Thursday, April 3, 2008

Power Belongs...

Power is a strange thing. It can be used to make changes in one's life. For example, someone who has resources chooses to use them to feed the poor or clothe the naked. On the other hand, power can go to one's head and lead to their demise.

John writes of Jesus standing before Pilate after Jesus has been arrested. The Jews had played a huge part in His arrest but were not "pemitted to put anyone to death" (Jn. 18:31). It was for this reason He was brought to a Roman governor who had been given "power" by man to execute or pardon.

Again and again, Pilate says there seems to be no basis for the charges leveled against Jesus. He tells the Jewish officials to take Jesus and crucify Him themselves. After another objection from the Jews, Pilate questions Jesus about His origination. Jesus chooses to remain silent and an interesting dialogue is recorded.

"Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have the power to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, 'You would have no power over me unless it had been given to you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.'"

The prophets speak of the fall and rise of nations. It seems that when man is trusted with power the destruction is swift and fatal. However, when man recognizes true power comes from Yahweh, things go well.

Jesus says things like we must come to God as children, the first must be last, and go and serve. Paul speaks of Jesus laying his power aside (emptying Himself) (Phil. 2:7). Jesus prays prior to the crucifixion, "...yet not my will but yours be done" (Lk. 22:42).

Life entails laying down power so that the One who has true power will be glorified. We can recognize His power now and cry "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty" or we will do so later (Rom. 14:9, Phil. 2:10-11, Is. 45:23).

In a world focused on material posessions, man's definition of success, and the "me" generation(s), it's time to recognize true power and to whom it belongs.


Anonymous said...

Because all power belongs to Him we should always begin any endeaver with prayer asking that he envoke his power. Remember the seen in the movie Patton? "If you write a good prayer I assure you He will listen". He listens even if it is not a great prayer. Truley great men pray and continually thank God and ask for guidance.

Mike said...

Agreed off to rent Patton!