Saturday, April 12, 2014

A SOURCE OF STRENGTH by Carter Conlon

Think for a moment of all that opposes you today and stands in defiance of your inheritance in Christ. It may be the words that were spoken over your life when you were young: “You’re stupid! You’ll never amount to anything. I am leaving because you are not worth staying for.” No matter what was said, or the nature of the opposition that you are currently facing, just keep in mind that it is all simply trying to stop you at the border of this incredible life of Christ.

Joshua said to the people, “Do not be afraid of them, for they are bread for us” (see Numbers 14:9). In other words, the opposition will sustain us; it will nurture and feed us. Of course, this is contrary to the way the natural man thinks. We consider opposition to be an awful thing, larger than we are. It makes us feel like grasshoppers in its sight; it threatens and intimidates us. So how exactly does it feed us?

Remember when Jesus was ministering in Samaria and the disciples went to get food for Him? They returned to Jesus and encouraged Him to eat, but He replied, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of” (John 4:32). Jesus was essentially saying, “I have a source of strength that you are not aware of yet. You have not tasted it; you do not know what it is or how it can nurture you.” The disciples then turned to one another and asked, “Okay, who brought Him something to eat?” But Jesus explained, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (v. 34). In other words, “This is my meat; this is what feeds my life—facing all that stands in direct opposition to the will of God and conquering it in the power of God.”

Jesus continued, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (v. 35). I do not know how many times I have heard Christians say that the harvest is coming—a great day when many will come to Christ. But here Jesus was telling His disciples, “Listen, lift up your eyes, the harvest is already here, ready to be harvested!”

And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (v. 36). He who goes out to harvest will receive wages, and these wages are the provision and strength of God. They will be given to the one who says, “Lord, I give You the reins of my life. I am willing to do the work of God no matter what opposition I must face, for this is where my nourishment will be found.”


__________
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.