<<influence, authority, ability>>

God is all powerful (omnipotent); nothing is too hard for Him (Jer 27:5, 32:17). However, Satan still exerts his evil power as shown in occult practices, the havoc wrought when people are under demon control, and the senseless misery inflicted on others by those with no regard for God and His principles. God says don’t fear Satan and his agents who can only take our lives, have a holy respect for Him as He can banish a person to hell forever (Mt 10:28).

In our own human strength and ability, we can’t stand against Satan’s attacks, yet in Christ we are more than conquerors over all the works of the enemy (Rom 8:37). Knowledge is power, for “The people who know their God shall be strong and firmly resist him” (Dan 11:32). The power to overcome Satan, is “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony” (Rev 12:11). The words we speak have immense power. “The weapons of our warfare are not weak but powerful to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4,5). We are to be strong in the Lord and His mighty power, with His resources we are able to stand against the devil’s schemes (1 Cor 2:5; Eph 6:10-18).

1/. God’s power: God’s power was first revealed in creation – all things were created by Him and for Him so they are all under His control and sustained by His powerful word (Col 1:16, 2:15; Heb 1:3; Rev 4:11. His power was also manifested in His rescue plan for sinful humans. His divine power brings salvation, gives protection and is all we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him (Rom 1:16; 1 Pet 1:5; 2 Pet 1:3). We have been rescued from the power and dominion of darkness; it is our responsibility to walk in Godly ways not being entangled again in evil (Gal 5:1,16; Col 1:13).

This power was vested in Jesus when He came to earth to reveal God to us, enabling Him to go around doing good and healing all those under the power of Satan (Act 10:38).  It was granted to Him so that He might give eternal life to all those God had given Him (Jn 17:2). This was the same ‘incomprehensively great’ power that also raised Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:19,20).

Today Jesus delegates His authority to Christians to humbly do what He himself would do, not for personal benefit but rather for His Kingdom and honour (Mk 16:17,18). “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes

Do we understand God’s awesome power? 

on you; and you will be my witnesses…For God gave us a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline” (Act 1:8; 2 Tim 1:7). He instructs us to act “In my name…” because the Kingdom of God is ‘not just talk, but power’ (Mt 28:18; Mk 16:15,16; Jn 14:12; 1 Cor 4:20).

The Lord wants to show Himself powerful to help those who are living uprightly before Him (2 Chr 16:9). This includes those who realise the “arm of flesh” is powerless, for God’s power shows up best through our weaknesses, as we rely on Him for “My flesh and heart fail but God is my strength” (2 Chr 32:7,8; Ps 73:26; 2 Cor 12:9,10). If we live by God’s power we can help to bring about His purposes (2 Cor 13:4). It is through the corporate church that God is moving to drive back the forces of evil (Eph 3:10).

2/. Utilizing God’s power: The world’s way to gain recognition and power is to control people, seeking prestige, position and possessions, while in God’s Kingdom greatness is outworked by humbly serving, lifting up the lowly and despised – even as Jesus did by using His power to heal and deliver others, climaxing in giving His life as a ransom for many rather than ministering to His own need (Mt 4:3, 20:26-28). The difference between these two approaches is in the motivation and way of using authority.

It is not about our puny human power, rather it is His Spirit working in and through us that is able to do much more than we ask or imagine, according to His power that works in us (Zech 4:6; Eph 3:20). We are only the vessels He desires to use to reveal Himself to humanity (1 Cor 2:1-5; 2 Cor 4:7).

There is always more divine power available to give us courage, confidence, boldness, insight and authority than we have currently received – never think you have all that God has for you. He is resident within us to help us live for Him and will also bring to life our bodies (Rom 8:11; Eph 1:18-23).   He works through us according to the level of our maturity, faith, holiness and expectation.

3/. Human power must always be exercised under the hand of God whose power and love are equally balanced. We must always respect others as being created in God’s image and never use our power to demean them. Arrogance and pride reveals itself as the abuse of power when it demands its selfish way without any consideration of others and the overall benefit to society in general or the human touch of compassion stated as “Doing to others as we would they do to us” (Lk 6:31). Manipulating people is another form of abuse as it overrides their God-given freedom to choose for themselves and should never be condoned, inside or outside the church.

Whatever level of power we have should facilitate us in being responsible channels through which God’s love and ability can be demonstrated to help those who are powerless (the poor and needy), and not to cater to personal wants, lusts and desires
(1 Cor 10:23,24).  Good leaders understand it is a privilege, yet a great responsibility, to

Power is to be used to bless others not control them

exercise authority and control correctly.  Haman used his position of authority for his own wrong motives, and it cost him his life (Est 3:1-7:10).

With increased responsibility and authority there must come growth in humility and other inner qualities to be able to handle it correctly. Power corrupts people who because of their position think they are above the law. Although everyone is ultimately answerable to God, we all should be accountable to other humans too as to have true power a person must also be under authority, for orders and submission flows down through the line of command (Mt 8:9). Unless a person has sound character and ongoing integrity there is a strong possibility that the misuse of power will corrupt and become their downfall (2 Chr 26:16). The Bible states, “Greater is he who rules his spirit than the one who takes a city” (Prov 16:32).  Remember, power was at the heart of Satan’s sin – to be like God and acquire His power (Isa 14:12-14).

All authorities have been established by God and given power to accomplish His purposes, and so must be respected and obeyed – unless they instruct you to do what is against Scriptural teaching (Jn 19:11; Act 4:27,28; Rom 13:1).

God in His power is able to discern our problems and the truth of His message, embodied in Scripture, can set us free (Jn 8:32; Heb 4:12). Ignorance, inferiority, sin, and a self-sufficiency that we can manage without Him are what hinders God from working powerfully. He has put us in the body (the church) so together we can corporately manifest His power for His glory.

See also: authority, control, Jesus/name of, leaders/leadership, manipulation, omnipotent, position in Christ, powerless, pride, servant/serving, strength.