Jack Donnelly’s article hit the nail on the head. In that article, published last Friday, and entitled, “Don’t Delegate Up,” Jack encourages us to stop appealing to our boss (God the Father) to do those things which he has told us to do. I am reminded of how Jesus told his followers to unbind Lazarus when Jesus had raised him from the dead. The response of the disciples was not to say, “Father in heaven, please untie Lazarus.” Instead, they simply obeyed: they untied him like Jesus told them to. Here’s a few more things that Jesus told his followers to do: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)
Was this directive for Christ’s followers today, or just those of the first century? The answer is found in the great commission, from Matthew 28:18-20: “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Did you notice the first part of verse 20? “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”. There it is! We are to do the same things today that Jesus commanded his followers to do when he was on this earth. Therefore, we are to do everything that Jesus commanded his disciples in Matthew 10:8 (above, and repeated here for emphasis): “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Of course, there are other things, too, that we are to do. This is only that which is commanded in Matthew 10:8!
To be fair, this is a directive given to the church at large. As a church, we should be practicing all of these things. Personally, you may have been gifted to be able to practice some of these things, depending on what your gifting is. There are many gifts quoted in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 4, and Ephesians 4. Peter admonishes us to use the gifts we have received (not those we have not received) for the glory of God: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
The person with a gift of administrating, then, may ask God for wisdom in using that gift. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) However, they may not appeal to God to actually do the administrating. No! That’s the person’s responsibility, because that is the gift that that person has been given. Similarily, the person with the gift of miracles should not appeal to God to do the miracles. No! That’s the person’s responsibility, because that is the gift that that person has been given. So we should not appeal to God to do those things that he has called us to do — whether that be unbinding Lazarus, or administrating for God, or performing miracles on God’s behalf. We do these things “in God’s name” but not by asking God to actually do them! There is a big difference between the two!
Now again, I need to point you towards a very important point! While we are the one who “does” them, it is not actually us who is “doing” them! Read the following verses carefully, to see what I mean (Jesus speaking): “12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
Did you catch all that? In verse 12, Jesus says that WE are the ones doing the work. In verse 13, and again in verse 14 for added emphasis (lest we miss it!), he says that HE will do it! Who’s doing it? HE’s doing it THROUGH US! According to Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Here Paul says that he lives, yet it is not he who lives, but it is Christ who lives inside of him. The condition by which Christ lives inside of a man, according to this verse is that the person must be “crucified with Christ”. Christ then is actually living INSIDE of the apostle Paul, and doing all the works that Paul is doing. Paul does them, but Christ is the one who is doing them, as Paul yields to Christ, and allows Christ to do those works through him.
Is Christ living in you, by faith? Have you received him yet as Lord and Savior? If not, then you cannot possibly do any of those things that we have talked about above! Receive Christ into your heart, by faith. Receive his Spirit, by faith. Begin to walk by faith, and not by sight. Learn to listen to Christ’s voice, as he then begins to speak with you! (John 10:27-29) You’ll begin to notice that power begins to rise up inside of you, like you never imagined possible! This is not the power of the flesh, or of the will of man, but, as Paul has clearly stated in Galatians 2:20, it is the power of Christ that is at work inside of you, as you yield yourself to Christ. And with this power, you will be able to do all of those things that God has commanded you to do: yet not you, but Christ who lives inside of you!