Friday, January 8, 2010

There's Power in the...

I got a neat opportunity to hang out with Pastor Tim from First Baptist Church yesterday. I asked to meet with him to get to know him a little better and discuss the focus and direction of the Ministerial Alliance this next year. It was so good to just visit and share our lives and our hearts and continue a friendship between men who have been called by God to lead and pastor His people.

But he did share with me one thing that made me a little jealous: Their church bought a Snow Thrower.

That's right. Not a blower or a remover but a THROWER! That would get any red-blooded, testosterone filled man's blood pumping. We are talking 20+ inches, nearly 200cc's of unbridled snow heaving POWER!! I can only hope that I get a chance to see this machine in glorious action.

I know this may sound silly to some, but we are all, in various ways, drawn to things of power: Powerful cars, Powerful people, Powerful stereos, Powerful yard equipment.

Lately, I've really been pondering that fact and trying to evaluate what power has to do with my journey as a follower of Christ.

Recently, I came across one of those weird verses in the Bible - you know, the ones that make you scratch your head before skimming over to the next part - where Paul makes this statement: "For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power." (I Cor 4:20). And I find this odd because so much of what we do in church is talk. We listen to messages and have Bible discussions and we share our lives over fellowship meals. But here is Paul saying it is about power and not words.

He says this in regards to some divisions in the Corinthian church where some were wanting to follow this church leader and others that church leader and so on. And Paul says that he wants to come visit so he can find out - not the talk of these people - but their power.

But what power?

Because you could kind of get the sense that this is going to turn into a fist fight, especially when you read part of the next verse: "What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod..." (1 Cor 4:21a)

Those are fighting words if I've ever heard them. "My snow thrower can beat up your snow thrower!" I mean, harsh stuff!!!

But as I've pondered this issue and took a few steps back. And even worked to apply this concept to my life and the life of our church today, I've realized Paul is talking about a different kind of power. As a matter of fact, in his second letter to the Corinthian church, he again talks about power and fighting when he says: "For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete."(2 Cor 10:4-6)

See, too often I let my testosterone get in the way. Too often I trust in my physical or mental or spiritual muscles to be sufficient.

But Paul is saying that true power can ONLY come from God and that power ONLY works in our life when we are obedient.



And that doesn't look much like our normal vision of power. So we forget it or we miss it or we push it aside in favor of some new spiritual power tool.

So I am challenged. I am seeking to listen better so I can be obedient. I am striving to expect God to work in the situations surrounding me, rather than trying to fix them on my own. And I am trying to remind myself more and more frequently of the true source of power.

Let me know what you are trying to do to seek God's power in your life. Peace.


Nathan Stitt said...

Great post, and something I've not spent too much time dwelling on. Chad and I were talking about spirituality and the supernatural last night. A very interesting circumstance to have had that conversation and then read this post only a few hours later. Would love to discuss in person next time we have a chance.

180 Youth Ministry said...

Nate, I too had a really good conversation with Chad about some of these things that I've been pondering. Interesting. Well, I too would love to talk more in person. Hope we can do that soon!

Brian said...

All I could think of when you were talking about the snow blower was Tim "The Toolman" Taylor going "oh oh oh" and then he would take that 200cc and triple it so that the snow could be thrown over the roof!

It's tough sometimes to realize the battle at hand is not with the doofus in front of me (many times I'm looking in a mirror for this one) but that it is a spiritual battle and the Power comes from the name of Jesus! I can't believe all that God has done for his children. Not only giving us an opportunity to have relationship with him, but then having our back too! God help me to be obedient..let me hear what YOU would want me to do!
Thanks for the encouragement brother.

180 Youth Ministry said...

Tim Taylor was totally in my head too!