“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” – United States Constitution
Warm Greetings Friends! I hope you will find the subject I have chosen for this segment interesting while at the same time applicable in your life and those of your loved ones. I am talking about power. Power is something important to each and everyone no matter where we live, what profession we have, and how we invest our time daily.
A Bolt of Lightning, Equivalent to 10 billion Watts of Power (Wiki Commons)
Power as a measure is the influence and control over outcomes, events, issues and actors. We speak of the balance of power in the world, but power is also private and individualized because it is relative to all peoples from the lowest to the highest levels. Traditional power as we know it on the world stage has shifted greatly. Power has become more transient. Internationally, power has spread geographically according to economic, political, and militarial status and prominence. Today, we speak of soft, hard, and smart power, and how it’s implemented in the world. We see a lot of power transfer to individuals who have the capacity to act alone with immense consequences. Think of an app called Instagram, many don’t know that it was sold for a billion dollars (yes, $1b) when it hardly had a dozen or so employees. We are seeing gridlock and paralysis in a lot of countries and the inability of governments to reach agreements and move forward any policies. We have seen it recently with the United States with the sequester and the helplessness of the political parties and Congress and the White House to agree on how the tax dollar is spent. This same trend is seen around the world. In democracies, power is becoming much harder to wield. Why this inconsistency in power and our obvious powerlessness?
War and Poverty – Proof of Human Weakness, Not Power (Wiki Commons)
First and foremost, the most basic explanation for human power as we understand it, is not true power at all. What we see is human weakness trying to wield what it sees and understand as power. So, true power is unseen to man and controls everything. God’s power “is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come” (Eph.1:19-23) True power belongs to the Creator God alone, and from whom power originates. We just have to look at the earth and all the life forms upon it, and the universe at large and realize God is truly all powerful because man can never duplicate such power. Though man may have invented many ingenious creations, it’s an ability given to him to reflect the Creator in whose likeness he was made, and is actually a foretaste of man’s destiny in God’s spiritual realm.
If man is dominated by human weakness, what exactly is it, and how do we explain its impact upon man and the way we see power, and how we live? Human weakness is the essence of our fallen human nature inherited from Adam’s own fall in Eden at the hands of the devil. (Gen. 3) Human weakness is a curse upon humanity and human evolution. All of mankind’s problems can be attributed to one thing, and one thing alone, human weakness! Human weakness encapsulates man’s deficiency and inadequacy in every single aspect of human life. It is responsible for human suffering from the past, the present, and into the future. Human weakness is reflected in the inability of our intellectual faculty, our spiritual incapacity, our mental and psychological disorders, our physical and bodily infirmities, and the lack of a moral compass in human relationships. It is responsible for humanity’s state of confusion and disorder. Yes, every single crime committed, every war fought, every act of hatred, all misdeeds of man’s inhumanity to man, every sickness and disease, and every generous act we owe others and fail to own up and take responsibility for, is the result of one thing – our powerlessness through human weakness!
Gun Violence & Diseases – Proof of Human Weakness (Wiki Commons)
The opposite of weakness is genuine power! Power ends all the suffering which human weakness spawn. The disorderly and uncontrollable state of the world today in every aspect of its governance, especially in human relations, and relations between nations, is proof enough of man’s powerlessness in the face of its problems. And the Bible prediction is it will get worse before the Creator Himself has to step in to stop human ineptitude through human weakness. (Matt.24:14)
The most basic form of expressing human weakness is man’s inability to treat his fellow humans as equals in God’s sight. Man was made in God’s image which makes all humans, regardless of their many differences, equals. The U.S. Constitution says this of its citizens, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We all deserve each other’s respect and Love because we were formed in the Creator’s image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) This is the underpinning, the bedrock, upon which true power derives its authority. When we disrespect the likeness of God we see in our fellowmen, we plant the seeds of weakness. There is no weakness in God’s power because His actions are always shaped by His Love (“God is Love” – that’s His image – 1 John 4:8). Love is what makes us all equals. When fear (weakness) instead of Love controls man’s actions, the result is not power but weakness. It is a true saying that things are not as they appear, and this applies to human power in the world today. It’s a form of pretension of power which God instructs we should reject. (2 Cor.10:5-6)
I would like us to see God’s indictment upon man’s sinful state of existence since his fall in Eden, so we understand human weakness and it’s relation to human power. The scriptures says this of man, 1) “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind” (Isa.64:6, NLT). 2) The prophet Micah said, “Even the best of them is like a brier; the most honest is as dangerous as a hedge of thorns. But your judgment day is coming swiftly now. Your time of punishment is here, a time of confusion” (Mic.7:4). 3) The Psalmist said, “Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you” (Psa.143:2). 4) Paul asserted, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). 5) The Old Testament says, “There is no one who does not sin” (2 Chron.6:36). 6) Paul surmises, “For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Rom.3:9-12). 7) John enlightens us, saying, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8, 10). 8) Back to the Psalmist, “For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue” (Psa.5:9).9) Jesus said, “Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every bad tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt.7:16-20).
Purposeful Living & Joy Through Genuine Power & Good Leadership (Wiki Commons)
I have divulged 9 passages from the Bible (there are more) to show one fundamental truth about man, he is depraved, wicked, and sick to the core of his being. This is not akin to describing someone with genuine power. A person with authentic power would not be depraved but noble, he’s not wicked but virtuous, not sick but sound and right-thinking. I am sorry if I have insulted the sensibilities of those who believe in the goodness of man. We do believe the same things, but not the same processes and outcomes. If man can’t help living a way of life totally opposed to God because of his fallen state of being, how can he extricate himself from it? How can he save himself if God calls even the good he does, “filthy rags” (Isa.64:6).
Man is fallen in his being and needs saving. He cannot save himself because he doesn’t know how. Only His Creator who gave him the reason for his existence can save him. Man did not come to this true knowledge of himself on his own. He never knew he was living in this fallen and depraved shelll of existence. If God had not brought the truth of man’s fallen state of being, he would have remained in his ignorance, and he would live a life which leads to untimate extinction. (Matt.24:22) But God would not allow that to happen, for He made man for immortality in His spiritual realm of existence. (2 Tim.1:10) Yes, man would not be any the wiser if God had not disclosed by revelation in His Word our lineage to Him, and what had become of us in our fallen state of being, and how He plans to restore man and His purpose for him.
Be that as it may, man was not created to live in a posture opposed to his Creator. Something happened along the way which made man depraved and weak. We understand this from Adam’s fall, we became inheritors of his fallen state of existence from Eden because of his rebellion. Prior to the fall, man lived in holy union with God, and man lived in the Creator’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Yes, although our nature has become weak because of sin, underneath, in our heart of hearts, we are basically attuned to God’s Loving nature. The Creator made certain His divine Loving image is never lost to man. His basic Triune nature is etched all over man and creation. And since human weakness is not God’s image, man can change, if we so choose. We can change when we are given the mind and the power to see the difference between weakness and power, light and darkness, good and evil, Love and fear.
Jesus Walks on Water – Source of True Power (Wiki Commons)
Man has to discover and find his true self, for in his true self is genuine power where all human weakness is overcome and defeated. We have seen that true power resides with God who implements it through His Loving nature. We also saw God will not allow His purpose in man to come to nought through human weakness instilled by the enemy. In His Loving nature He expresses His grace toward man and crowns him with His mercy. He sends Jesus to become man (the prophesied Immanuel), and thereby take the weakness of our humanity, its depravity and wickedness (death/sin), and redeemed man in Himself through His perfect human life, His sacrificial death, His incarnational resurrection and ascension. Man has not done anything to deserve this incomprehensible grace of God the Father, but this is the expression of who He is in His Love by giving His Son to save man.
So we read, “But God demonstrates His own Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). That’s to say, while we are still ignorant of our dire and hopeless situation, God stepped into our lost state of existence and saved us in His Love.
Power rests in the domain of the God of Love and righteousness. Power comes from true knowledge personified in Jesus, the Word. The price for being redeemed from human weakness has already been paid for by Jesus. The sin condition man inherited from Adam reveals the inborn weakness of man. A person may not be consciously aware that his or her deepest problem is the sin condition which breeds weakness, and separates him from God, the source of power. Jesus presents the solution to human weakness this way, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8). Weakness or powerlessness is the “condition” which permits evil to dominate, as opposed to strength or power which is the “condition” of the Spirit which defeats and triumph over sin through Love. (Rom.5:5) If it were not for the Spirit moving and empowering the lives of humans in the world, we would be left to live in a hell of our own making. (Matt.24:21-22) In essence, human weakness embodies man’s existence which is why he is the quintessence of sin. We all must realize we are sinners in God’s eyes.
Yet, we must hold a positive attitude toward human weakness in which we find ourselves, why, because Jesus has defeated it in our stead so we can embrace and live vicariously through His power. We hear Paul explains this, “I boast in my weakness.” What did he mean? It means he was not discouraged by his weakness but instead boasted in Christ who overcame all his weakness by defeating the devil in the temptations in the Judean wilderness, and dying on the cross for him. (Matt. 4:1-12; John 19:28-30) The Lord answered Paul’s prayer saying, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Because of the Lord’s grace, he can say, and we can say, ”I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, in insults, in hardship, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor.12:8-10). In other words, each time Paul focuses on his weakness, he realizes his only hope comes from the Lord through the Spirit’s presence who overcomes weakness and gives him power in God’s Love. That’s the picture Paul paints for us: “For when I’m weak, then I’m strong (powerful) in Christ!” We are strong in God’s power and Love.
Resurrection to Immortality – Weakness is Banished & Power is Man’s Eternal Inheritance (Wiki Commons)
Paul said this, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Cor.4:20) Let’s now move on our knees in prayer thanking and praising God, so we can move on our feet in power, no longer plagued by weaknesses.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
*Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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