This year, I found myself in situations where I was afraid- afraid mainly of the outcomes of things that were beyond my control. What will the result of this medical test be? What will the result of this court case be? What will the result of this application for XYZ be? I was fearful that the outcomes would not be be what I wanted and would change everything. Today’s reading gives me a different perspective to situations that are beyond my control:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
What can power, love and self-discipline do for me when I am anxious about something I have no control over? I can declare boldly and with POWER, God’s supremacy over every situation. I can rest in the promise that because of God’s great LOVE for me, everything will work out for my good even if it does not “look” good. And finally, I can exercise SELF-CONTROL and wait for God to do what He does best in His time- He makes all things beautiful in its time. And the beauty of this is that all of this is possible because of God’s spirit at work in us. He has given us a spirit of POWER, LOVE and SELF-DISCIPLINE so that we can triumph on days such as ones that are filled with fear of the unknown.
Today in church, my pastor spoke about the all too popular Christmas story but for the first time something caught my eye that I have never seen before (shout out to Pastor Kirk of Living Hope Alliance Church) Here is a summary of the story: Mary had been betrothed to Joseph and one day, an angel appears to her and tells her she is favored of God and that she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the savior of the whole world.
A careful look at the story reveals some very interesting things: Even though Mary received God’s favor, her life did not suddenly get easy. She was about to be faced by a difficult situation- she was going to become a pregnant virgin who was betrothed to a man who was not responsible for that pregnancy! Talk of awkward and the possible ridicule and shaming! Many Christians today pray for favor and while that is a good thing, favor does not always or necessarily guarantee easy. What favor guarantees is that you get the presence and power of God within you and overshadowing you as was the case for Mary. She was overcome with power from on high as the presence of God in the form of a baby inhabited her.
Another thing was that even though Mary had been favored of God, receiving the power and presence of God was not automatic. Mary had to say yes to those things and she did so with the famous words “be it done unto me according to thy word”. Have you made a willing choice to be a carrier of God’s power and presence? Do you make this choice everyday to be an honorable vessel that carries His power and presence?
A large house contains not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. Some indeed are for honorable use, but others are for common use. So if anyone cleanses himself of what is unfit, he will be a vessel for honor: sanctified, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work.2Timothy 2:20-21 BSB
On the sixth day of Christmas, JESUS gave to me Power from on high, Joy for my soul, Love for all men, Peace in my heart, Everlasting Life, and Salvation full and free.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 NIV
I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. Luke 10:19 CEV
Why is having power so important? Well, the scripture gives us at least two reasons why:
- To be able to be effective witnesses of what we believe. Ever notice that powerful people are confident? Remember the post from a few days ago. God wants us to hold on to our confidence because it will be greatly rewarded and power helps us to do that. Secondly, powerful people have influence. You cannot be an effective witness if you have no sphere of influence. If no one listens to you or cares what you say. The power that God gives us from on high makes us influential. Jesus was endued with power from on high and he had a very large following. People wanted to hear him speak; not only that people believed his message. That’s what power will do for you.
- To deal with unseen forces that wrestle with us. Not hocus pocus.. real demonic activities that seek to bring chaos to our lives and the world. Powerful people command authority and when we are endued with power from on high, that authority extends not only in the physical realm but also in the spiritual. These forces work to discourage us so that we are not motivated to share the good news. They seek to shroud us with darkness so the light of Christ does not shine through to the dying world. But today I come to tell you that you have the POWER to be a witness in spite of. Nothing can harm your soul which is anchored in Christ (even if your body and mind are beaten metaphorically!)
The main purpose of having power is to point others to the source of all that power… to point others to God as a witness. Use your influence, your confidence, and your power for good today.