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Secrets of Spiritual Growth

By Zac Poonen

1. Exchange your strength with Divine strength: Isaiah 40:29-31 teaches that Almighty God Whom we worship and serve will give us strength when we are weak. When we lack might, He will give us power. He will give us health and strength to serve Him. Even young people may grow weary and tired and vigorous young men may get exhausted in trying to serve the Lord. But those who wait on the Lord, no matter what their age, will gain new strength. What a wonderful promise!  And when young people are collapsing, these older men “who wait on the Lord will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and won’t get tired. They will walk and they will never become weary”.  I want to encourage everyone to learn to wait upon the Lord in simple trust for all your needs. You will gain new strength, as this verse says. Or as another translation puts it: “Those who wait on the Lord will exchange their strength”. That means that we give our human strength to the Lord and He gives us His Divine strength in exchange! Hallelujah!! It is wonderful to exchange everything we have with the Lord. Jesus told the Father, “All that I have is Yours, Father. And all that You have is Mine” (John 17:10). In the Lord’s service you need the Lord’s strength to see you through.  All those who serve the Lord really need to trust the Lord to give supernatural strength from above, His resurrection power – not only in our spirit but in our bodies too. Then we will bear fruit for Him even in old age (Psa. 92:14).

2. Value the anointing of the Holy Spirit: We read in Ezekiel 3:23 “So I got up and I saw the glory of the Lord just as I had seen it first. And I fell with face down in the dust.” Here is an important principle of ministry: Put your face in the dust always. Sometimes it is good to do that actually – physically. Lie down on the floor in your room before God and say, “Lord, this is where I rightfully belong. This is what I am – a nobody in Your eyes.”  We who stand in front of others and preach are in great danger because so many people admire us and exalt us. More than anybody else, we are the ones who need to get alone before the Lord frequently and to lie down flat before Him and recognise that we are nothing in His eyes.  God can take away our breath in a moment. He can take away our anointing in a moment. I fear to lose the anointing more than anything else in my life. I would rather lose all my money and all my health than lose the anointing of God upon my life. It is easy to lose the anointing by being a little careless with money or with our tongue or in some other small matter. When Ezekiel’s face was in the dust, the Spirit came into him and set him on his feet. There – in the dust before God – is where the Spirit will fall upon us. Let Him then lift us up and exalt us. Never exalt yourself.

3. God will always encourage you despite past failures:  It is written in Isaiah 42:2, 3 “He will not cry out or raise His voice in the streets.”  This is quoted as referring to Jesus in Matthew 12:19, 20 where it goes on to say, “He will not make His voice heard in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break.” That means that the Lord will never discourage anyone who has made a mess of his life but will encourage him and heal him. The Lord will not put out the wick of a candle that is about to die. On the other hand, He will blow it into a flame. God is interested in helping weak believers who have failed. He is interested in helping those who are discouraged and depressed and to lift their spirits. A true servant of the Lord will always have a similar ministry of encouragement, lifting the spirits of those who are depressed and discouraged and who feel hopeless and are fed up with life. Let us all seek for such a ministry because people need it everywhere.

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