If you were a child of the 90’s then you are familiar with technetronic music. You know…it’s kind of like house music that tends to go over well at the skating rink or the dance floor and really gets stuck in your head. If nothing comes to mind for you, I’ll list a few of the ones that stuck in my head so you can Google them: Groove is the Heart by Deee-Lite; Things that Make You Go Hmmmm by C & C Music Factory; I Got the Power by Snap.
That is good stuff people! Now, granted, some of the songs didn’t make any sense to me just by the lyrics but….look at the hook lines: “Groove is in the Heart”; “Things That Make You Go Hmmmm”; and “I Got the POWER”. If you don’t Google any others….Google I Got the Power. I can’t remember a single other word to that song but, that hook line really does catch you! Music is a very powerful thing. It moves us like few other things can. Emotionally for sure but it can even make your body want to get up and move. If you listen to I Got the Power and hear that line over and over again set to the backdrop and timing of technetronic music….well, you really do feel like you “got the power”! I guess the only trouble with the power of music would be the flip side….it’s ability to make us wallow in despair, too! J
Today, though, we’re going to look beyond the music and get that hook line in our head, “ I Got the Power”. Now, don’t worry….I’m not going to try to put the words of Snap in your head. (I don’t even understand most of that song). However, I am going to steal their line for us today. Only, I want to use the Word of God to “hook” us.
Now, I have to take a minute to do a little confessing before I can go on so you’ll know where all this is coming from: I have a real problem with persecution of Christians, being as I am a Christian and it’s just so hypocritical to do so in this country. First, I’ll just say that, of course, I think the intolerable way believers are treated these days is an oxymoron in a self-proclaimed “tolerant” society. Fingers are constantly pointed at Christians, judgments made, and anger stirred over stands that we take or mistakes we make. We tolerate every other group’s beliefs and actions, but Christians have increasingly less room to share the truths we hold dear and we certainly don’t have any room to make mistakes. It’s like we have our own paparazzi following us around, just waiting to catch us in the wrong and everyone is quick to jump on it.
Secondly : I have a major pet peeve (putting it mildly) with people being quick to point out faults and everything that is wrong with others without bothering to see what they might be missing from the big picture and without offering any encouragement to address it…..just accusing and judging. I have to tell you, I have a major problem though, when those judging, pointing fingers come from other professing believers. Christians persecuting Christians? (Things that make you go hmmmmm). Please do not misunderstand me to say that Christians shouldn’t help each other stay accountable to God. No one likes that job, but we all have that responsibility. I had that reaffirmed for me just this morning in an entire sermon on that very issue of admonishment. Addressing sin, out of love and concern for the well-being of a person, is very much a biblical concept and was not meant to be an option. No….what I am saying is that anger toward the person, malice in gossiping about the person, or total rejection of the person is not the biblical way Christians are to handle fellow believers. So, this must be said….. If you can’t offer some encouragement or even loving admonishment in Christ along with some biblical tools to help them, then……how can I put this graciously?.....It’s best to stay quiet and let someone else better equipped deal with it.
Therefore, this is one time when I feel there’s a real need of admonishment. The kind that points out where some part of our walk doesn’t match up with scripture and gently reminds us and rewires our thinking. Hopefully. Gentle isn’t always my strong suit.
At times it’s frustrating and at times it’s just down right sad to me that the lives of believers, mine included, don’t look any different or any more like Jesus than the rest of the world waiting on us to mess up. We don't talk any different; give any more; treat others any better; and here's the thing....we don't respond to trials any different than a non-believer who doesn't personally know the power of God and the resurrected Christ. No wonder so much of the world thinks our God is a myth. Or worse, a joke. It’s not our sin that keeps them thinking that. It’s our powerlessness. That’s precisely what I want us to focus on today…..How easily we throw around the word “impossible”. If not the word itself, we say it with our actions and attitudes. I have to ask this question: Are we even reading the same bible?
Whether it’s power to stop smoking, stop spending, stop eating, stop obsessing, end a relationship, start a relationship, start exercising, start learning, start speaking, start serving, etc., etc., and on and on, we all too often feel defeated before we even start, don’t we? That’s why a line like, “I’ve got the power”, captures our attention. Everyone knows what it feels like to be powerless……and we hate that feeling. The new-found power infused by Snap lasts about 3-4 minutes and though we may feel better for a while after it goes off, as soon as the music quits, we automatically start to deflate….we’re not quite so larger than life like we were a minute ago. That’s precisely the problem with thinking that an hour long worship service on Sunday is all the time we need for the week…..or all we have time for. We feel great when we leave church, then life happens. Sometimes before you even leave the church parking lot. Sometimes it comes on Monday morning, sometimes later in the week. We get sidetracked and overwhelmed and we end up relying on our own strength. And we truly are powerless there. What I have come to realize is that daily prayer and time with Him in His Word are essential. And let me tell you, power is available.
Whatever you are dealing with, quit listening to the world around you. Quit listening to the voices in your head telling you it’s impossible. Quit looking at yourself saying, “I’ll never change.” Quit looking at others and saying, “they’ll never change.” Quit looking at your circumstances and declaring, “Nothing will ever change.” Whether you’re struggling to break a habit or begin a new, healthy one….frustrated in a job or desperate in a relationship….. worried over finances or terrified of recent news; Here are a few scriptures to remind you that of all the rights a Christian possesses, using the word, “impossible” isn’t one of them:
His 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
Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:15-18
“And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:16-20
No, in our own power, there is a lot we simply can't do and a lot we will never be, no matter how badly we want it. But, His Word tells us over and over again just how indescribable of a gift the Holy Spirit is. Because, in the Spirit, there is power to do what we never thought possible. There is no other way to walk in the Spirit than to pray and read His Word. Let me just tell you, there is power like no other in those moments with Him. You begin to see Him at work in you…..and around you and, over time, ‘impossible’ loses all meaning on you. That is power. That is faith.
If you want to be able experience Him and to see His hand moving in your life or the lives of others, you have to talk to Him….. and listen to Him. Have you ever tried to teach someone how to do something that wouldn’t listen? Talk about impossible! Furthermore, taking the easy route doesn’t really give Him an avenue for Him to display His might in your life or for His Spirit to empower you to deal with your impossible. It doesn’t require faith. See….It takes faith to step out into the uncomfortable. It takes faith to give up life-long habits. It takes faith to stick with the hard thing. That kind of faith doesn’t happen overnight. So, how??? First, you have to be aware that you are lacking in power because, like the disciples who couldn’t cast out demons, you are lacking in faith and relying on your own very limited power and understanding. Second, you have to make a conscious decision to remedy that tendency toward self-reliance and seek Him…..hard!! Third, to experience Him and His power, we must do what He says. It’s not always the most logical route and definitely not what we’d naturally choose. Therefore, that road may be narrow….but it’s filled with His power. No, a life of powerlessness is the direct opposite of the life He has planned for those who love Him.
This is why I have come to totally understand Moses when He told God, “If Your presence does not go with us, then don’t send us!!” He knew where his power came from and wasn’t willing to give it up. Neither am I. It pains me that so many believers don’t experience Him. So, let me just encourage you to set aside the word “impossible” for a while, make a point to spend time with Him every single day (it’s hard…I know…just try….start somewhere). Then, try the whole “praying and obeying” thing for a time and see just what He can do with our little bit of effort…our mustard seed of faith. I could go on and on with scriptures on faith and power. But, if you are one who is feeling powerless these days, maybe that’s a good place for you to start in your time with Him. If you are one about to give up, give in, etc., remember that if you are a believer, the Spirit of Almighty God is within you and as Peter boldly says, He has already given us all we will ever need for a life of godliness. So sista girl….whatever your struggle today, remember…..You got the power!