We have a good, great, and generous Father. He is anxious to see us live the lives that He knows are most satisfying and productive. He has given us His power as the resource we need. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came and filled them. He knew it would be the key to them living and experiencing the kingdom of God within.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
They did what he said. “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
When they received this power, they immediately changed. They become bold! They began to live for the kingdom of God. They were beaten and threatened. They were told to quit their teaching about Jesus. But they declared they would obey God rather than man. They discovered, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (1 Corinthians 4:13).
This is the privilege we have as believers. His power is our resource. It’s not something we just talk about or dream about. Paul declared it to be true in his life, and a promise to us as well. “. . . by his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT). It’s not because of who we are or our resources—it is His power at work within us.
As you see, the letters written to God’s people in the New Testament are full of references to this power that is available to us. Peter says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. . . . These qualities will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . (2 Peter 1:3-8).
God gave us His power to make us effective and productive. So what keeps us from experiencing the power that is so readily available? I believe the obstacle is idols we allow into our lives—things that we desire morethan God’s will. It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. We look at those experiences, those people, and we look for “the power” from them. Tim Keller says, “An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.’”
If you have made a good thing an ultimate thing, an idol in your life, how do you change that? How do you rid idols from your heart? The answer isn’t always to remove the object of idolatry from our life, to stop loving it, or even to love it less. After all, our family can become the object of our idolatry, but the answer isn’t to love them less. The answer is to love God MORE!
When we surrender to God to be “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19), our love for Him will evict everything else out of the “God” place in our hearts. We will be able to say like Paul that “Everything else is rubbish except for knowing the Lord” (Philippians 3:8). These are the people who can honestly say, “I am empowered for all I need by God. He has given me all I need. He is my hope, my joy, my pursuit, my life, my all.”
God wants to become a powerful REALITY to all of us. Not a nice idea or a faith that helps us hold on, but a life-changing power that heals the sick and shows the world: GOD IS REAL AND GOD IS HERE! This “is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power” (Ephesians 1:19 KJV).
His power is our resource.