The ability to do

I’ve been reading the spiritual classic, Mystery of the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer. I’ve studied much on this topic, but this has been one of the most powerful books I have read in years.

Tozer was a Christian and Missionary Alliance Pastor in the last century as well as an author. Born into poverty, he was self-educated, but later received honorary doctorates from both Wheaton and Houghton colleges for his accomplishments.

He is oft quoted and after reading this book, I know why.

I’ve highlighted many passages from his writing, but on my heart today is what he says about the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. He communicates in such a simple, direct way. He writes that the Spirit gives us the  “ability to do, that is all. Just ability to do . . . Whatever you do in the name of God, He gives you the ability to do.”

Often, we worry about whether we have what it takes to face some seemingly impossible challenge, but Tozer reminds us that the Holy Spirit gives what we need in order to accomplish that to which God has called us.

It doesn’t matter our feelings regarding the task--that we may not feel capable. We only trust He will supply. . I know for myself I sometimes fall into the trap of feeling I have to summon some extra strength for a job. That has never worked out for me. Only a few days ago, I was asked to do something for which I felt inadequate, but instead of nerving out over it, before I opened my car door at the place I was going, I bowed my head and asked the Holy Spirit to help me. And he did in a wonderful way.

Jesus spoke to his disciples about this. The Amplified version of John 14:16 reads,  “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever . . .” That list of the different facets of the original Greek helps us see all the roles the Holy Spirit may play in our lives. He counsels, advises, assists, pleads our case, champions and supports us. He builds us up and has our back. And He does all these things day after day, forever and always. He’s not going to bail when the going gets tough.

Tozer takes all this and reduces the Holy Spirit’s influence in our life to one phrase, “ability to do.” The ability to do life--to walk in the incredible power of the Spirit of God. 

There you have it.

When your knees start shaking, or your heart goes pitty-pat at some job to which God is leading. Pray and repeat, “The Holy Spirit gives me the ability to do.”

And He will. 


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