May 14th, 2010 by Angela
POWER. Last night, after dinner, sitting around our table, our family had devotions, and this particular lesson was from John 9, the story about Jesus healing the blind man. The disciples were questioning Jesus of why this man was born blind, assuming that someone had sinned and this blindness was the result of that sin. Jesus answers them in John 9:3, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
Our family discussion took us on a little detour about how it was God and His amazing power which healed this blind man, through Christ Jesus. Because of this magnificent healing, God would be glorified.
Currently in our Christian culture, the buzz words within the Christian community are words like: “brokenness.” “transparency.” “Real.” You see, we Christians are very aware of the fact, that so many people struggle with becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, because they say “Christians are hypocrites.” Meaning, they have witnessed so called “Christians” say one thing and do another. So, to offset this, we Christians try to share our personal struggles and the areas where we are having difficulties, to show how real and authentic we are. In an attempt to identify with unbelievers, we want to say, ‘Hey! I’m struggling with that sin, too!’ Because we all know, Christians are certainly not perfect. The slogan, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven,” is a very real statement. We still mess up, we still do stupid stuff, we still will sin. One difference being, our sins are wiped clean by God; we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, because we have repented from our sins, been baptized, and chosen to believe in Jesus and God’s great plan of a coming Kingdom.
The problem is, many Christians buy into the falsehood, that the only difference between Christians and non-Christians, is that we are forgiven. And wow, is this actually true in so many cases. In the workplace, at school, out in the world, you really can’t tell who is a believer and who is not. By their actions, their words, their deeds, sadly, there is no noticeable difference. Failed marriages. Struggles with pornography. Debt. Enslaved to food or alcohol or prescription drugs. Immodest dress. Promiscuity. Lying. Cheating. Laziness. Coarse joking. Filthy mouths. Sin is running rampant in our churches, in our people.
We do have weaknesses. We do have sin in our lives. But, the question is, shouldn’t we be glorifying God in our weakness? Where is God? Does this Christianity thing not work? Is there no advantage to being a follower of Jesus?
2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the POWER may be of God and not from ourselves.” We are but dust. Clay vessels who have been created by God with our own troubles, our own strongholds. A life of a Christian is not promised by God to be perfect! Yet, how we soon forget that we are made this way, for a purpose. That purpose is to bring GLORY to God, our Heavenly Father. We are not meant to stay down. We can be struck down, but not destroyed. We can be afflicted in every way, but not crushed. There is supposed to be victory in our walk with the Lord! Where is our victory? Where is this power?
We were promised POWER. Jesus promised, “But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”Acts 1:8
The POWER of Christ is meant to dwell in believers. Does this not get you excited to hear? Is this not something that unbelievers should want to have, too, when they are seeing it lived out in believers’ lives?
“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, that the POWER of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The work of our faith isn’t reliant upon ourselves and our own power, but on a POWER that is from above, as stated in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12: “To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with POWER; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is a “POWER that works within us” (Ephesians 3:29).
My point today is, that yes, we believers, have issues. Sins. Problems. Struggles. Yes, we should share our walk with others, so that they can identify with us, understand that we are real people, not people just putting on a mask or a front that life is perfect, when it is not. HOWEVER, and I cannot emphasize this enough to you today, that there is a HUGE difference between a believer and a non-believer. That difference is the POWER of Adonai Yahweh, the Most High, that dwells in us. That POWER is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit! That POWER is “the very mind and energy behind the works and word of God.” That POWER is going to result in bringing us out of bondage to our sins; making us more joyful and peaceful in circumstances that call for the opposite, according to the world. This is how we bring GLORY to our God. We share our struggles with sin, but we also need to show the world, that we don’t stay there in that muck! We are able to supernaturally rise above the pull of sin, because of God’s POWER that can achieve what a mere man is incapable of doing on his own. There IS more of a difference between a believer and a non-believer, than just being forgiven: It is the POWER of our Most High God dwelling inside of each of us, helping us be strong, when we are weak. Causing us to live higher, more holy lives, than before we knew Him.
This is what is lacking in our churches today. Not the emphasis on our sins and how broken we are, but an emphasis placed on how great and powerful is our one true God, who heals, who restores, who loves us so much, that He gave us his Son for our forgiveness, to give us a new beginning, a new life in Jesus, so that we don’t have to live that way any more. I repeat: we do not have to live that way anymore!! God has given us the POWER so that we can walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control in a world that is not.
Church, where is thy fruit? O Church, where is this POWER of God? Why do we see so little of it? Why do we witness so little victory in our personal lives? Why is our Christianity, in effect, not working? Why do we allow habitual sin in our hearts, that has absolutely no place in a believer’s life? I pray, let us run to God and His word and spend some time in the quietness, reexamining ourselves. Perhaps we receive not, because we ask not. Or we believe for so little. This should be a scary thought for all of us, but perhaps that deposit or guarantee of God dwelling inside of us through His Spirit is lacking, because He is not dwelling in us afterall! (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13-14). I pray with all sincerity, let us work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, lest we fail to inherit eternal life in this everlasting kingdom that is to come.
Rise up, O Church of God, and begin to operate in the POWER of God’s Spirit, and let us glorify God. Not because of anything we are doing, but because our God is so awesome, so mighty, and so powerful, when He dwells inside of each one of us! POWER.