I wonder if we have any idea what we’re saying …
To the religious leaders who were criticizing him, Jesus said something that makes me shiver today. These were religious leaders, mind you, who knew it all. He told them, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
He is talking to them about the resurrection, but I think we all need to sit up and take notice. Friend, what do you know about the Scriptures and the power of God?
We rattle off verses about God’s power within us. Scripture rolls off our tongues smoothly at just the right times. Verses we’ve known for decades float by us without piercing our souls. We patch hurts and problems with Band-Aids of church-y phrases. But do we know the power?
Paul, in a letter to his protégé Timothy, writes about difficult times in the last days, talking about people who act religious, but reject the power that could make them godly.
I suspect we are only skimming the surface of something so deep and so powerful that … How can we describe it? How can we possibly know the power of God?
Of course we can’t grasp something so far beyond us. But the Spirit can open our eyes, can begin to teach us. Are we paying attention?
When you read Peter’s statement that God’s power gives us everything we need to live godly lives, do you believe it? Or is your unconscious retort “yes, except for …” ?
When you quote Ephesians 3:20, do you hear only the promise that God can do fantastic things, or do you notice that the Scripture says God’s power is at work in us?
When you read Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil, do you believe that the power of the Spirit will equip you so that after the battle you will still be standing firm? Or have you just given up, conceded defeat in some battles, with the excuse, That’s just the way I am, or That’s the way things are…
In the midst of my study about the power of God within us, I had a bad day. I don’t remember what did or didn’t happen, I just remember that the next morning I berated myself in my journal, lamenting my foolishness and failure. In my self-scolding, I used the word “pathetic.”
Instantly, the Spirit checked my vocabulary. Is the word “pathetic” one that can ever describe us, children of God? If God’s power is at work in us, His Spirit living within, how dare we ever call ourselves pathetic?
And take that one step further, one step beyond myself. If the Spirit’s power is working in my brothers and sisters in Christ, how dare I look on them with critical and judgmental eyes? They are in the Spirit’s hands. He is doing His work in them.
I’m wandering, just a little, so back to my question:
Does talk of the power of God roll glibly off our tongues, while our lives deny that we believe? Did you notice that the Ephesians passage says this incomparably great power is for those of us who believe?
Do we believe?
Scripture: Matthew 22:29; 2 Timothy 3:5, Ephesians 6:10,11,13b (all NLT), Ephesians 1:19 (NIV)