This Bible Study is taken from Chapter Four: Prepared To Use His Power of "Working The Works of God" By Dr. Andrew M. Nkoyoyo
The story of Mary and Martha illustrates the principle of extravagant devotion:
But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42)
Rather than concentrate on rules, regulations and duty, Mary did the “one thing needed,” the only non-negotiable thing – she took seriously the call to cultivate the ability to respond to God with extravagant devotion. She chose “what is better,” and it is your choice as well; no one can choose it for you.
Jesus also made it clear that “what is better” would never be taken away from Mary. In other words, she would maintain this focus her entire life. Sustaining a fresh walk with God through decades is the definition of living radically before God. David sought God “all” the days of his life as well.
Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of extravagant love is found in the story of Mary of Bethany. Breaking an expensive flask of costly oil on Jesus’ head brought indignation and even anger upon her. But Jesus vindicated her.
Like Mary, people who are seeking to be truly devoted to Jesus are not content with the minimum requirement of salvation – they seek to give the most God will empower them to give Him.
Soldiers of Christ
The opposite of radical passion and extravagant devotion is complacency. It is so important that you not allow complacency to burst through your old wineskin and rob you of God’s power. Cultivating a responsive heart of devotion to Jesus takes time and deliberate effort. You must have a constant hunger and thirst for the things of God. You must be humble, teachable, obedient and willing to work. You must have absolute confidence in His love for you.
A new wineskin is essential to a power-filled life because each of the assignments God gives is vital to the growth of the Kingdom, so much so that Scripture compares our lives to those of soldiers at war – fighting battles that must be won.
In his book, Approved unto God, Oswald Chambers describes four requirements of a Christian soldier in active duty conquering the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Disciplined Life
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3, NLT)
First, you must be disciplined. You must always be aware that you have one purpose only: to fulfill the commission given to you by your Commander. You are not to be interested merely in the work of the Kingdom, but in the King Himself.
If you are to be effective in utilizing the power God imbues you with, His will must be your singular goal, achieved through absolute loyalty to Him and His Word, and uncompromising submission to His Law. Chambers states it this way: “The only way to keep true to God is by a steady, persistent refusal to be interested in Christian work and to be interested alone in Jesus Christ.”
Many fall into the trap of seeking out the work, rather than seeking the Source, Jesus Christ. But the victory is not in the work, no matter how “good” it may seem, the victory is in doing the will of the King. You must discipline yourself to always see beyond the assignment to the Assigner Himself.
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For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14 (NKJV)