The Power of One
In The Desire of Ages, Ellen G. White wrote a passage that has challenged and encouraged me for years and always causes me to pause and reflect: “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting aside self, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.”
It tells of the power of one person to make a difference in their family, church, neighborhood and community. I especially like the phrase, “no limit.” In other words, God can do some amazing things through each and everyone of us. We often look to talented, gifted people and church leaders to do great things and “limit” ourselves in what God can do in our lives to make a difference.
The key in that quote is “the working of the Holy Spirit.” Zechariah 4:6 highlights this principle: “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” God reminds us that the difference maker is the power of the Holy Spirit, and there is not limit to what He can do.
There is a famous essay titled “One Solitary Life” written years ago about the influence Jesus had on world history. It mentions that He was born in an obscure village, in a peasant family. He never held an office, didn’t go to a great institution of higher learning. Then the author writes, “all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.”
We know the reason that Jesus was able to do what He did was by and through the power of the Holy Spirit. He himself said, “I do nothing of myself.” He was baptized, led by and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Each one of us can also experience the same power and leading of the Holy Spirit. Two other phrases from the Desire of Ages tell us our part in fulfilling the promise, “putting aside self, and living a life wholly consecrated to God.” He is ready and willing to impart to us His greatest gift, the Holy Spirit. He is waiting for us to be as willing as Jesus to surrender ourselves fully to Him. Then we will be able to realize the promise “there is no limit” to our usefulness. This is the power of one person, you or me, to make a difference for God in this new year. This is my prayer for all of us for 2019. How about you?
By James Shires, President