“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
There are people who seem to be so full of spiritual power and Divine influence that wherever they go they carry blessings. There is a strange power in their simplest words, which thrills every heart. There is a warm glow in their faces which seems like the outshining of a great altar-fire, or a hot furnace of love in their hearts. There is a blessing in their prayers which takes hold of people’s souls and lifts them up into the bosom of God. Their very presence brings a heavenly atmosphere. Their lives have a holy fragrance. And if you ask for the secret, you shall find it to be this: they have been with Jesus! They live with him; they abide in Him; and wherever they go, they go right from His presence.
These are the mighty ones of the earth. They live nearby the gates of Heaven; and when they come to us, they bring their hands and their hearts full of rich blessings, fresh from God. When a man comes in from outside on a cold and wintry day, he brings winter with him on his garments. When one comes from a flower garden into your room, she brings fragrance with her.
In the same way, when a person comes from communing with Jesus, “all his garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia.” He walks in the garden of God, and he comes back with perfumed garments. Like the 12 spies who carried Eshcol’s grapes from the vine-clad hills of Canaan, back into the wilderness; he comes, loaded with ripe clusters of the fruits which – with his own hands – he has gathered upon the heavenly fields. He comes as a vessel – perhaps only a vessel of wood or of clay – but still a vessel fresh from the fountain, and full to the brim of the sweet waters of grace.
When these persons who come from Jesus’s presence sit down by the bedside of the sick, they have something to offer besides the common courtesies of friendship, or even the tender words of human sympathy and love. They have a word from God’s own lips. They bring a message from the King. They bear healing waters that have been drawn from the deep well of life.
When they sit down beside the mourner, they have something better than the world’s cold comfort to present. They bring promises which shine like lamps in the gloom, and they cast their bright beam far into the gloomy depths of sorrow.
When they sit down beside the tempted, tried, and almost-fainting one, they have something better to offer than human counsel or a weak human arm.
When they stand before hungry hearts, they have something better than stones to give. They have been with Jesus, and they bring the “hidden manna” from the sanctuary.
When they go out among the great needs and wants of human hearts, they go with their hands full of spiritual gifts. They live so near to the gates of Heaven that they catch the accents of the angels’ songs, and then come and sing them in people’s homes, to cheer the sad and weary ones on this earth. They are on such intimate terms with Jesus that He reveals to them many of the precious secrets of His love, and then they come and share them with others who are burdened.
There is no power to be compared for a moment with spiritual power. Pompey boasted that with one stamp of his foot, he could rouse all Italy to arms. But with all his power, he could not have comforted a mourner, nor dried a tear, nor lifted up a fainting one, nor led a lost soul to light. The achievements of physical power will perish. The things that mighty men do will pass away. The cities that they build will crumble. The thrones that they raise will topple and fall. But the things that are worked by spiritual power will endure forever!
Some say that once a word is breathed into the air, it goes on and on forever, in infinite vibrations through the fields of space. This may be a mere notion of scientists; but it is certain that good words, once spoken, will go on forever in human hearts. Songs sung into the ears of sorrow will go singing on eternally. A touch of beauty on a human soul will never fade nor be rubbed out. Joys that are started deep in men’s hearts by spiritual truths will never die. The things which are done in the name of Christ, and through the power of His grace, will last forever. I would rather be the obscurest servant in all God’s field, and have the spiritual ability to bless, comfort, heal, cheer, lift up, feed, and point souls to the Lamb of Calvary, than be the mightiest emperor on the globe, ruling over half a continent.
The good news is that this power can be gained! God will give it to His lowliest servants, but it can be obtained in only one way. Wealth will not give it. Universities cannot confer it. Genius does not have it among its treasures. It is not gotten in military academies. It is not one of the jewels of a king’s crown.
It can only be had by being much with Jesus! Live with Him, commune with Him, sit at His feet, lie on His bosom, and go out daily and hourly from His presence – and you will be clothed with spiritual power.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this article! Feel free to leave your reflections and ask your questions below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Paige Muller | Lightstock.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.