“And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.
There are many definitions and many ways of looking at power. Most often, we look at power as control over resources, influence, strength, political control, energy/electricity, etc. We all desire some level of power in our lives. The trick is how to get it. One group who figured it out was the early church. The Bible tells us that 3,000 souls were saved on one day; “…and each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) The early church was marked by powerful miracles and larger than life personalities. They experienced amazing growth and were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Most followers of Jesus want that same kind of power today. We want what they had. We want to impact our world as they impacted theirs. In most other ways, we have a whole lot more than the early believers did. We have homes, enough money to do most of things we want to do, amazing technology, and the freedom to worship God as we please. But do we have the power of God? The early church was plugged into the power of God, and since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, that same power is available to us today.
God gave each of us a brain that is fantastically intricate. But in spite of all our progress since the early church, we will never get our heads around the power, majesty, love and grace of God until we go to Heaven. The Bible reveals a God so great that we cannot compare anything to Him. No wonder God says, “The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing—mere emptiness and froth. To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him?” (Isaiah 40:17-18). While we may never fully grasp the power of God, the question we have in the midst of trials and difficulties is, “can we rely on His power for our future?”
The answer is yes. God is faithful and trustworthy. Ephesians 1:19-20 tells us: ”I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” According to Paul, we rely on God’s power to work in us by faith. Our hope is greater than we know because Christ resides in us. We can and do experience the wonder of His power. So no matter what your circumstances or how dark the clouds overhead are at the moment, God “is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)
So if we want the type of power the early church had, we need to stop doubting what we think God can’t or won’t do, and started believing in what He can do. “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity that we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.”— A. W. Tozer
- Does it detract from God’s power that He often relies on a response of faith from people? What does that show us about God’s respect for His creation and the importance of our faith response?
- If God is truly able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, how does that impact your thoughts, prayers, and actions?
- What is the one lesson or truth you took away from what you heard in the message this week that you can apply in your life?