When I began my ministry in Idaho, I was very young. I smile now when I recall my thoughts after I had finished preaching my fifth sermon.
Walking down the road on my way back to the little room where I was staying, I wondered what more I could preach about. I thought I had exhausted the supply of sermons to be found in the Bible!
Yes, I smile as I remember these thoughts, for since that time, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me many deep truths, and I still have only scratched the surface of the rich teachings in God's Word. Do you know why? I have grown! If you are a healthy Christian and there is Jesus' divine life in you, you will grow and develop spiritually.
The Importance of Surrender
Surrender is the other important step in gaining victory over temptation. Today, I can take you down a dead-end street in a certain town in a certain state where I surrendered everything—body, soul and spirit—to Jesus. Walking there with the tears streaming down my face, for the first time in my life it was none of self and all of Him. When I made that full and complete surrender of everything to Jesus, the Holy Spirit took my empty vessel.
That day was the dawn of the greatest day of my life. I had no real ministry until I walked down that little dead-end road and surrendered everything to Him. And that's all He asks!
But watch it: The greater the yieldedness, the greater the temptations. With that infilling of the Spirit comes a responsibility that is tremendous, and as we continue to advance in spiritual stature, new and powerful temptations await us on the path.
They are there at every turn of the road. There is temptation to work for self-glory; there are temptations for personal honors, distinctions and material gain.
The wonderful truths that I have shared with believers through the years were in the Bible the whole time when I thought I had exhausted the supply of sermons to be preached. Because I was so young spiritually, I did not see the full depth of meaning in God's Word. I had to grow, and as I grew, the Holy Spirit revealed the deep spiritual truths to me. They were bread to my soul.
I developed. I grew spiritually in exactly the way a baby grows physically when it is given the right food. First comes the milk, and then there follows more substantial food, and finally, the child is eating potatoes and meat. At last one day the youngster sits up by the side of his dad and says, "Daddy, I want steak like you are eating!"
The secret is growth, and the more you pray, the more time you spend reading God's Word, the more effort you put forth in following the teachings of Jesus, the more sensitive you become to the Holy Spirit. As you become more sensitive and spiritual, your prayers become more powerful and effective and the results of your work for God are greater. Consequently, God will use you in a greater measure and you will advance in spiritual things.
As you grow, you also become more susceptible to forms of temptation that simply do not beset Christians at an earlier stage in their spiritual growth.
But the servant who is truly yielded to God is able to walk in victory, no matter how great the temptation, because he is motivated by his desire to please God rather than a desire to indulge his flesh.
In the final analysis, we must never lose sight of the fact that the power manifested through the Spirit-filled life is that of the Holy Spirit, and all fruitfulness stems from this Gift from God, the mighty Third Person of the Trinity, who is faithful to lead those who are yielded to Jesus, every step of the way.
Kathryn Kuhlman (1907-1976) was one of the most well-known healing evangelists in North America during the 1960s and 1970s. She held regular "miracle services" at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium and at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh for many years and also produced nearly 500 TV programs for the CBS network.
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