Packing Some Power

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 7, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

As 2015 is now under way and you’re just about a week into whatever “resolutions” you have set for yourself this year, what do you feel you are lacking at this point? As you are experiencing the difficulty in making significant changes in your life, what is it that you desperately need in order to accomplish your goals? I begin with these questions for you this year because let’s face it, we all feel like we need something. We rarely, if ever, wake up and say, “Everything is perfect for me and I don’t need a thing”. If you follow God and believe He is guiding your life, you may be thinking about what you need in order to do what He has called you to do. Even if you don’t follow God, you likely have some goals for this year that will require more than just your will, so you may spend time wishing you could just get what you need to start making things happen.

I’ve been thinking about how much we as a society want, crave, and even need POWER. We have a saying that “knowledge is power”, so many young people make the decision to take on many thousands of dollars in debt just for higher education. People who are blessed to have employment can’t be satisfied because they are always wanting that next promotion, and as I’ve seen it at my own workplace I am convinced it is more about the status and power of being “above” others than it is about the money. It’s one reason that I am so impressed by some of the leaders where I work who go against the grain and really seem to view their positions as opportunities to lead by service. Power is viewed as necessary in politics, as many in the country believe major changes will happen because Republicans now “control” the House and the Senate. Even in sports, teams and individual athletes want to overpower their opponents.

Think about how often we need power for daily routine tasks. I have a friend who was almost in tears over the fact that she may not have her phone for about a week because she uses it for all of her entertainment. Her phone is not charging properly and quickly runs out of power. When our phone or computer system at work loses power, it’s difficult to get any work done. And when an entire town loses power, as my home city of Findlay, Ohio did several years ago when we had a major windstorm that I believe was classified as a “land hurricane”, everyone flocks to those who have generators because we have forgotten how to exist without power!

We know we need some kind of power to accomplish God’s will and our goals for this year. The Apostle Paul knew this as well, but his idea of “power” was a little different than ours. In Romans 1:1-6, he sets the tone for his entire letter to the believers in Rome by explaining that the gospel he is called to share is about the Lord Jesus Christ, “who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead” (vv. 3-4). The Greek word for “power” in that passage is “dynamis”. This is where we get our English word “dynamite”. As a matter of fact, the majority of times that “power” is mentioned in the New Testament, it’s this word. The power of God is like dynamite! Jesus himself said his disciples would receive this power when they were given the Holy Spirit, and that it would propel them to do what they couldn’t do otherwise - be his witnesses all the way to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Here in the Romans passage, Paul is saying that it was the same dynamite power that appointed Jesus the Son of God by raising him from the dead. He is talking about the good news that this Jesus offers grace and power to even the Gentiles. But he doesn’t stop there.

In another one of Paul’s letters to a different group of believers, he declares that the dynamite power available to all believers from the Father is “the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19b-20). In the context around these verses in Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul is longing and praying that the believers in Ephesus would KNOW this great power along with the hope they have in Christ. In other words, he wants them to know that no matter what they face in this world, they are packing the power of the Holy Spirit. And just in case they’ve forgotten what that power can do, he reminds them it’s the very same dynamite power that God the Father used to raise God in the flesh from the grave. It’s not just any power. It’s not the meaningless other forms of power we chase after that I mentioned above. Paul calls it “the incomparably great power for us who believe” (v. 19a).

Ladies and gentlemen, this is big news for 2015! If you are one who believes in Jesus Christ, accepts the free gift of salvation he offers, and follows him as Lord, you have power that is INCOMPARABLY great at your disposal! That means that no other power can truly come against it. No matter what struggles you are facing already in 2015 or what struggles will come against you, they can’t compare to the power that resurrects the Son of God!

Friends, the issue has never been that we don’t have this power. It’s been that we don’t KNOW we have it. That’s why I am moved by Paul’s words to the Ephesians. Paul’s knowledge of this power has transformed his life, but he recognizes that the Ephesian Christians may still be doubting it. Knowing this power isn’t about head knowledge or book knowledge. It’s about waking up each day and moving forward in confidence because of the power that goes before us to lead and also stands behind us to propel when needed. Like Paul, I long to KNOW this power and I long to see all believers KNOW it. The fact is, if you don’t believe and follow Jesus, you don’t have this power and you must soon realize you are fighting a losing battle. But if you do follow him, get ready to do absolutely anything that he asks of you this year. With his power, all obstacles will be overcome. Satan will try to convince you that the power simply isn’t there, but just remember it’s a lie from the losing side. I am pumped and ready to just get on with it! Are you?