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But by My Spirit says the Lord

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms...Ephesians 1:18-20

The same power to raise Jesus from the dead is available to me today, and instead, I fret, find myself enraged, feel both my powerlessness and the impossibility of breaking through the walls of my child's heart because I am still trying to do it on my own. I'm a mother by adoption to an amazing, dynamic, and very strong-willed child. I was "the strong-willed child" who made my parents' life not so easy with door slamming and arguments and the need to always be right. So, turn about's fair play?

But this isn't so much about her but about me and how my need for Jesus shows up very practically. I am not patient by nature and I am not kind - I certainly do not have kind thoughts when facing a child's challenge and resistance. I become enraged, not gentle and not full of affectionate, merciful love. Neither the fruit of the Spirit nor the 1 Corinthians 13 description of what love looks like describe me in my best efforts to parent well.

THIS is why I need the person and work of Jesus. I need to walk in the freedom and joy of being credited with His perfect righteousness when I naturally feel ashamed and condemned by parenting failure. There is no parenting righteousness but only the full acceptance and delight of the Father in me because I get credit for what Jesus earned. On my own merit and effort, I want to crawl into the bed and sleep a long winter's nap to escape the impossibility of hard parenting. No, I don't want to play ping pong or hear a joke because you were just so mean to me! But IN Jesus, it isn't about me so I am invited to respond and live out of His clean record not my disoriented one.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:20-21

Then, I can also call upon the same power that raised Him from the dead to empower me to BE patient when mine left the building years ago, to be filled with joy when that effort to instruct or advise blew up into a million pieces, to continue to pursue with affectionate love when my own capacity for loving others is as wide as a pin head.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:5


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