The Power Grid

It was an opportunistic play, for sure. With Central Ohio temperatures maintaining in the upper 90s a couple of weeks ago, there began to emerge some electrical brownouts—pockets of limited power—some of them intentional in order to prevent a broader outage. This left thousands suffering without electrical services one day, so at our Bible study the next morning, the leader posited this timely question for us first to ponder and then to discuss: “How do you respond when you are powerless?” We approached “powerlessness” in the broader sense, of course, as in losing control of certain aspects of our life, such as our physical health, employment and income, acceptance or affection from others, or being subject to those who gain authority over us in some way.

Our natural reactions to losing control came to mind first: anger, fear, self-doubt, sadness, frustration, helplessness, weariness and humiliation. Perhaps you can add a few from your own personal experiences, for we’ve all suffered personal “power outages” in some ways and to some degree. Yet God is a transformer, and over time, He grows us up, not as stronger versions of our natural selves, but as new creations made into His own likeness and nature, and unto His higher purposes. Continuing in conversation, we shared times when “losing control”—or the illusion thereof—had worked to our own good, bringing us face to face with our own limitations and recognizing the boundless power of God. Then to our responses to powerlessness, we gratefully listed a few more: relief, rest, and confident reliance on God.

God is always in control, but He does not leave us powerless. Quite the opposite, He has lavishly and lovingly poured His power into us through the indwelling of His Spirit, not for the pursuit of our selfish desires, but that we may live effectively in and for His eternal purposes. He strengthens us with power through his Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.1 He gives us power “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that [we] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”2 And “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”3 When we lose power, take heart! For God restores us in His.

Christ lives in us.4 He is in control.5 We live in His power.6 So let’s go.7

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.8

1 Ephesians 3:16-17
2 Ephesians 3:18-19
3 2 Peter 1:3
4 2 Corinthians 13:5
5 Philippians 3:20-21
6 Ephesians 3:21
7 Matthew 28:19
8 Ephesians 3:20-21

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