Terry Wells - Rochedale, Queensland Convention - December 2006

Hymn 283

I have been thinking about the power of God, and how His power is seen in His people and how the Lord’s people can get that power, and how that power is used in their lives. Psalm 68 speaks about God’s great power, “Ascribe ye strength unto God; His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds….the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people.” Thinking of the clouds being God’s people. We are encompassed about with a great cloud of witnesses and that cloud of witnesses has often helped us and inspired us to keep going. It tells us in the Revelation that Jesus will come with the clouds. Something about clouds - they come and go. This gathering will never happen again - the same combination of workers and people. The workers’ list this year is different from last year. It is just here for a time and then gone again. Our lives are like that, like a vapour James says, which appears for a little while and then it is gone.

God’s strength is in the clouds. The clouds bring shade, and a cloud could be a refreshing thing on a hot day. The Lord’s people have been like that many times. Maybe you don’t know in your workplace how your life has been a shade to someone. An encouraging word or kind thought, and it has brought shade for them.

Clouds bring the rain. Where would you be without the gentle rain? God sends the rain through the clouds. What we have heard from the lips of God’s servants has been like the gentle rain, and helped us lift up our eyes and refreshed us, and given us hope again. Clouds are soft, and this world is hard. God’s people are soft and very gentle, and they make impressions, and impressions can be made in them. It says His strength is seen in the clouds. The clouds don’t have any way to move themselves, but they are moved by the wind. It is the spirit of God that moves His people, and directs them where He feels they are needed.

His way and His power and strength are seen in the clouds. In the 89th Psalm, it speaks about the greatness of God. “Who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord and who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?” There is none in heaven or earth, but we see Jesus, and see the express image of His person and the brightness of His glory. The image comes out from a person. Jesus was the image of God, and He came out from God. Jesus showed us the greatness of His Father and the power of His Father in a way that no one has ever done before and no man can ever do. John wrote at the end of his gospel that there are many things that Jesus did that are not written in this book, and if they were written down, the world couldn’t contain all the things that are written. It helps us to know what is ahead in eternity. There is so much about Our Father and His son that eternity will reveal.

Jesus was submitted to the power of His Father. He wasn’t in competition with His Father’s power, but He yielded to it. In our country, you hear about people who have encounters with grizzly bears when they are out hiking. A grizzly bear is unpredictable and a powerful animal, and if he charges you, you are in trouble. This man was out hiking and he came upon a mother grizzly bear and her cub, and she was on him immediately. He said he felt he was in the grip of an awesome power, and he said he ceased all resistance and when the animal sensed there was no resistance, she dropped him and let him go. He didn’t resist the awesome power, but submitted. Jesus was submitted to the power of His Father, and it brought power into His life, and it brings power to our lives as we submit to Him.

Colossians 1, we read about God’s power, verse 11, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light…” the Lord’s people have been strengthened with all might - God’s power. The power took them in the direction of patience and longsuffering and joyfulness. There is no earthly power that can bring that about. How are we strengthened? Naturally we are strengthened by resistance. We resist something with force, and if we do it often enough, it produces strength. We have a little mechanism that resists - our flesh. As we resist our flesh, strength comes and become stronger and desires to overcome the flesh. The Lord is looking for nice human nature, but He wants fruits like patience, longsuffering, and joyfulness from our lives. Sometimes we hear people say in their testimonies at convention that they hope that the coming year might be good and not so difficult. Maybe the Lord sees that you can handle a little more the next year. If the years get easier and the struggles a little lighter, we would lose strength. Romans 8 tells us that the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.

Luke 22, Jesus was praying and there was something that was resisting when He asked His Father, “If this cup pass from Me, nevertheless not My will but Thine be done.” And the angel came and strengthened Him, then He used the strength to pray more earnestly. Another way we get strength is by repetition - make praying a habit. The world and flesh and devil all try to hinder me, and show me what I’m missing…” Luke 4 we read about Jesus resisting the devil. Jesus handled these temptations with one word, and that was, “NO.” There is a campaign in the US - “Just say 'NO' to drugs” with community leaders going about the schools and giving talks about the affect of drugs. Don’t reason with temptation when it comes along - just say “No.” Jesus didn’t seem to reason with Satan, but just said, “No.” That is one word Satan can’t reason against. When he had ended the temptations, Jesus returned in the spirit. With the resistance to temptations there comes power from God.

2 Corinthians 4 we read about afflictions. We might look at this like the world. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Tells us our afflictions are working for our advantage. It is a light affliction. Paul was seeing with anointed eyes. What was ahead was an eternal weight of glory. What makes a mountain difficult to climb? It is your own weight, but your weight produces your strength. God gives power to the faint. He gives power to those that have no might. The one that waits on the Lord gets the power from God. “They that wait on the Lord shall mount up as eagles. They shall run and not be faint.“

Psalm 40, David said that he waited patiently for the Lord. David was in the pit and he waited and cried and the Lord heard his cry. Patience in action. God can’t establish our feet when they are in miry clay. They have to be standing on the rock. From a pit to the rock, from a cry to a song - because he was patient. If we go with the flow of this world, we cease to resist and we lose everything.