What'sUP© with Danyelle
The power of God is mighty – the word for it in the Greek is dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite. It’s the same word used when Jesus felt power leave Him as the woman in the crowd touched the hem of His garment. She didn’t even touch His body, just the fringe, an area representing all the Talmudic law. This is reminiscent of what Jesus Himself said of the power of God in Luke 24:49 – “And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (BSB) (emphasis mine). Jesus saw the Spirit not only imbuing us but also clothing us. What a beautiful restoration of our sense of completeness lost in the Fall, when Adam and Eve felt they had to clothe themselves with fig leaves before God. It is also true that the power gets into our very garments.
God’s power within us functions on many levels, in the physical realm to heal and to influence, in the soul realm to give us the words to say and to heal our mind and emotions, in the cosmos, giving us authority over everything that raises itself above the Name of Christ. It only serves and can only serve the purposes and the Will of God.
God’s purposes are twofold, to restore us to live a good life, and as part of this good life we are to act as the body of Christ in bringing others into the Kingdom of His love and light through Jesus’ finished work. Often these two work in tandem. As we tithe and sow and dedicate our time and gifts to God’s work, in whatever way that fleshes out for each of us, God blesses us and gives us increase, friends, family harmony, He establishes us in our work and in our finances. The blessings are both monetary and things that are impossible to put a price on.
In 2 Timothy 1:6 and 7 Paul writes, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.” (BSB)
Here is a great gem of a synopsis of how the power of God works within the will of God, and what our part is in it. First, we are to have conviction, we are to have come to a place where we truly get that we have been given a gift. For Timothy, this came through Paul endorsing him to preach by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Paul recognized the gift in Timothy because the Holy Spirit showed it to him, but Timothy has to see it, too. Otherwise, how is he going to decide to stir it up? If my brother didn’t know he could play the drums, would he get excited about sitting in with a band? If an accountant doesn’t know he has the ability to organize the financials of an organization, how would he gear up to do the job? He wouldn’t know what software to use, much less what questions to ask. In the same way, spiritual gifts must be recognized for us to use them. Some come fully developed, most require some kind of honing, but often, their discovery comes by way of fellowship. Here is a perfect example of why it is so important to be in a church, hanging out with those who are themselves imbued with the Spirit and following His leading. When those people recognize a gift in you, it means something.
Once we realize we have a gift, or gifts – most of us have more than one, and those we have tend to give birth to others as we use them – we can put it into service. This is where the power comes in. Here is why verse 7 above comes after verse 6. Though often quoted and memorized separately, they are integral to each other. I’m not knocking using these verses separately, they are each useful on their own, I am pointing out that they are connected. The power of God by the Holy Spirit rises up in us to serve the gifts we have. It’s not there for us to send lightning bolts on someone who does bad things or on your local fake news media outlet. When God’s power hits us, we do have some choice of how to channel it, but it's not absolute power. If we channel it into the gifts we are given, listening to the Holy Spirit for what He wants us to do, say, and how to do or say it, we will do well and we will reap the benefits. If we do not understand this principle, we might instead use it in a way that is not directed by the Holy Spirit, causing us to act or speak out of turn. A lot of Christians function in the second method. I have myself. However, things turn out much better, and we use our gifts much more effectively when we allow the Spirit to direct their empowerment.
Ephesians 3:20 puts it this way, “Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,” (BSB) Can God do exceedingly abundantly beyond what we ask or think? Yes! Will He? That actually depends in part on us!! The power is not outside of us, it works within and through us. To us has been given the power and the hard-to-fathom honor of being Christ’s very presence. The Bible makes this clear in many places, even describing us as “His flesh and bone.” (Eph 5:30)
This is a bit gruesome but in trying to make this point to me, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance the movie about Timothy Treadwell, the so-called grizzly man. In this true story, which is like Grizzly Adams meets the Chainsaw Massacre, a man and his girlfriend are dismembered by a grizzly bear he thinks he has befriended. I don’t recommend watching it. However, the Holy Spirit pointed out to me the horror of being a head without working limbs. As I pondered why I was remembering this awful movie, I was directed into a study about the Body of Christ. Then it hit me. This unfortunately is how Jesus sometimes feels:. He’s speaking, He’s thinking, but nothing is moving.
There is much, much more to bring out on this topic, possibly in another post. If you want to pursue it, please check out The Believer's Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin. To summarize, though, I want to give you a warning, one I wish that I'd been given as a new believer or even a mature one. While God’s power in us is formidable, gentle, loving and infinite just as He is, it is bound by God's covenant with man not to violate our free will. There will come a time when He will restrain the evil that is on the earth. This evil is due to people’s being under the influence of demons, usually unknowingly, and it’s due to our own fleshly nature. In fact, we cannot choose good without God's Holy Spirit, For now, people get to choose and to act on their decisions. Often they choose badly, sometimes, very very badly. Christ warns that we may get caught in the crossfire. Is God Lord? Does He reign? Yes. Yes, Yes. Is He in control of everything that happens? No. No. No. God has limited His own Self by giving free will to man. We learn in Job that the enemy often sends evil into the earth, including weather and the manipulations of men's minds. God can intervene, He even limits the temporal consequences. But people really do get to choose to do bad things that hurt others in ways that are totally against God's Will. There is much more protection when we are conscious of this, however. God puts a hedge of protection around His children, though often His children open gaps in the hedge through fear and other forms of unbelief, I've also seen God visit people who do bad things with really awful consequences - because the principle of reaping and sowing does apply to all mankind as well.
There's much more to be said here, some I've touched on in previous articles. The upshot is that we may occasionally encounter setbacks. But it's okay. And it will be okay as long as we stay in faith. God's promise is that He will make it up to us many times over. Again, this applies when we walk in faith and don't blow it! So often, people are unsettled by adversity to the degree that they begin to do things which opens the door to greater oppression. Forgive, stay in faith, and take authority spiritually - that should be our response.
I am reminded of what God told young Jeremiah when he started out in his prophetic ministry.
“But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.” (Jer 1:7,8) (KJB)
I wonder if Jeremiah questioned this promise as he lay squished inside a cistern for days, left there to die by the leaders of Israel who would not tolerate his prophetic warnings, his elbows and knees scraping against the rough-hewn stone. While it’s true that Jeremiah was rescued from the cistern by the invading army, and while he was probably spared from being shot through with an arrow because he was in there, I’m sure that at the time, he would have been tempted to wonder if God’s promise of protection had failed him. In fact, God ensured he was brought into a position of honor after this. His better days were still ahead of him. Sadly, God also let the corrupt leaders reap some very negative consequences.
We need not fear what the world can do to us. Our encounters with the negativity of the world will only be stepping stones to something much greater.
As we apply God’s power by faith, working through love, to gifts which have been God-ordained in us, we will do and see results, some will be sweet and humble, some, downright phenomenal. I live in a state of continual wonder at what God does through and around me. Yet, as long as we are still in this body, we have this treasure in an earthen vessel. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Ps 34:19 ESV).
We can also be just as sure that this is not where God leaves us. We are headed to another age, to the full transformation of our physical selves and to the culmination of our inheritance as Priests and Kings. In the meantime, we are developing our skills, building and rebuilding our faith, getting ready for roles we will play in our next life; we get to participate in the glorious battle to displace the evil one from the earth. We are here to know the exhilaration of vanquishing the powers of evil which illegally retain a foothold upon the earth. The foe is a defeated one, or we couldn’t do it. Once we understand our position in Christ and our ability to have victory over the enemies of satan and flesh, we can actually enjoy the fight!
Only a Mountain
Glory to Glory
Not A Final Draft
Playing by Ear