Episode 1. The Power We Already Have
So many of the people who believe in Jesus … never experience His power. The power to change. The power to endure and persevere. The power to love the loveless. And yet … it’s a power that’s available to every man, woman and child who would put their trust in Him! It’s an exciting thing […]
So many of the people who believe in Jesus … never experience His power. The power to change. The power to endure and persevere. The power to love the loveless. And yet … it’s a power that’s available to every man, woman and child who would put their trust in Him!
It’s an exciting thing for me Monday, the beginning of a new week, in fact a beginning of a new series of messages. It’s a series that I’ve called, “Discovering The Power Of God”. Anyone who believes in God knows that not only is He all loving, He’s also all powerful. By definition if God is indeed God, if He did indeed create the whole universe then come on, have a look around, look at the creation, He must be all powerful. Powerful in fact beyond anything that you and I could ever imagine.
So the question is this, if this God is so powerful can He, will He bring some of that power to bear in order to address the problems in our lives – my life and your life? Because as huge and as mighty and as awesome as this God is supposed to be you and I have a life to lead down here on this earth, on this tiny rock hurtling through space at eleven thousand kilometres or six and a half thousand miles per second.
We have problems that confront us in life that are simply too big, too overwhelming for us to deal with. How does a mother deal with the loss of a child? How do a man and a woman cope with the breakdown of their marriage? What do we do when there isn’t enough money to pay the mortgage and put food on the table?
It’s great to talk about the power of God, fantastic God that You’re so powerful but sometimes we need some of that power. Is it accessible to us? Is it open to us? And if so how can we get it when we need it? Because when we’re confronted by circumstances way beyond our own ability even to cope let alone to overcome, then God’s power is precisely what we need.
So exactly how powerful is God? Well consider this about God. The universe is so big that with all our technology we simply can’t see to its outer limits. In fact it may not have any outer limits. It may well go on forever and ever. But so far, given what we can see and what we know and what we can mathematically deduce scientists calculate that from one side to the other the universe is about a hundred and fifty billion light years across. Now that’s an awfully big number to be sure so exactly what does it mean?
Well a light year is a measure of distance not of time. It’s the distance that light travels in a year and it’s rather a long way. Light travels at three hundred thousand kilometres or a hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second. So you multiply that out, a light year is so far that my ten digit calculator reports an error when I try and calculate it in kilometres.
In fact flying in the fastest space ship that man has thus far invented which rockets along at fifty thousand kilometres per hour through space, it would take us roughly twenty one and a half thousand years to travel just one light year, just one. But the universe is a hundred and fifty billion light years across. Well that’s as far as we can calculate at the moment.
So traversing the known universe in a space ship would take about three thousand two hundred and thirty eight trillion years which is pretty much forever and God, God is the one who conceived of and created this massive universe through Jesus Christ His Son. So do we think God’s powerful? Unbelievably so, unimaginably so.
God has power we can’t begin to comprehend and then there’s little old you and me fighting the battles here on earth that we fight. Struggling through the struggles, wondering whether this God would ever or could ever give us just one little drop of this immense, this infinite power.
Well here’s the thing about our battles and our struggles. So often we’re fighting against the odds and it doesn’t seem to matter at all how powerful God may or may not be because our problem, our issue, our adversary, our dilemma is so close, it seems so big, it seems that either God’s forgotten about us or He’s too busy to help us or maybe just maybe this problem of ours is even too big for God.
Have you ever felt that way? I certainly have and laying hold of the power of God has been one of the great challenges in my walk with Jesus. I’ll tell you why. Because in this ministry that produces these radio programs, just like the one you’re listening to at the moment, even though these radio programs are now heard by millions of people each week we started out with nothing – no money, no radio stations to take these programs that we were producing.
Me? I’d never done this before and as any business person will tell you growth drains cash flow and so, as Christianityworks has grown rapidly, in fact it seems as more and more people are standing with us to support the work, there never seems to be enough. Many is the time when we’ve come to the middle of the month wondering how we’re going to pay the staff, many is the time.
And can I tell you? As I’ve travelled this journey over a good many years now my natural instinct has been to panic because I’m human just like you. I take seriously the responsibility of paying our staff in Africa and in India and Australia. And so as we do Gods work and pay day comes around yet again I look at my problem, my dilemma and it seems so much bigger than Gods power.
Isn’t that how it works? Isn’t that what we do? And I’m sharing this with you because I never ever want you to imagine that just because I’m the guy on the radio that I don’t have any of these problems or frailties. And so I’ve had to learn and I’m still learning to lay hold of Gods power in the realities of life. Just the same as this is something that you need to learn. We’re human, we want to rely on the things that we can see and touch and feel but God, God wants us to rely on Him.
And so over the next couple of weeks we’re going to discover precisely how to do that. How to lay hold of the power of God when we’re confronted with insurmountable odds and we’re going to do that through the story of Gideon in the Old Testament but today I’d just like to share with you something the Apostle Paul wrote to his friends in Ephesus, Ephesians chapter 1, have a listen. He wrote:
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Him. So that with the eyes of your heart enlightened you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance amongst the saints and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power for us who believe according to the working of His great power. God put this power to work in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places.
So what Pauls saying here to the Ephesians is that his prayer for them is not that they get power but that they would realise the immeasurable greatness of the power that they already have – the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
As one of my lecturers way back at Bible College said, Barry Chant. He said those original Greek words which we now translate into English as immeasurable greatness of His power, if we were to take the original Greek words and kind of anglicise them just a tad they’d come out sounding something like this – hyperbalistic, megathonic, dynamic power!
So here is the starting point in laying hold of Gods power when we’re facing incredible odds. We don’t need to ask God for the power because, wait for it, we already have it. We need to ask God to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation to open and enlighten the eyes of our hearts so that we can see the hyperbalistic, megathonic, dynamic power that He has already given us through our faith in Jesus Christ and that my friend, when I realised that it blew me completely away.
All this time I’ve been moping around wondering whether God would lend me just a bit of His power when all along there it was right under my nose.