Everyone wants to have the ability to live well. We desire to have the strength within us to face the challenges with-out us. Where do we find that power? We serve a powerful God. Psalm 62:11 says, "Power, Oh God, belongs to you.." His power is stronger than we imagine. But, His power does not work the way this world does. In seeking to live powerful lives, we need to let go of somethings and hold on to somethings. We need to let go of using power in ways that hurt and hold on to ways that help.
There are may different words in the Bible to describe power. One is the Greek word “bia”. It means force or violence. It is like a violent mob or threatening waves crashing against a ship, It is to force yourself upon another person. Whenever I try to force things to happen it leaves God's power out. It is easy to get off track and try to get pushy and default to "bia" power. I have made many decisions that I have forced and latter regretted. Whenever I have forced my will on another person, I always regret it. Forced power is always second rate and causes harm to me or others. It is destructive and always life-taking. We must let go of it.
The other is “ischys”. It means strength, the ability to make something happen. That's what we want. The ability to manger our loves. God’s power is the ability to make something happen, but it works invisibly and always it is life-giving. We must hold on to it.
God is poweful How do people misuse or misunderstand God's power?
1. They act as if God was absent. They have to force life to get what they want in this world. “Bia” power. Or they feel abandoned by God and powerless to make things happen and withdraw. A denial of “ischys”. The ability of God.
2. They act as if their agenda is the same as God’s. "God is on my side. So my side is right and everyone else is wrong." How many times have people used God’s name to justify war, aggression toward another group of people. To get what they want. People have even used the Bible to get people to behave. The Bible says…, then blasted another person without even hearing them out.
This is so unlike God. In order to let God's power work in our lives we have to believe that he is working. That He is near and he will give us his power to live.
When we find ourselves at the wrong end of power, people using or misusing us. Or, us using or misusing power, then God gives us hope. Isaiah the prophet says, "He (God) gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary." Isaiah 40:29-31
We wait expectantly for him to work. One prophet Zephaniah told the king that the battle is not won by human ability. He said it like this. “It is not by force or strength, but by my Spirit says the Lord.”
We wait. We wait in expectation.
Jesus promised his followers great power from Holy Spirit. What instructions did he give to them? Go out in power? get busy doing? No, before they did anything, they were told to wait until God's power came upon them. Then and then only would they have the effective persistent power to do what only God could do.