Power Hungry Christians

electricity-705670_640I am, admittedly, unashamedly, power hungry. In fact, I’ve been in search of power for months.

During a past blizzard, the problem of powerlessness was brought home to me. We live in such an electricity-dependent age that our lives come screeching to a halt when someone pulls the plug. Our gadgets are worthless without power. They are literally good for nothing if they aren’t connected to a power source.

For a long time, I’ve known this is true of our spiritual lives. If the church is disconnected from its power source, it, too, is as worthless as a laptop, cell phone, or 50″ plasma TV with no charge or place to plug in.

These days, people will pay thousands of dollars for a Mac, PC, or iPad but take electricity out of the equation and sellers won’t be able to give them away. That’s often what the church is trying to do – give away a gospel that has become disconnected from its power source – and we wonder why no one is taking.

As a writer, a communicator, a counselor, I literally spend hours considering how to say things, which precise words to use when blogging, advising, counseling, or praying. But, I’m stopped cold in my tracks by these words of Paul in I Corinthians 4:20. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.Argh! What does that mean? So I head out on a search for this power. This verse, and others like it, make me power hungry.

There are Christians who’ve been misled to believe that the pathway for power in the church leads through politics, wealth, connections, numbers, microphone-626618_640influence, or clout. Vital human energy is misdirected every day into efforts that look like they’ll lead to power and they do, but it’s the wrong kind of power. It works brilliantly for a time until it overloads its human circuit and they experience a blowout that knocks them on their keisters.

None of those things is particularly evil and it’s not wrong for Christians to be involved with politics or have large followings or have wealth but FIRST, they need to be grounded in Christ and pre-powered before they enter these arenas. For believers, these venues work well as outlets for power but they backfire when we see them as the source.

Sometimes, when we are power hungry, we can be fooled to believe a counterfeit source is real, which is why we need to embed our search for power in the Word of God.

So, I scour the Scriptures for this power God says is kingdom power and there are some things I learn.

Like, the gospel is the power of God according to Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Or that the message of the cross is the power of God according to I Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

And that His power is made perfect in weakness. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

This last passage, in particular, gives me hope.

bible-879087_640I can be weak. I have weaknesses galore. I have been to the cross. I know that I’m worthy of death and cannot save myself. I have received the gospel. I know that Jesus died for me and rose again, victorious over death. That His victory can be mine if I receive Him and acknowledge Him as my salvation. If I am power hungry, I need to get myself to the cross and to Jesus.

I need to offer up my weaknesses the way the widow offered her mite, the way the boy offered his loaves and fishes, the way the disciples offered their small faith, and watch God use the tinder of my offering and the power of His Spirit to fuel a fire that furthers His kingdom.

So when the power goes out, as you stare at a blank television screen, or flip on a lamp to no avail, or try to draw heat from a furnace with no spark consider a church with no vision, no light, no warmth – no power.

And get power hungry before the lost freeze to death in the dark.

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    The Conversation

  1. So often my pride leads me on a power-hungry journey. I want to have it all, know it all, and be admired by everyone. That is the world’s definition of power and I can fall right into the lie so easily. But, when I turn to look at the cross, I quickly recognize that I am completely powerless without Him. Everything that’s truly important is found in Him and is a gift from Him. Thank you for the reminder, Lori.
    I see you are coming to Blue Ridge again. I’m so excited! I didn’t get to take one of your classes last year but I will certainly be in one this time!

  2. Terry & Patricia Lampel says:

    Excellent Lori! Enuf said!

    • Thank you, Lori. An encouraging and challenging reminder – God’s power is the gospel, the cross, our weakness…How grateful I am for a God who gives us the power we need.

  3. Carla says:

    Awesome, Lori. We have forgotten John the Baptist’s comment–‘He MUST increase and I must decrease’. It is CHRIST IN US that is the Power, NOT anything we have done.