I don’t have a lot of power tools in the house. Most of what I need to do can be done with hand tools (and my trusty cordless drill). However, there have been times when I needed to borrow something from a friend, like a circular saw or table saw. After using a hand saw to laboriously cut boards for a while, having tools that slice through them in seconds is a breeze!
It’s kind of like when I go out and use the snowblower (or, as the locals here seem to call it, a “snow thrower”). Having moved snow with a simple shovel for years, there’s a bit of euphoria when I watch multiple inches of accumulated snow cover thrown off the edge of my driveway.
We can do quite a bit with our own strength. I applaud those who do a lot of manual labor, and am a bit envious of the benefits that they have earned from their work (like health and the ability to do things that I can’t). Still, there are times when even the most seasoned tradesperson can really benefit from something with a motor.
So, if you feel like your life isn’t cutting through challenges like it used to, maybe it’s time for more power. Now, I’m not saying that you need to max out a credit card at the hardware store (although sometimes that’s the right solution). The greatest power in the universe is described (in part) within the following verses:
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.
Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT
This is no fiction (like Star Wars or Marvel movies). Instead, this is the real thing: God – the creator of the universe – has the power to work in His creation however He sees fit. (Mercifully, He is a loving God, and cares for us. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a universe with some of the “gods” that humankind have imagined over the millennia – from Zeus and Quetzalcoatl, to Palpatine and Thanos.)
However, unlike the power that we might want to possess (or the power in power tools), I don’t think that God’s power is for us to wield as we see fit. God doesn’t hand us a key (or gauntlet) with the ability to do whatever we want. Instead, this verse indicates that God’s power is something for us to experience. We observe God’s power, we benefit from God’s power, and we glorify God for His power. (And sometimes, God applies His power through us, but it’s still His power.)
In order to fully observe, benefit from, and glorify God for this power, though, we must learn about it and understand it. Of course, those who haven’t learned about God in detail can still see and enjoy God’s work (see Romans 1:18-23). Still, there’s far more to God’s power than we notice at first glance. It’s kind of like a multifunction power tool kit or an advanced machining center (although these are still really weak comparisons), where we learn more about what they can do if we read the instructions (and maybe get some training). As we learn more about God, our appreciation for His power continues to grow. We learn through His creation (the universe), through His word (the Bible), through His example (Jesus’ teaching and ministry), and through His direction (the guidance of the Holy Spirit).
So, if you haven’t paused to learn about the power of God, then it is my prayer (as it was Paul’s, in the first verse cited above) that you will understand it more and more. Then, here are some of the results that I expect:
- You will fear and worry less. This requires understanding the loving nature of God, along with His holiness and power. When it is clear that “God’s got this” (see 1 Peter 5:6-7), we realize that – even though we serve Him – we don’t have to fix everything.
- You will live in freedom. When we appreciate that God can – and will – raise the dead back to life (in a new body, thankfully – I don’t want to live for eternity in this one!), our walk on this earth is no longer a race to get in as much entertainment and acquisitions as we can. We are free to live in the humility that Jesus showed us, serving others and teaching them about the same power that we are experiencing. See Galatians 5:13 for a great summary of this.
- You will see more of God’s power. I don’t know if God works any less in the lives of those who don’t acknowledge Him (although I suspect that He works differently there), but as we understand God’s power, we can see it at work in all kinds of ways.
- You will be more thankful. If your neighbor helped you out with a project, using his or her power tools to help you put up a new shed, for instance, I expect that you would not only say thank you, but would welcome the amount of time that was saved. If we can thank those who wield a little bit of power on this earth, how much more will we glorify and praise God for how His power has blessed us?
I pray that we will understand God’s power today. You and I will be better off if we do.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.