The perils of powerlessness
The numbers were too big to believe: well over a million customers in the DC area without power. Some would not get power back for many days. The experience has taught us how a sudden storm can cut off the essential power we depend on. But there are greater perils to living without power.
Power is not just important for A/C, refrigerators, and the internet. Power is important for our spiritual life. The power to persevere. The power to change. The power to overcome. The power get out of the rut and into the life we were created for.
Jesus offers power to his followers. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” (Acts 1:8) And Paul reminds Timothy that he hasn’t received a spirit of fear, but “of power, love, and self-control.” (2 Tim. 1:7) Sometimes it works well. But life isn’t always sunshine and calm weather. When the storms of life come, they can sometimes cut us off from power. And living without God’s power is full of perils.
- In a storm of confusion we stop seeking God’s power to see what is real and true, and we get more and more lost.
- In a storm of temptation we stop seeking God’s power to overcome, and we continue in an unhealthy cycle.
- In a storm of criticism we stop seeking God’s power to believe what he says about our true value and worth, and we begin to believe that we can never change.
- In a storm of unexpected set-backs we stop seeking God’s power to persevere, and we live with depression and despair.
- In a storm of deadlines, expectations, and demands from others we stop seeking God’s power to choose a different pace and direction for life, and we resign ourselves to a life of simply going through the motions.
It’s not that God’s power is unavailable for us, but that we’re disconnected. So as you reflect on the perils and problems you faced without electric power last week, consider whether or not your life is filled with God’s power this week. Maybe it’s time to reconnect with God’s power. Plug back in with us on a weekend gathering. Plug back in with a time alone with God. Plug back in with a dose of God’s truth in the Bible. Plug back in by converging in community with another follower of Christ.
Paul tells one church to, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” You can live this way. Let your first step be to pray the prayer that Paul prayed for his friends,
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. (Ephesians 3:16)