There is a scenario that shows up many times in movies. Someone is getting beaten up really bad, and is told, “Just stay down.” But the guy getting beat up is determined to stand up again and keep fighting. So, he gets punched around some more, and ends up on the ground again. Each time he tries to get up, he is knocked back down. He is continually told to just stay down. This is exactly the way God deals with His sons. We have within us a determination to be pleasing to God. We want to “pass” whatever test we think we are under. So, we continue to “get up” and keep swinging in an attempt to win. But the Lord is going to prevail over us, just as He prevailed over Jacob. Our continuing to get up and fight is an expression of the Adamic energies within us. “We” are going to win. “We” are going to prevail over whatever conflict we are in. We don’t perceive that God’s purpose in allowing the battles to begin with is to crush the Adamic energies that drive us. While we may be good intentioned, the Lord will not allow us to prevail in our own strength. No, this is not a pep talk about trusting God. Trusting the Lord is absolutely a necessity. However, that phrase is too often used without any practical application. It ends up being nothing more than pseudo spiritual rhetoric.
All of God’s movement in the lives of His sons is to bring them to the point of despair where they raise their hands in surrender and say, “I can’t do it.” What we are speaking of is the energies of our soul lives being crushed until we just stand and worship. Jesus expressed this on the cross when He cried out “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit (Luke 23:45-46).” The next sentence is, “Having said this, He breathed His last.”
The Lord Himself will lead us down dead end alleys until the self-preservation instinct in us gives way. It is a broken people He desires. We will not win the battles against our flesh natures in ourselves. It’s only when we no longer “get up” from being knocked down that we see victory. Hebrews 11 tells us that at the end of Jacob’s life he leaned on His staff and worshipped. This must be the outcome of our lives as well.
What an extraordinary revelation it is to understand God is not interested in our fighting through our battles with the Adamic nature until we “win.” He is not interested in our behavior at all. God is interested in His sons being brought to the place of such brokenness that they just worship Him in the face of their conflicts. It then becomes the energies of Christ’s word in them that prevails.
1st Cor. 12
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
Verse six is the passage we want to examine. The Greek word for effects is energema. We get our word “energy” from this word. Rotherham gets it right in his translation of the Bible. Let’s read it.
4 But, distributions of gifts, there are, yet the same Spirit,
5 And, distributions of ministries, there are, and the same Lord,
6 And, distributions of energies, there are, and the same God—who energiseth all things in all.
Until we are functioning in God’s energies, and not our own, we will continue to suffer defeat at the hands of whatever is battling us. God’s energies take over in our lives when we grow weary and realize we can’t do it in ourselves. We learn to bow our heads in defeat on one level so that we can raise them on a higher level and have HIS victory operating in us. It is this simple, yet how hard it is to get past the religious strivings of Adam in us. Lifting our hands to the Lord and worshipping Him while feeling hopeless is really a great victory. It means we have been knocked down and are refusing to get back up. The energies of the Father Himself then begin to fill us.
It must be noted that verses 4-6 in our text from 1st Corinthians are progressive. The gifts of the Holy Spirit begin first in a believer’s life. Next comes a ministry. All ministry begins to function under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The work of the cross begins in a believer’s life when God endeavors to bring forth a ministry through them. Ministry is indicative of a certain level of maturity. The third level is the energizings of the Father. We are just now coming to this realm of operation. It is a realm opening to God’s sons. But it is not a realm of boisterous, religious expressions. It is a realm where we move in God’s energies, not our own. It’s the realm where all defeat is turned into victory. It just so happens that God’s definition of victory is vastly different from our own. Of this we can be thankful.