3. GOD'S POWER IN YOUR LIFE
Jeremiah 32: 17
We've looked at God’s Knowledge and His Presence. Today His Power. The power of the sun produces more energy in 1 second than has been used in the history of the world. The sun, at its current rate, will be able to burn for another 30 billion years. That's a lot of power. But it's not as great as the power of the Creator who made the sun.
Jeremiah 32: 17 "Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." We're talking about the omnipotence of God. God is almighty. He has unlimited power. He never gets tired. He is never frustrated. Everything He does, He does easily. Nothing is ever too hard or difficult. It's easy for him to answer a prayer. It's just as easy for Him to create a universe. He's all powerful. In Luke it says, "All things are possible with God."
1. THE EVIDENCE OF GOD'S POWER
The natural place to start is creation - silent witness of God's power. Psalm 19: 1, 2 "The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God." Every moment creation is a witness to the fact that God is powerful.
The universe was created at God's command. He spoke the world into existence. He said, "Let there be light and there was light." God one day say "Water!" and there were oceans and rivers and lakes. God said "Fish!" and the oceans were filled with fish. Vegetation! All kinds of vegetation. Stars! The universe was filled with stars. That's what I call power! He spoke the world into existence. We see the evidence every day of God's power. Where there is design you have to have a designer. It takes more faith to not believe in God than it does to believe in Him.
Jesus' life displayed the power of God. He had power over nature. He calmed the storm. He told the waves, "Sit down and shut up!" and they became quiet! He spoke to a tree and it withered. Another time He turned water into wine. He had power over illness and death. He healed the blind, sick, lame, the diseased. He raised people from the dead. He had power over the devil. One time He told a group of demons to come out of a man and go into a herd of pigs. God's power is awesome!
2. GOD'S POWER IN YOUR LIFE
The amazing thing is that God wants to share His power with you. Ephesians 1: 20 (LB)
"I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead." There are so many people who are powerless - feel like victims - victims of society, circumstance, other people, their health. God says I want to give you power in your life. 2 areas that God wants to give you power:
Power Shortage #1: The Power of Getting Started.
How many good things have you been postponing in the last 6 months? "I'm going to get around to that one day but..." Do you ever find yourself paralyzed by procrastination? "Someday, I'll..." Romans 7:18 (Phillips) "I often find that I have the will to do good, but not the power!" Does this describe you? You want to do what is right and good but just don't have the power! How many of you have learned that good intentions are not enough? LB: "No matter which way I turn I can't make myself do right. I want to but I can't." Sometimes we get in a cycle of bad habits and it's hard to break out of them. We don't know how to get started.
Many times in life you will face tasks for which you are ill prepared. You don't have the ability, the talent, the energy, the intelligence, the background, the money, the power. What do you do about those kinds of things where your performance does not match up to what needs to be done? That's where the good news comes in. The good news is that God can give me the power to perform. He can give me the power to get started. When I'm helpless He's there to help me get started making the changes He wants me to make and I want to make. Philippians 2:13 "For God is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve His purpose."
Power Shortage #2: The Power of Keeping Going
It's one thing to get started. Many people are great starters. It's another thing to keep on keeping on doing what you know is right even when you don't feel like it. Psalm 6: 2, 3 "I am worn out, O Lord. Give me strength; I am completely exhausted, and my whole being is deeply troubled."
Everything wears you out eventually. What do you do when you're tired? God says, I want to help you keep on going.
Eccl. 2: 11 Solomon: "I looked at everything I had tried, and it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was really nothing worthwhile anywhere." You thought mid-life crisis was a 20th century development! You may feel this about your career. "I've tried all kinds of things but it's just not working." Or about your marriage or your health. "I know I should keep on going but I feel like giving up!" God can give me the power to keep on going. He can give me the power to not only perform but He gives me the power to persist. That's good news! Isaiah 40: 28 – 31 (GN) "The Lord is the everlasting God. He never grows tired or weary. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. Those who trust the Lord for help will find their strength renewed." Because God's power is unlimited He never gets tired. He never gets weary. He never goes to bed. He never gets tired of my prayer requests, of my talking to Him, of anything. He has unlimited energy. He can create a universe and say "What's next?" He does not get tired. That is a personal encouragement to me. When I am drained and at the end of my rope I know I can tap into a power that is unlimited.
Doesn't the Bible say God rested after creation? Yes, but it's not the same word with the same meaning. We rest because we're tired. But when God rested it doesn't mean He was tired - He was finished! Isaiah 40: 31 "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint." Some of you are thinking, "That may work for you but that doesn't work for me. I'm a believer but I never felt God's power in my life. I don't know if this stuff really works." You're probably right! God's power is not automatic. There are some steps – some things you must do to appropriate it. Many Christians are just as defeated as unbelievers and just as tired.
3. HOW TO APPROPRIATE GOD’S POWER
A. You admit your lack of power.
Our problem is that we think we're omnipotent. We think we're God. "I can handle anything. I can do everything." If you don't believe it, look at your schedule. If you burn the candle at both ends you're not as bright as you think you are. Admit your need for God's power in your life.
You are a human being. You have weaknesses. What do you do when you realize you are weak? 2 Cor. 12: 9, 10 Paul says, "God said to me `Where there is weakness, My power is shown more completely.' Therefore I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of Christ's power. For my very weakness makes me strong in Him!" When you pretend to be self-sufficient, you short circuit God's power in your life - you're going to burn out.
2. You believe in faith.
The key to personal power in our life is faith. Mark 9: 23 "Everything is possible for him who believes" Matt. 9: 29 "According to your faith it will be done to you." If that is true - 2 questions: What are you expecting God to do in your life? What are you expecting God to do through your life? He works according to faith. Since God has unlimited power, we should not limit Him because of our expectations of Him. There's no problem too big for God and there's no request that He can't handle.
Then the issue really becomes my faith. What am I willing to believe God for? If you want to see God's power in your life first you must believe in faith.
3. You speak in faith.
2 Cor. 4:13 (Good News) "With that same spirit of faith, we also speak because we believe." We must verbalize our faith. The Bible says in James that your tongue is the rudder of your life. The way you talk to yourself and to others directs the course of your life. Proverbs - "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." So what are you saying... about your marriage, about your job, about your health, about your finances, about your children. Many of you are waiting for God to do something and believing Him for a miracle but you're short circuiting it by the way you talk. You're believing it in one place but then denying and negating it by your complaints. "I want God to change my life and help me break those bad habits but it's just the way I am! I'm never going to change!" You're short circuiting God's power in your life by your mouth. God's power is not automatic. You must first admit you have a need for it, then you believe in faith, and then you speak in faith. Nothing is too hard for God.
4. You act in faith.
You must step out in advance before the power is released. You act as if God is going to provide. Immaturity is living by your feelings. Maturity is living by your commitments.
When Joshua and the children of Israel came up to the Jordan River - similar to Moses at the Red Sea. The whole nation had to pass over the river in order to get into the Promised Land. The banks of the Jordan were overflowing. It was impossible. God said to Joshua and the leaders of Israel, "Take the leaders and put them out in front of the people and tell them to walk into the river. After they begin to walk into the river I will dam it up a little way north and the waters will recede and you will be able to walk across on dry ground." The leaders began to walk into the river. The water was up to their ankles, then their knees, then their thighs. They were probably thinking, "I'm not going to walk very much further!" But look what happened. The Bible says in Joshua 3, "When the priests put their feet in the water, the Jordan river will stop flowing." They acted as if the water would part and it did! God released His power.
So what that God is omnipotent? What good is God's power if you never take advantage of it?
You're going to need God's power this week. It is available. What are you expecting God to do in your life this week? We limit God so much by our unbelief.
You can begin to live a different way today. You can stop living on your own power and start living on God's power, which is the solution to burn out and the solution to mid life crisis and the solution to that frustration and depression that creeps in on your life.
Prayer - God, I admit that I need Your power. I admit that there are things that are just too hard for me. I'm tired a lot of the time. Yet, Father, I believe nothing is too hard for You. I want to start believing in faith that You will fill me with Your power. Help me to start speaking in faith. Help me to guard my mouth and stop being negative and start saying things the way You see them - the way they could be. I'm going to start acting in faith this week. Help me to love that person, not to wait for the feelings. Help me to be patient and to be friendly.
Father, thank You for Your power. Thank You that it is available and that we do not need to live lives of frustration when we put ourselves into Your hands. Thank You. In Jesus' name.