Let’s be honest, many of us have hit the place in our lives where we feel like we’re just going through the motions when it comes to our faith. We’re doing the religious thing but we’re burned out. We may feel bitter towards God and the church. We may be angry. We may be tired. We feel empty.
We get this way because we’re trying to be religious under our own power. But the Christian life was never supposed to be about OUR power – it’s about HIS power. The Christian life is supposed to be charged by the Spirit of God.
When Jesus walked the earth he preached, “The kingdom of heaven is here.” Then he demonstrated that the kingdom had come through power. No, scratch that. He demonstrated that the kingdom had come through POWER. Even the Pharisees recognized it. Nicodemus told Jesus, “We know you’re from God because of the signs you do.”
The kingdom of God is lived out in power.
It’s supposed to set us apart from other groups. Without power the church might as well be the Elk’s Club, the Boy Scouts, or any other fraternal, do-gooder organization. That’s nice, but that’s not moving in the POWER God designed for the Church.
The Apostle Paul writes about God’s power for the Church:
A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial: to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of languages, to another, interpretation of languages. (1 Corinthians 12:7-10)
A few paragraphs later he writes:
And God has placed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, nect, miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, managing, various kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all do miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in languages? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:28-30)
His rhetorical questions demand the answer, “No – not all do these things.” But some do. God’s POWER ought to be evident in the Church. Why don’t we see people acting under His POWER? Probably because we’re fearful and we don’t seek it.
We’re afraid of the weirdo. We don’t want to be the weirdo. C’mon – who can watch Benny Hinn and not think that something is hinky with that guy?!?
So we throw out the baby with the bath water and say, “I’ll have none of that, thank you very much!” But just because some people go strange doesn’t mean there’s not some kernel of validity there. People have an ability to corrupt anything God makes. Just because some become prostitutes doesn’t mean we give up on the idea of sex. Just because some become addicts doesn’t mean we avoid getting medication from the doctor.
Just because some abuse God’s POWER doesn’t mean we stop pursuing it. Paul writes: “Desire the greater gifts” and “Desire spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:21 and 14:1). There is nothing in the Bible that EVER says that God stopped moving in POWER like He did in the 1st century. God hasn’t changed…perhaps we have. We’ve stopped pursuing Him and His POWER. Our enlightened culture doesn’t want the spiritual breaking through into our modern realities.
Remember that song from Snap in the 90s ~ I’ve Got the Power?
That needs to be the theme cry of the Christian Church. You see, we HAVE God’s POWER available. The question is, will we pursue his POWER and gifts are will we be content to be religious without any POWER to back up the faith? It’s like an unplugged lamp: it might look nice in my office but what good is it?
It’s useless.Follow @chrislinzey