Alistair Begg Devotional

Alistair Begg Devotional True Power in the One Spirit

True Power in the One Spirit

True Power in the One Spirit

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

At one point or another, when we’re facing trouble in life, we’re all tempted to ask, What’s the point of all of this? Why make the effort to keep going? Why do I face all this difficulty or opposition? Sometimes it looks as if some 21st-century churches and Christians live and operate primarily out of discouragement rather than being glad and rejoicing in the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24).

Some despondency is understandable. But we certainly don’t want to live there all the time—nor do we need to. Our discouragement should never lead us to disbelieve that God is still at work. The fact of the matter is that sometimes God’s work looks less impressive from a worldly viewpoint than we’d like. But while “some trust in chariots and some in horses,” we are to “trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). In the heat of battle, combat equipment like chariots and horses sure was intimidating. Yet while it may seem that the side with the most firepower always wins, we must never forget that God is always at work among His people, and He will give victory—not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit.

Nothing—no wealth, no influence, no strategy, no ability—can be a substitute for the work of the Spirit in our lives and in the church. Think back to the leadership of the New Testament church, for example. Its leaders were some bold, proactive men, if for no other reason than because they had had so much facetime with Jesus. And yet, when it came time for the gospel to spread, what did Jesus do? “He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4)—that promise, of course, being the Holy Spirit. Without the power of the Spirit, the apostles, however capable or determined they may have been, were going nowhere fast. With the Spirit, they began a movement that changed the world.

In our day, we need to remember that true gains for the kingdom will never come merely from a higher position in society, larger bank accounts, or more power. Instead, we wait on God’s Spirit to move where He wills and to work however He chooses. After all, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways His ways. His wisdom is as high above us as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:8-9). If deep down you are self-reliant, remember this: the kingdom will not advance, in your own life or through your witness and ministry, except by the work of the Spirit. If deep down you are discouraged, remember this: the kingdom will advance, even in your own life and through your witness and ministry, because the Spirit is at work. Do not trust in chariots or in horses, but in the Lord your God.

head heart hand Going Deeper

To Your Name Give Glory

1Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,

for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

2Why should the nations say,

“Where is their God?”

3Our God is in the heavens;

he does all that he pleases.

4Their idols are silver and gold,

the work of human hands.

5They have mouths, but do not speak;

eyes, but do not see.

6They have ears, but do not hear;

noses, but do not smell.

7They have hands, but do not feel;

feet, but do not walk;

and they do not make a sound in their throat.

8Those who make them become like them;

so do all who trust in them.

9O Israel,1 trust in the Lord!

He is their help and their shield.

10O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!

He is their help and their shield.

11You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!

He is their help and their shield.

12The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us;

he will bless the house of Israel;

he will bless the house of Aaron;

13he will bless those who fear the Lord,

both the small and the great.

14May the Lord give you increase,

you and your children!

15May you be blessed by the Lord,

who made heaven and earth!

16The heavens are the Lord's heavens,

but the earth he has given to the children of man.

17The dead do not praise the Lord,

nor do any who go down into silence.

18But we will bless the Lord

from this time forth and forevermore.

Praise the Lord!

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Footnotes
1 115:9 Masoretic Text; many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac O house of Israel

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.

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