Feature

Now What?

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It’s too bad Easter comes only once a year. A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed a wonderful celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection. I trust you, too, were encouraged and inspired to think again about the One who conquered sin and death, extended forgiveness for sin that separated us from God and invites us to a new life by faith in Him.

But now what? After Easter Sunday, where do we go from here? Is Resurrection Sunday the beginning or the end? Or is it like the couple that puts extraordinary effort into planning an elaborate wedding ceremony and then neglects the marriage?

As I meet with our Alliance family in the United States and around the world, I often speak of the “two pillars” of The Alliance: the deeper life and missions. Frequently, I am affirmed for referencing a precious truth that, according to many, we don’t talk about much—the Spirit-filled life.

On many occasions I’ve shared from my personal experience as I have realized that apart from the leading and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, my efforts end in exhaustion and frustration. The independent life is more struggle than satisfaction, and the joy of Easter is too easily replaced by the effort of ministry.

Our Savior understood the danger and discouragement of independent ministry. That’s why He prepared His disciples before the cross: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. . . . On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:16–18, 20).

A recent devotional on the C&MA Web site quoted our founder, A. B. Simpson: “Oh, for the baptism of fire! Oh, for the living coal upon the burning lips of love! Oh, for men and women, God-possessed and self-surrendered, grasping God’s great idea and pressing forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).” In calling us to a surrendered life, Simpson was calling us to a supernatural life!

In my service as an Alliance layman, pastor, district superintendent, college president and denominational president, I may sound like a broken record (if you remember the era of vinyl records). I am constantly talking about the Spirit-filled life, throne life, higher life and deeper life. I speak of walking by faith, living in the Spirit, sanctification and submission to Christ. For me it can be reduced to one phrase: “Christ in me, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). And it all begins with the Resurrection of Jesus.

The resurrection life is the risen Lord living His life in and through me! The apostle Paul said, “. . . I died to the law so that I might live for God. 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” (Gal. 2:19–20).

What if Easter came every day? What if we lived each day in the conscious affirmation that the risen Savior is alive in us? If you’re facing a long, dry spell until next Easter, please join me in learning to surrender to the One who longs to empower us until He comes again!

Alliance Core Values

  • Lost people matter to God. He wants them found. Luke 19:10
  • Prayer is the primary work of God’s people. Phil. 4:6–7
  • Everything we have belongs to God. We are His stewards. 1 Chron. 29:14
  • Knowing and obeying God’s Word is fundamental to all true success. Josh. 1:8
  • Completing the Great Commission will require the mobilization of every fully devoted disciple. Matt. 28:19
  • Without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we can accomplish nothing.
    1 Cor. 2:4–5
  • Achieving God’s purposes means taking faith-filled risks. This always involves change.
    Heb. 11:6

Past Alliance Life Issues

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