Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,
HOW TO RECEIVE AND USE THE POWER OF GOD
By Bob Canton
Council Member, Vatican-based ICCRS
National Coordinator, AFCCPC
We read, in Luke 4:17:21, "Jesus stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written,: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me, to bring glad tidings to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today, this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
In the Book of John 14:12, Jesus says, "Amen, I say unto you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to my Father."
In Luke 10:19 , Jesus told the 72 other disciples, "Behold I have given you the power to tread upon the serpents and scorpions and upon all the forces of the enemy and nothing shall ever harm you."
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."-Acts 1:8.
From these different passages in the Scriptures, we can say that the Lord’s will and design for our lives are for us to live a power-filled style of living. The source of this mighty power, this Divine power in our lives, is the Holy Spirit. It is not from our own wisdom or knowledge or ability but from the Holy Spirit. However, many people, including Christians, do not live in the power that the Lord wants them to have. Many Christians claim for themselves only a minute portion of what God has made possible for them in Christ Jesus because they are ignorant of what the Holy Spirit can do and wants to do for them and through them. In John 7:37, Jesus says, "Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as scripture says, " Rivers of living waters shall flow within him." When Jesus mentioned the "Living Waters," He was actually referring to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the uncreated power of God. Jesus says in Luke 13:11, " If you then who are wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will my Father in Heaven give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him"?
Some people describe His power as "dunamis," a Greek word meaning "dynamite." But I believe that this power that the Lord is giving us is more powerful, more potent than all the atomic bombs and weapons combined in this world. We have an awesome God and His power is awesome. There is no limit to His power. There is no description to His power. His power creates as well as destroys power that is not of Him and from Him. His power is Divine in nature and nothing is more powerful than Divine power.
Allow me to share with you some principles to obtain a Power-filled living:
1.) Have a constant, moment by moment, right personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He should be No. 1 in our life. He should be the King, the Lord, the Savior of our life 24/7. In John 15:7-8, Jesus says, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciple." Every time I read this passage in the Scriptures, a feeling of tremendous excitement starts to "well up" within me.
2.) Be an imitator of Christ. In other words, we should strive to be like Jesus in every way. As a matter of fact, this should be the number one goal of a Christian. This necessitates for us to talk like Jesus, think like Jesus, act like Jesus did, have an attitude like that of Jesus and do what He commands us to do. Furthermore, it means "dying to self" so that we will be truly "alive in Him."(cf.Romans 6:11). I believe it is not impossible to achieve. Yes, we can achieve all of these through the power of the Holy Spirit. With God, nothing is impossible at all. In Phil. 4:13, St. Paul states, "I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me."
3.) Constant, Day to Day, Communication with God. – This is what prayer is. Communication with God. We can do it with our eyes closed, or our eyes opened. We can do it kneeling down, or sitting down, or standing up or walking around or lying down even. We can do it anywhere we are. We can do it with verbal outburst of emotion or without verbal words. Jesus says, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. For everyone who asks, receives; and for the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." --Matt. 7:7 Now, how many Christians do you think who pray but don't really have faith that God is going to do anything great? On the other hand, how many Christians who have faith but don't have the discipline to pray? If we want to see the supernatural to take place in our lives, we need to live a lifestyle that is focused on constant communication with God. In Phil. 4:6, St. Paul says, "Be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." In James 4:2-3, we read, "Yet, you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure."
4.) Be filled with the Holy Spirit. St. Paul says in Eph. 5:18, "And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Holy Spirit." Everyday, we should ask the Holy Spirit in faith to fill us with His presence, His power, and His grace. In Luke 11:13, Jesus says, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"
5.) Obey the Lord's commands and the promptings of His Holy Spirit. In 1 Sam.15:22, the word of God says, "Obedience is better than sacrifice, submission than the fat of rams." Our obedience to the Lord and His commands for us really moves the heart of God. Once, I was praying over a man born blind in a Catholic Coptic Church in Bethlehem, Holy Land during a Healing Rally. This Arab Christian, named George, was 58 years old and I could only see "the white flesh" in his eyes. I could not even see his pupils because they were covered with this "white flesh." As I was praying over George, I heard the Lord's voice in my heart, telling me to command the "spirit of blindness" to leave him in Jesus' Name. I obeyed what the Lord was telling me to do. Minutes later, he said he could see "shadows," then, as I continued to pray over him, he said he could see "lights," and finally he said, he could see "everything" around him. George was totally healed of blindness that day! Only in obedience to the Lord and His commands that we can experience the miraculous unfolds before our eyes. The following year, I went back to the Holy Land as a tour leader for 48 pilgrims. We went to Bethlehem and I came to the same Church looking for George. I was told by the Parish priest, Fr. Yacob, that "you could no longer see George here.George has been out there sight-seeing ever since he was healed of blindness."
6.) Saturate your entire being with God's words. Jesus says,in John 6:63 "My words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life." Psalm 109:105 tells us, "Your word, oh Lord is a lamp for my feet and light to my path." Indeed, God's word is power! In Rev. 12:11, the Word of God says, "We conquer Satan by the word of our testimony and by the blood of the Lamb." The Catechism of the Catholic Church Number 104, states, "In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God". "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them." St. Jerome, one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church, says that "ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."
7.) Let us avail ourselves of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, especially the Sacraments of Reconciliation or Confession and the Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1422 states,"Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against Him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion." It further maintains," Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." In the Church's preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.(CCC #1427). In order for God's power or anointing to remain in us, we should also avail ourselves with the Sacrament of the Eucharist daily, if possible.The Holy Eucharist, The Documents of Vatican Council II tells us, is "the source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen gentium, no. 11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1324). "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us,"(CCC # 1323). We encounter Jesus in a very special way through the Sacraments of the Church. Needless to say, the Sacraments are also great sources of power in a person's life.
8.) Have an Expectant Faith, a kind of faith that can move mountains. What is the Biblical definition of faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.(Heb.11:1).Jesus says, in Luke 17:6,"If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you." "And without faith, it is impossible to please God."(Heb.11:6). Faith is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is God's will for us to have a supernatural kind of faith, a faith that can move mountains. We are all unworthy to be used by the Lord. Early on in my ministry of preaching, teaching and healing, I reminded the Lord that I am unworthy and I feel unworthy to be a vessel of His power. He spoke into my heart. He said, "My son, I shed my precious blood for you on the Cross in Calvary. By doing so, I made you worthy of my love for you." I, then, asked Him to grant me the faith that can move mountains. Faith can move the heart of God.
How to Use God's Power?
1.) Use it in the Name of Jesus and by the power of His Holy Spirit. In Eph. 2:9-11, St. Pauls says, "For God has highly exulted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend of those of heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord for the glory of God the Father." In November 2007, a lady called from Michigan asking me to pray with her over the telephone for the dead fetus in her womb. She said, "I'm four months pregnant, but tomorrow, the doctors will have to remove the dead fetus from my womb. I am very scared of the doctor's procedures and very distraught over what happened to my baby." She said all the tests had confirmed the demise of the baby in her womb. As we started to pray, I sensed that the Lord wanted me to speak life into the dead fetus.So, I followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I spoke life into the baby at least three times in the mighty Name of Jesus. But I didn't hear from the lady again until February 2008, which was five months later. She told me that she just delivered a healthy, 8lbs. baby girl. When I asked her what happened, she said that the day the doctors were to remove the "dead" fetus,they had detected heartbeats instead during the ultrasound and other tests. Truly, there is power in the Name of Jesus if we invoke it with love and reverence, and with expectant faith.
2.) Use it for God's glory. In 1 Cor.10:31, St. Paul says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God." All honor and glory rightfully belong to God alone, for, without Him, we are nothing and we cannot do anything."(cf.John 15:5). When I pray for the sick for instance, I always ask the Lord for His Name to be glorified through the healing of the person.
3.) Use it with humility. There is nothing that can block or warp or dilute the power of God except pride. Psalms 18:27 says, "For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down." Therefore, the more humble we become, the more power and anointing from God will reside upon us. 1 Peter 5:5 reads," Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Jesus Himself is the model of humility par excellence.According to St. Paul in Phil.2:5-8,"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
4.) Use it with boldness. We should always remember that "the Kingdom of God is not only a matter of words but of power."--(cf 1Cor. 4:20}. The power of God should be used with boldness in the Holy Spirit. When the power of God is unleashed in our midst to further the Kingdom of God, it will always accomplish its intended purposes. In 2 Tim. 1:7, St. Paul wrote, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." In Acts 4:31, the word of God says, "And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." My brothers and sisters, because of their boldness in the Holy Spirit, the apostles and the disciples had turned this world "upside down" and "inside out" and this world has never been the same again since. And the good news is that we are also called by the Lord to do the same by virtue of our baptism.
5.) Use it in love. Love is the key that opens the Kingdom and the heart of God.
In 1 Cor. 13:13, the word of God says, "So faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." For sure, if we use God's power with love, everything will be possible for us. In John 4:16, we read,"We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
God bless you all!
The Great Gathering of the Catholic
Charismatic Renewal Family
The Great Gathering of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Family is a huge celebration as part of the journey towards the CCR Golden Jubilee. The event will be held in Uganda from 30th June to 6th July, 2014, bringing together delegates from all the five continents of the world to Africa for the first time, to pray and seek the Lord for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Renewal and the Church worldwide.
For the registration, download and fill out the Registration Form and pay the fee by Bank Transfer—folowing the guidelines in the form.
You can also pay by credit card, via PayPal one the ICCRS website.
Here we present a summary of the information on the event. Find all the details on the website of CCR Uganda: www.ccruganda.org
This event is organised by ICCRS in collaboration with the Uganda Episcopal Conference, Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal (UCCR), and the African Sub-committee of ICCRS (AFSCI).
A series of activities have been planned from 30th June to 13th July 2014, including:
- 7 days Service Mission in Mbarara Archdiocese, 6th – 13th July (including a Public Rally in Ahuriire, 12th July)
- 3 days Tour to Murchison Falls National Park, 6th – 9th July
- 1 day Tour Mabiira Rain Forest and Source of the Nile, 6th – 7th July
Through this conference, we hope to achieve the following objectives:
The Panafrican Congress of Renewal leaders and the 2nd World Youth Metting of CCR will take place within the given days. A special workshop for priests will be also offered during the event.
The ICCRS Council will also have its annual meeting on African soil for the first time after the conference, from 6th to 11th July.
The conference will be held primarily in English, with translation into French, Spanish and Portuguese.