(All scripture from the NIV Translation)
So many Christians think that if they go to church regularly, serve in various capacities (i.e., committees, teaching, etc.) that this is what pleases God. Unfortunately that is not necessarily true. Yes, He does want us to attend church regularly and to serve, but if it is not done for the right reason, with the right attitude and with the proper power behind it, the results will not garner the best possible outcome.
Our motivation behind all we do should be only to reflect Christ in our lives. It should never be so that we will be personally recognized or honored. If recognition and/or honor should result, then our response should be one of grace and as humble as possible – not with any kind of “puffed up” reaction.
If we are not plugged into the true source of power our works can never have the full results that they should. His power needs to motivate us and empower us to function at full capacity for the utmost results. It is rather like having a really great flashlight that we need during a power outage, but it barely puts out enough light for us to see our way. The power source is weak – the batteries have been used up – not unlike us when we try to do things only in our own strength. But when new, fresh batteries are put into that flashlight, there will be a bright light that can help guide us where we need to go and accomplish what we need to do.
As much as we would like to believe that we are strong and capable, we need to recognize that we really are pretty weak on our own. But we do not have to live our lives as weak characters floundering through life. We need to recognize the strength and power our Lord has and that He is willing to give us that same power. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 the Lord speaks to Paul and says: “…’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” Paul’s response to that is: “…I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” How could Paul possibly be strong if he is weak? Because he is plugged into the greatest power of all – his Lord!
Then in a letter Paul writes in Ephesians 1:18-20 “ I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.” How amazing is the idea that we can have that much power in our lives? It says that God’s power is “for us who believe” – the power that was so great it raised Jesus from the dead.
2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” I believe the next 5 verses (5-9) then tell us how we can get plugged in and what some of the results can be: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
To be plugged in and powerful we only need to lean into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father!
Written by Karran Martin – February 15, 2019