Where Does Your Power Come From?

When I first got my poison ivy three weeks ago, one of the first things I had to do was give up working out. I've been on quite a roll, and I've lost quite a few much-needed pounds. But once I was sick, itchy and medicated, I knew there was no way I had enough strength to exercise, and it took quite a few days before I started back up.

And boy, could I tell the difference. After more than a week of not lifting weights or doing yoga, I felt as weak as a baby. I had increased my dumbbell weight just before I got sick, but I had to go back to the starter weight to be able to lift them. And I couldn't hold some of my yoga poses as long as I could just a few days earlier.

Talk about a blow to my ego!

I've slowly increased and improved during my workouts again, but I'm still not back to where I was before. I hoped I would just bounce back - and be even better - but that wasn't the case. Losing some energy and strength is just part of being sick, though it's hard to be patient.

John the Baptist preached about strength and power when he spoke to the people about the coming Messiah. The crowds were pretty comfortable with the way John was doing things, baptizing in the water and calling men to repentance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. So when he spoke of being just a herald for the coming Christ, not being that man himself, the people were curious about who he described.

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Luke 3:16

From before they were even born, John was chosen to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ. John leaped with excitement in his mother's womb just being in the same room with Mary when she came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. He was full of the Holy Spirit, designed from birth to be the voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord.

Unlike most men, though, he never attempted to be more than he was. John didn't sit under a tree somewhere and ask God why he couldn't be the Messiah. He didn't have bitterness in his heart because someone more important was going to come along behind him. And he definitely didn't shed any tears over having to decrease so that Christ could increase, as Paul would write years later.

Instead, John was filled with hope and joy over Jesus Christ's imminent arrival on the scene. So when the people began to question whether he was that Anointed One himself, he was quick to deny it and set them straight. His calling in life was to make the paths straight for the Christ, and he did it with humility.

John would preach about many truths from God's word, but Jesus would do them. John would baptize the people in the water, but Christ would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire. John would warn the people of the greatness of their sins, but Jesus would sacrifice Himself for those sins.

The one who was mightier than John, the Son of God Himself, was coming soon. John knew that while he had been blessed beyond measure and chosen by God, the true power and might in this lost and dying world was Christ, and Christ alone. There was no doubt in his mind that Jesus was the mighty one, and he was more than willing to play the servant's role every single day of his life.

Even while he was imprisoned by Herod, John was still pointing people to Jesus Christ. A little change in location wouldn't stop him from praising His holy name and serving Him until his dying breath. John had stood in the very presence of the Son of God and was willing to take a back seat to Him in a heartbeat.

John knew of Jesus' might, His power and His strength and couldn't wait to be on the receiving end. The one mightier came into John's life, He came into our life when we got saved, and He's coming again to take His people home. No one but our Lord and Savior has that kind of power.


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