Sola Scriptura: Power

This is a series that is focusing on the question, “Am I willing to take God fully at His Word, especially in what He has revealed in Scripture?”

Paul says the kingdom of God does not consist of words but of power. However, as I press in to understand more of God’s power, the more I realize how much of my life has relied on words. I’ve told people the right thing, and I’ve given the right answers, but they haven’t changed. Many times I have prayed for healing for people, but my prayers were mere words and carried no power. Could it be that I, with all the teaching and understanding I had, have been living as a powerless Christian?

The more I learn about power, the more I see the incredible blessing of power! Can it be abused? Absolutely! Can it be a huge weapon against the enemy? Absolutely! Can you imagine a church where God’s power was present to heal, not only physically but also emotionally? Can you imagine the relationships that would be healed if God’s power was present to restore people? Is there any possibility that the enormous church growth in the early church was related to a church that was walking in the power of God?

It is easy to excuse ourselves by saying that this power was only for the early church. But imagine the outcry that would arise if we began to teach that the cross was only for the early church! We must take care when we willfully exclude parts of the gospel!

Jesus said that the signs would follow those who believe, not that the signs would follow the apostles until they could be written down in the Bible. After all, if the apostles had all the testimonies of Jesus’ healings, why did they themselves have to heal people? Could they not have referred back to the testimony of Jesus and inspire people to believe?

I fully believe that we are called to be like Jesus, that Jesus taught His disciples to be like Him, and that Jesus’ intent in our making disciples was primarily to replicate Himself, not us. Jesus walked with incredible power and authority on the earth, and as His disciples, I believe our lives should model that. In fact, Jesus said that signs would follow those who believe, and we would do greater works than even He!

We sometimes fear power because we have seen its excesses where character was nowhere to be found. Let us remain strong in character! And let us be like Jesus, not only in His character and attitude, but let us be like Him in our dependence on the Holy Spirit to walk in power.

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3 comments

  1. So if I may ask a question…you said that we can be a powerless Christian, so how are we then suppose to gain that power? Pray for it? Wish really really hard? If we are walking with Christ and have a relationship with Him do we already have that power or do we have ask for something else to gain that? And if we do have the power already then how do we live in that power without abusing it?

    • Whitney,

      You ask a very good, very difficult question, and I don’t know how to respond besides responding the best I know. Maybe some others have input.

      More than anything, I believe at the root of it is faith. Jesus said that signs would follow those who believe. When you read about the demonstrations of power in the New Testament, it starts by us saying, “My mind doesn’t completely understand this, but I choose to believe.” What do we believe in? Do we believe in our own faith? Do we believe in our own hopefulness? No, we believe in Jesus Christ, and we take Him at His Word, even if it doesn’t make sense or if we don’t see it in our lives.

      Secondly, power comes from the Holy Spirit. “And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses….” Acts 1:8.

      With all of this, it starts by believing what God says in His Word and seeking Him for what He has. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. I know that God has ways of accelerating different people’s journeys, but I also know that a lot of people have had to go on a journey to discover this for themselves.

      Many times, these things are difficult to grasp because we have never seen them or experienced them. If you had lived in the days of the early church, or if you would have grown up in a church where such things were normal, it would be much easier to “get” things such as healing. Having someone who “has it” pray for you to “get it” is also a powerful way to move forward in your journey. Powerlessness is powerless, but power is powerful.

      I may be splitting hairs here. I’m not sure how much of this prayer actually gives you power, and how much just opens up your understanding. Because of the cross, I believe we as believers do have access to the fullness of the kingdom of God, but I think many times we are limited because do don’t understand what all we have received. “I pray also 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 the saints.” Eph 1:18

      Regarding your last question, all of our lives must be connected to the heart of God. We can have all things, even faith to move mountains, but if we do not have love, it is nothing. It is easy to measure spirituality by power, but Paul makes it very clear that that is not the measure. The measure is love. The law can be summarized in this one word “love”, and that is what keeps us from abusing the power.

      It can be scary sometimes that God gives some of these gifts that can be so terribly abused, but on the other hand, we are deeply blessed when they are used in ways that honor and glorify Him.

      Bless you big in your journey! God knows your heart and hears your prayers, and He is faithful!

  2. Whitney,

    Jesus says, “Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” The simple fact, as Jesus points out, is that you will be like your teacher. If you wish to have a life of power, find powerful Christians and learn from them. I can tell you from my own experience, this works. Of course it does; Jesus says it will!

    Read and study the works of Christians with power–such as George Muller, DL Moody, Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker, and Reinhard Bonnke. As you learn from them, you will become like them. If you can be personally mentored by someone who has seen miracles and walks under the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that’s even better. I am privileged to have two such mentors and am honored that they believe in me and want to mentor me. May God bless you with the same!

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