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Today is Easter, a day we celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, of our Messiah. How was He raised from the dead? Through God’s limitless power. As we’ve studied Peter’s second letter, we’ve seen that there are certain expectations for God’s children. 2 Pet. 1:5-7 provide a list of qualities that are expected to be present and increasing in our lives. What we don’t see is power. We talk about powerful people in the world. Every year Forbes magazine provides a list of the most powerful people in the world. They use four dimensions to determine this:
- Power over people.
- Power over financial resources.
- Power in multiple spheres.
- Active use of power.
Not surprisingly, President Obama is listed as the most powerful. Angela Merkel (German Chancellor) is next, followed by Vladimir Putin, Bill Gates, and the Pope. People pursue power, seek power, want power, but real power is not found in political or financial spheres. One of the most incredible attributes of God is that He is infinitely powerful, and He chooses to share His power with us if we’ll only let Him.
1 Cor. 1:18 tells us, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The word power is found in 113 times in the N. T. It is an awesome word. It’s used to describe God as the most powerful force in existence. It was the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. That’s what Easter is – it is a resurrection. That same word is used to describe God’s children too.
- Rom. 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
- Acts 6:8, “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.”
- 1 Thes. 1:5, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”
The God that raised Jesus from the dead doesn’t hoard His power. He gives it away while we tend to hoard our power and we don’t want to waste it. Turn off the lights, change the thermostat, consolidate errand to save gas, make sure your tires are properly inflated. God wants us to have His power. When we get anxious, He gives us peace. When we burn the candle at both ends, He gives us the strength to go on. When we lack courage, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7)
Who needs power? Who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of God’s generous offer to infuse us with his supernatural strength? For many Christians, it seems like the power has gone out. We don’t have the energy to face the demands of life. We don’t have the wisdom to make sound biblical choices. We don’t seem to have the will power to avoid the temptations of life. We don’t seem to have the hope to face the tragedies of life. We don’t seem to have the resolve to do the right things in life. We lack a desire to participate in the things of God and the church.
So what are we to do? If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you may remember when they installed electricity in the Abbey. The Dowager didn’t see a need for that and later commented “First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I’m living in an H.G. Wells novel.” In Spiderman 2, Dr. Octavius was able to sustain a fusion reaction and said that he created “The power of the sun, in the palm of his hand.” Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor always wanted more power. Submarines typically operate using just a small percentage of the available power. I think that’s the way we are. We’re connected to an infinite power source, but we’re only utilizing a small percentage of what’s available. We’ve trusted Christ for salvation, but like the Lady Dowager of Downton Abbey, we resist the change.
How can we fully utilize the power? What if we became like Tom Bodett and we left the light on? What if we maintained the connection with the power source? Harnessing God’s power is not like making sure you have the breaker on, or the extension cord plugged in. It’s not about reciting some magic words and then you’re zapped. We must recognize and accept that we need God’s power. Too many professing Christians are trying to live life separated from God’s power. “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Cor. 12:9) You’ve heard the saying that God helps those that help themselves? Utter nonsense. His power is perfected in our weakness. When we recognize we need His power, He is able to provide the help we need. When we try to do things in our power, we just spin our wheels. There’s a lot of effort, but no movement.
We need to recognize God’s presence. 1 Chr. 16:11-12 reminds us to, “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.” Once we recognize our own weakness, we need to remember that our God is all powerful and who will infuse His children with strength. Ps. 18:1, “I love You, O Lord, my strength.” Is. 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.” It’s not us, it’s Him!
We need to align ourselves with the will of God. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jo. 15:5) Sometimes we seek God’s strength for wrong reasons. We want to accomplish our goals, our desires, our agenda, and many times we don’t seek God’s direction. God’s strength enables us to accomplish His will. Apart from God, we can’t do anything. Ask God for His power. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Tell God what you need. He already knows. Be obedient to God. Times will come when we don’t feel like God is there. We don’t feel like He loves us or cares for us. We must trust. Heb. 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith doesn’t just mean believe and that’s it. It means believing and acting in accordance with what we know.
That’s how you stay connected with God’s power. Do you have the power? You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all.