the way.

The disciples were familiar with Jesus' kind of help, because they'd experienced it firsthand. He had partnered with them for the purpose of glorifying the Father by enabling them to do some amazing things: walk on water, feed several thousand people with what amounted to no more than a Happy Meal - things that left no doubt in the observers' minds who should get the credit.

That kind of help is available for us, too. When we cooperate (translation: submit, permit, deny self, let Him have control), the Holy Spirit works some pretty amazing things in our lives, leaving no doubt as to who should get the credit.

In fact, enabling Peter to find money in the mouth of a fish is small stuff when compared to enabling bumbling, self-centered sinners to walk by faith instead of by sight, by the Spirit instead of by the flesh, by love instead of by lust.

If mowing is your mission, a self-propelled engine makes a world of difference. If showing God is your mission, a spirit-propelled lifestyle makes a world of difference. The "helper" waits to be engaged.

Dear Lord, use my earthsuit as Your mobile home today - Let my life be Your theater: take front and center stage. Monopolize my mind, overrule my will, saturate my soul - Possess all of me, Precious Spirit, I submit to Your control. No vacancy, Father! No room at all for what does not give You glory - Cover this parchment with Your ink, Lord; use my life to tell Your story.

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7/12/2002 12:00:00 AM by Haven Parrott , John 14:6-7a; Acts 28:31 | with 0 comments
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