But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. – Acts 1:8.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13.
John Ortberg in his book “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat” tells of how he had a problem with fainting when he first began to preach. Eventually, the problem went away, but it did take courage to persist in preaching, when he never knew when this would happen again.
I shared with my church Sunday a secret that I have never told anyone. That secret is that nearly every Sunday since I began to preach I have thought to myself that “I can’t do this” before preaching. The reasons for that have varied. At first, it was in part because I am basically an introvert, and it was difficult for me to speak in front of crowds. It was also, because I do not have a powerful voice, and when speaking without a sound system it was difficult to project my voice. Other times I have been ill, but nearly always still preached in spite of whatever may have been going on with me physically.
In the last five years, I have developed a problem with my voice. It has improved substantially from how it was five years ago, although it has not gone away completely. The problem is that sometimes my voice cuts off, and I am unable to speak. Usually, it goes away in a minute or two, and I am then able to continue preaching. However, it is very uncomfortable to be standing before a room full of people who are listening attentively to hear your next word without having the ability to speak. Fainting might be more merciful! The fact is, and the truth is, that I cannot continue to preach in my own strength. I do not have the power in myself to preach another Sunday. However, my Lord Jesus does have the strength, and for the past twenty-one years He has been faithful, in providing the strength, and the courage that I have not had in myself. I can’t do it! But He can!!
The spiritual fact is that you cannot successfully live the Christian life in your own strength either. You can’t do it! But He can!! You can’t get out of the boat, and walk on water. But He can!! God wants to give you His power to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give you (John 10:10). Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Jesus is there knocking, and He wants to give you the strength, the power to really live life. However, He is not going to force you to receive His power. He is not going to make you walk on water. It’s up to you. Do you want His strength? Do you want His power? Then ask for it!
Remember you can’t do it in your own power, and strength. But He can!! I can’t do it! But the Lord continues to empower me every time I ask. He will do the same for you!
Copyright © 2011. Ed Wrather. Permission is given for use of the devotionals on a non-profit basis with source credited. The Burning Bush website has been online since January 31, 1998. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent. Ed Wrather began writing devotionals in the early 1990s. The distribution of these first devotionals was primarily through the Burning Bush Newsletter sent to prison facilities throughout the United States and Canada.