I live in a place known as the Oil Capitol of California. Everywhere you go, there are oil pumps, both active and inactive. I am surrounded by the physical reminders of the power industry, and they are impressive!
With a loud whooshing noise, the head of the ant (that is what the pumps have always looked like to me!) glides up and down rhythmically and ceaselessly, bringing up liquid power from the depths beneath.
As a Christian, I have the greatest source of power. The Creator of the universe dwells within me and my life should show that reality. There is nothing or no one more powerful than Him!
I have gone through seasons of life where I sense and see the power of God at work in every detail of my life. The power that sin has had in a particular area is broken. There is someone I have the privilege to proclaim the gospel to and I witness God change their heart and life. I see the needs of others around me and am able to meet them with abundant resources and joy. The words of the Bible jump out at me and I write a song in minutes. It feels glorious!
I have also gone through seasons of life where I am having to live solely by faith, not feelings, because I don’t sense the presence of God at all. I walk in the sin that so easily entangles me. I don’t seem to have the opportunity to proclaim God’s goodness and if I do, it falls flat or feels forced. I’m reading my Bible but it feels like a spiritual discipline rather than a conversation with my Savior. At times, it can feel like the power of God has been drained out of my life by life itself…like there is a power shortage.
The truth is, there is no power shortage!
So why don’t I always feel God’s power at work in my life? Through my life? There can be many reasons, but I want to consider a few that are particularly relevant to my life.
As a photographer, I have come to realize I am often out of focus. I might have all of the elements for my picture squared up in the frame, but if my focal point is not sharp, the picture won’t be clear and my image won’t be accurate.
Spiritually speaking, when I get caught up in the cares of the world and forget the whole picture of scripture, I lose focus. I forget my purpose, which is to glorify God and proclaim the gospel to those around me. To that end, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). God’s divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3), so I have no excuse when I get out of focus or off topic.
No matter what is going on around me, my purpose is proclaim God and glorify Him with my life. I can be assured that I will have God’s power in so doing.
All of history is God’s story. Yes, I am a part of the story but my part is very small. Not only is my part small, but it is coming from a place of weakness. I am not the source of power. Second Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
The treasure is the gospel of Christ; the power to do my part in history belongs to God, which He graciously grants to me. However, this isn’t to say I should sit back and do nothing. We, as Christians, are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them!
There is doing to be done but all of it should be done with the glorious exaltation on our lips found in Ephesians…
Remembering who the true source of power is will keep my focus in the right direction. Remembering the purpose for the power given will keep my mind and my heart engaged with the Power Giver’s plan.
Proclaiming the truth and glory of the Power Giver gives me fortitude when I can’t feel His power at work in and through my life. To Him be the glory, great things He has done!