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Chapter 22

The power of God

 

Try to think of the greatest demonstration of power that you could imagine in this world. In the natural realm, would it be in the awesomeness of a tropical thunderstorm, a clap of thunder, the sight of niagara falls, an earthquake or volcano, or the power of a giant wave to crush a ship? Perhaps for some people it is in the subtlety of the force that creates the delicate, fragrant, beautiful flower, the texture of the snowflake or the growth of an oak tree from a tiny acorn.

In the man- made realm, it may be a jumbo jet taking off gracefully or the building of a mighty highway across a nation. From man himself, it may be the power of a king or a Prime Minister, union leader or current affairs journalist to make things happen, or just simply the power of an autocratic teacher over his class. From the spirit world you might recognise some form of occult behaviour as very powerful, like a clairvoyant using the power that Satan provides for such purposes.

God's supernatural power.

Whatever your concept is of the greatest power you can imagine, it is microscopic compared with the power of God, which is immense and quite impossible to imagine. Some people easily recognise the power of God in the natural realm mentioned above, because it is obvious that man has nothing to do with producing that sort of power. He is quite incapable of doing so.

In the man-made realm and within man himself God's power is far less obvious, although the bible does tell us that everything that man does is either planned or permitted by God. Man, even though he doesn't really know it, ( because of lack of Bible knowledge ) is subject to God at all times, from his conception throughout his whole life, to his death and beyond.

What we are talking about here relates very much to Chapter 18, where we spoke of the supernatural and the spirit world. When we talk about God's power we are talking about the power he has by supernatural means, ie. means that are above and beyond natural visible power. If you have not read that chapter yet, then it would be a good idea to read it in conjunction with this one. When you have read this Chapter, you should then have just some appreciation of its supernatural element and know why it is important in the whole scheme of things.

He made the earth by his power; he founded the earth by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. Jeremiah 51:15

". . . the gospel . . . is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. " Romans 1:16

The importance of God's power.

Why is the power of God important you might ask? As you will see,if God was not all- powerful, we would not have creation as we know it, nor in fact would we as human beings be here either, because God created us too, as the crown of his creation. These examples of creation are the first and best evidence of God's power, even though the power itself is not visible.

We can however, see the results of God's power in his work of restoring peoples' lives and his power in overcoming the work of Satan, who deceives people into wrong thoughts and actions. Without the power of God there would be no reason for anything and no hope for mankind. We therefore need to know of his power, accept it, and know how it relates to other parts of Christianity explained in this book.

Examples of Jesus using God's power.

We have already seen in the last Chapter a number of examples of God's power. Let us add a few more examples of God's power carried out by his son Jesus.

1. The turning of water into wine. See john 2:1-11.

2. Jesus feeding the five thousand. See john 6:1-15.

3. Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish. See john 21:1-13.

And some examples from old testament heroes to show God's power from among the hundreds that are in scripture.

1. Moses divides the red sea. See exodus 14:21.

2. Elijah calls down fire from heaven. See 1 kings 18:28.

3. Elisha has the widows' oil multiplied. See 2 kings 4:5.

Do not lose sight of the fact that God used these people as channels for his power. They did not have the power, but because of their faithfulness and God-given positions, God through his holy spirit answered their prayers and provided the power required. Today, in a similar way God provides power to people who believe in him and have committed their life to him.

God greater than satan.

Remember that the sort of power we are talking about is supernatural power, provided through us in faith, but controlled and given by God. Remember too, that Satan and his demons ( see Chapter 23 ) are violently competitive with God in human affairs and do all they can to prevent us from living in God's ways. Christians however, know that God has much greater power than satan because the bible tells us so in 1 John 4:4. However, Satan's interference in a life can be considerable, as the following story shows.

Ian's demise.

You will recall from the story of Ian in Chapter 3 that he involved himself in deep sin, by his adultery and by his participation in occult activities. The result of this was that his life came under the influence of satan and he suffered a partial invasion from demons who exercised a degree of control over him, although they didn't completely take over his life. He wasn't a helpless robot, but neither did he have anything like complete control over his actions, particularly in his sexual sin.

As he became more and more involved in this sin and his occult activities (which for him was still a search for truth) the workings of his mind began to suffer and his physical body became so beverly stressed that he had to stop working.

Ian's life had become so far away from God's plan for his life that the power of Satan and his demons had taken control and there was nothing he could do about it in his own strength. All this just didn't suddenly happen to Ian he had done many wrong things and was therefore disobedient to God, allowing Satan to have too much influence.

Like many of us, he had become blinded to the subtle strategies of Satan, who over many years had gradually drawn him into deeper and deeper sin. Ian like any other person in that situation, could do nothing to save himself-nothing, that is, except turn to the one with greater power than Satan, none other than Jesus Christ himself.

Ian's restoration.

Once the power of the holy spirit of God entered Ian's life, things began to change. Over the next few months, Ian was taught by a group of Christians about the ways and truths of God. One of the things he learnt was that God has the power to drive Satan's demons out of his life.

This was something that Jesus himself demonstrated many times in his earthly ministry, thus healing and restoring those lives he touched. With the help of his Christian friends and with the power of the Lord, Ian was released from his bondages into a new life.

Do you need God's power?

The essential point of the story is that the power of God is greater than the power of Satan and can release anyone who is prepared to put their trust in God. This same power is available to you now, simply by taking steps that give you an active belief in God. Protection! Healing! Provision of needs! Peace! Restored relationships! Restoration of life!

The spiritual power of God is the greatest power that can ever exist. It is greater than any physical power that Satan or man can ever produce. Chapter 25 tells you how to begin to tap into this power.

What this chapter has said:

  1. Many forms of physical or mind power are great to behold.
  2. The supernatural power of God is greater than any other power.
  3. The Bible is a book which has many stories about the supernatural acts of God.
  4. Satan's supernatural power is used by him to deceive people and destroy lives.
  5. God's supernatural power is available to all people who have an active belief in him and who are not prepared to live with anything less than the best in their lives