Many of us have been deceived.
Our cultures teach us that real power is instantly demonstrable. Our notion of power is shaped by quick military victories, by bombs exploding, by sports teams winning in two hours, by business people getting things done no matter how many people they use up as they advance themselves.
Then we take those images and stories and look at Scripture and see Jesus’ miracles. He made the blind to see, the lame to walk, and raised the dead.
So, we want to see active demonstrations of power. When what we are expecting to see doesn’t happen, we get discouraged and wonder: “Where is the God of Elijah?” We don’t realize that we have been deceived and we have wrongly constructed our notion of what God’s power should look like.
Paul in Eph 1:17-23 prays that we would come to know God, as well as come to know the incomparably great power that is ours who believe, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and set Jesus far above all rule and authority.
Well, that sounds like true, Holy Ghost, pyrotechnic power, doesn’t it? After all, isn’t raising someone from the dead the ultimate pyrotechnic?
Or is Paul doing something else – directing us in a different direction – asking us to arise and discover the power of God that dwells within us while at the same time asking us to reframe our concept of power?
How does he do that?
Paul goes on in Chapter 2 to talk about how through God’s power we have been reconciled to God, and how through this same power we have all we need to be reconciled with one another. The incredible power within is there to help us rise above our fallen, sinful, human inclinations and forgive the offender, embrace the other, form healthy communities that reflect the love of God. Now this requires power – but power of a different sort. It is the kind of power our world so desperately needs to see. The power of love.
Think about this – and let’s change our world.
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