Thursday, January 26, 2012

Now, Do You Really Want Power?

1 Kings 17:1
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” 

Been reading a little bit through the book of Kings, specifically looking at the life of Elijah the prophet. 

For someone like me who has been raised hearing and studying about these historical biblical figures, it's easy to idolize their lives and their legacy.  It's easy to look at their power with wonder, awe and amazement, wishing that we had even a fraction of the faith that they had and their ability to live a life miracles. 

Elijah and God were so in tune with each other.  From predicting droughts, to calling down fire, Elijah had the incredible ability to perform miracles in a way that made the world around him stop and give glory to the God he served. 

And so we read about these incredible prophets throughout history, and we're inspired to live a life that really matters, a life that makes those around us stand in amazement and throw their hands up glorifying the God that we serve.  And we're so inspired that maybe we'll even pray for that kind of power...but, it never comes.  

No calling down fires.  No predicting the future.  No miraculous signs and wonders.  

Power never comes, because we are ultimately looking for the power without the pain.  We want to live in our safe Christian bubbles, we want everyone to like us, and we want blessing after blessing after blessing.  You see, safety is the greatest obstacle in receiving power.

Francis Chan illustrates this point in a video about taking risks...but at the end of the day, who of us really wants to take risks?

If we're honest with ourselves, it's so much easier to live a powerless life...and be loved, secure, safe, and happy.  To ask for the kind of power we see displayed in Scripture would be to ask for a lot more than power.  Faith, uncertainty, trust...and even pain.

I look at every effective prophet in Scripture and one thing I see they all have in common is their willingness to do whatever it took to bring the power of God into the world around us.  They endured the seeds of suffering, hardships, broken hearts, endless waiting, scorn, hatred, and shame to harvest the crop of power. 

So, let me ask you again, do you really want that kind of power in your life?  

May God give us the strength to trust Him enough in order to walk outside of our safe places, so that we too can bring even a fraction of His loving power to this broken and dying world.

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