The Key to Spiritual Power by Pastor Champ Peter Nwoji (Guest Feature)

The Key to Spiritual Power is: Pay the price! Fast 40 days! That is what I used to think. I would look around at Christians and make judgments: “She really paid the price, I’ll listen to her!” “He didn’t even pay the price, I won’t listen to him!” By price, I thought about fasting- because I do know somewhat about the price of fasting,because I too wanted to “pay the price” for spiritual power.What’s interesting is this: when we start depending on what we do,and are so full of ourselves about what we are doing, we don’t move God with our prayer and fasting, but we just move ourselves into spiritual pride. The (Luke 18) Pharisee didn’t move God with his elaborate, fleshly prayer that was just bragging about his goody points. The Pharisee moved himself, but the Tax Collector- who had his hopes dependent on God’s grace and mercy, actually moved God. The Tax Collector’s prayer got him answers from God, the Pharisees prayer got him arrogance from Satan. How can you make sure you receive answers from God? Never make your work- or paying the price- your trust. Make God’s work of Grace- and the man Christ Jesus- your trust.Pharisees will pray and will only get more religious- they will grow colder and colder toward others. Do you know how I know that I waspraying like a Pharisee- and trusting in my “paying the price” more than Jesus? My heart was not growing in love and compassion, I was getting colder and colder towards others because I was getting harder and harder on myself. The harder you get on yourself, the colder you will get towards others. The more pressure you put on yourself the more callous you will become- just like when you are trying to first learn the guitar, the more pressure your fingers put on the strings and the strings on your tender fingers, the more calloused they become. The more pressure religiosity puts on your heart, the more calloused your heart will become. Jesus didn’t come to bring pressure and callous to our hearts, Jesus came to bring rest to our souls, and a new tender love in our hearts.If you feel obligated to fork out a certain amount of price-paying, andyou can’t really meet your religious ideal price, you will be hard onyourself, and cold toward others. Do you know why I claim that I used to have it all wrong thinking that I got spiritual power by paying the price for it? My focus was on myself and my work, rather than My Savior and His work! Think about this: If the key to spiritual power was paying the price,how do you explain the orphans in Mozambique, Africa who are raising the dead through prayer? They are only children, they haven’t fasted 40 days yet? They haven’t read the Bible fifty times- they can’t even read yet? The secret to spiritual power is not human striving, but surrender. It’s simple trust in the Word of God, not the works of man.The man who I believe has demonstrated the greatest healing anointing of my lifetime started as just a young man hungry toplease God. He saw a general in the faith that he so deeply respected and stopped to ask him, “How can I please God?” The general looked at him with piercing eyes, and extended a piecing finger to the young man’s chest and said, “You can’t! Don’t try!” The principle is: Spiritual power comes when we realize we can’t, and don’t try hard in our flesh, but to simply surrender, trust, and believe. You know what’s interesting though? I’m not going to get another Holy Spirit to live in me, a more powerful Holy Spirit. I don’t have a condensed version of the Holy Spirit in me right now. The orphans in Africa don’t have a Holy Spirit deluxe. I have the full-on, one and only, resurrection power Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11) living in me. How does He come forth out of our lives? Do we have to pay the price,and pump Him out with violent prayer and fasting and then we can get Him out? My point is: the key to spiritual power is not as much“paying the price” as it is “surrendering to the Lord.” Maybe the key to spiritual power is not stacking up goody points, but it’s believing and receiving what Jesus paid the price for on the cross. In the book of Galatians, Paul asks the church that was seeing great demonstrations of spiritual power,“So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal. 3:5) In other words, “Did you pay the price for the power?” Or, did you just “Get the Word of God and believe it and receive it?” I’d go with the later. However, it’s so tempting to go with the first. We in our flesh like to think, “I fasted 40 days on water only, that is how I got the power I got! I paid the price!” I could summarize what he is really saying, “I’ve worked so hard for this, respect me, honor me, awe at what I’ve done, are you going to work hard like me? If not, you are inferior!”In contrast, how self-glorying is this, “Well, I just started hearing about the truth of Jesus, and just believed like a child, and WHOA all this cool stuff started happening: I got born again- and got a new heart, I got the Holy Spirit who lives in me, and I got supernatural power to do stuff I don’t deserve to do and that I can’t do apart from Him. I don’t know why but my heart’s been changing, what I loved to do before- is pretty dry, boring, and just feels wrong. What I really want to do is just get closer to Jesus. Why is He is good tome”? Do you want spiritual power? Go pay the price by fasting 40 days! Just Kidding. Go read about how Jesus paid the price on the cross, focus on the man of grace- Jesus Christ, and as a child would,simply surrender, humble yourself, and believe. “Did I not say believe and you will see the glory of God” (John 11:40)Here’s the picture: It’s not that you dig and dig and dig until you pull little pieces of spiritual power out. The truth is that there is a river of spiritual power within you (John 7:37) and the reality is that the river will flow out of you, if you just wouldn’t damn it up with your pride, self-dependance, and religious attitudes that say, “I’m going to pay the price for it.”If a key is working for you, don’t use another one. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The key of simple faith in Jesus and His work is what got you saved and got you the indwelling Holy Spirit! In the Kingdom ofGod, faith is the only key. The key of self-effort and works never got you anything from the Kingdom, it never did and it never will. TheSpiritual power im talkung about is not from the kingdom of Satan,nor the kingdom of this world, but it’s from the Kingdom of God.What is the key to spiritual power? Faith.Am I saying that we don’t ever fast and pray, but just lie on the couch all day and say, “Jesus, I trust you!” No. However, we must not see fasting and prayer as “paying the price”. Fasting is not a power generating station, fasting is a surrender station. Fasting is not a hunger strike to twist God’s arm, when we fast our stomachs are emptied- but not just our stomachs, fasting helps us to have our hearts and minds emptied of worldly things, so we can surrender more to Jesus, and even in our weakness we are more dependent on Him. We fast not for grace and love, but from grace and love. We are so lovesick that food sometimes is so lame in comparison to Him. Prayer is a love dialogue, not a stressful task. Prayer is the place of refreshing and pleasure, not obligation. Prayer is not work we clock in and out of, prayer is what we live in, walk in, breath every single day. When we set aside time to pray, it’s like a date with God. Now,by date I’m not talking about the contemporary definition of dating which is something shallow or a mere job interview. God is not going to dump you, He’s already chosen to accept you for who you are asHis child. Now, who would want to go on a date with someone whois just talking about how great or how stupid they are, and not even paying attention to you but immersed in self? In prayer, we take oureyes off of ourselves, and unto our great romance, and we worship,we listen, we enjoy, and we share our hearts. You know what prayer is easy- it’s graceful, not stressful.We are under grace- our life should be graceful. A graceful dancer is one who dances with ease. A graceful preacher is one who preaches with ease. A graceful artist is one who draws with ease. Kobe Bryantis a graceful basketball player, he makes the hard look easy. Now if a dancer, preacher, artist, or basketball player looks awkward- he/sheis not graceful. As Christians under grace, we are supposed to make life look graceful- even the hard things such as prayer, worship,loving others, forgiving, serving, helping, or overcoming, we willmake look easy to the world because Jesus’ yoke is easy and burdenis light. (Matthew 11:30)



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