From The Kitchen Window - Power
Words by David Hollows
The Greek word for ‘power’ is dunamis which can be translated in 2 different ways; ‘dynamite’ which is an explosive force and ‘dynamo’ which is a constant flow of power. We all understand the nature of dynamite and its effects, good and bad, down the years. We know that the annual Noble prizes are derived from the Nobel foundation which was created from the profits of the Nobel dynamite company. We also know that the dynamo is an important element in the auto industries and the world of cycling.
So often we take the power of our lifestyles for granted: we have electricity at the touch of the light switch or as we plug in at the socket, water is available at the tap with no effort from ourselves and our central heating provides us with warmth as we simply sit back and enjoy. Yet, some of us will remember the days of coal fires, candles, perhaps even, gas lamps. As we look to the future, then some of our current power supplies will be replaced by wind and solar power.
Power has been at the centre of the changes down thousands of years and driven changes to our economies. The power of animals was harnessed to drive the plough in the fields to produce food resources, water power turned the mill wheels and generated steam for the railways then turbo power has driven ships, aircraft and transport, so many different forms of power achieving so many different outcomes.
Nature has its own various forms of power. At the end of the last ice age there was the power of the melting ice which shaped the hills and valleys we enjoy. The media often provides us with the recent images and news stories related to volcanic eruptions, wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami, all frightening examples of the power of nature. Currently we face the worrying power of climate change and the differences there will be across the world as the temperature increases and water levels rise.
There are other forms of power which often do not directly impact our lives. There is military power evidenced with stock piles of nuclear weapons, the huge number of military personnel deployed in various countries around the world to maintain peace and the immense amount of metal invested in tanks, ships and submarine. Yet, even in this world, the power dynamic is changing as chemical warfare is occasionally used and drones are used more and more frequently.
The world of technology is another source of power. Within seconds we are able to send a message to all corners of the world and laser treatment is used in the operating theatres of our hospitals. Recently, a helicopter has been flown on Mars and the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, is currently on the outer edge of our solar system, more than 10 billion miles away.
There is, of course, the power we have in our intricate bodies: the power of our brains to act and think decisively, the power of our senses, the power in our muscles, arms and legs, our creativity, the moral codes by which we live and the power we have in our relationships. Reflect for a moment on the power of the relatively small muscle we have, the tongue: that we can encourage and destroy using this muscle, we can assassinate either with a gun or our tongue. The human power is absolutely amazing and frightening at the same time.
The Bible gives us many examples of the different forms of power God has.
The Genesis narrative describes how God spoke the created world into being. (Genesis chapters 1 – 3.) The Exodus narrative demonstrates the power God has to overcome the issues faced by His people as He sent the various plagues followed by the pillar of fire and cloud to guide his people then the parting of the Red Sea to allow safe passage to freedom. (Exodus chapters 9 – 14.)
When the walls of Jericho fell following 7 days of praise and worship (Joshua chapter 6), we are given a different insight into the power of God as we do when God sends the fire to consume the altar built by Elijah (1 Kings chapter 18.)
In the ministry years of Jesus we witness other forms of power. Jesus has the power to heal many people with a huge range of diseases ranging from the deaf and blind to those with epilepsy. Jesus has the power to calm storms (Matthew chapter 8) and walk on water (Matthew chapter 14).
Jesus proves the power of prayer when He raises Lazarus from the dead (John chapter 11) and feeds the multitudes (Matthew chapter 16.)
Jesus gives his disciples the power to heal and act in the same ways He has done (Luke chapter 10) and He promises them more power when the Holy Spirit comes (Acts chapter 1.)
In the book of Acts we read of the power the Holy Spirit gave to the disciples even on the very day of Pentecost when they had the confidence to speak out (Acts chapter 2) the strength to endure (Hebrews chapter 11) and the determination to share the Good News (Acts chapter 4) Both Peter (Acts chapter 3) and Paul (Acts chapter 20) were given the power to heal and Paul was able to explain in his letter to the Christians in Rome that ‘we receive hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Romans chapter 15 verse 13.)
As believers we also are given power by God’s grace and love to have confidence in our salvation and the assurance of the hope of eternal life with Him. This power allows us to be God’s ambassadors to share our relationship with God with others and to encourage them to accept salvation and the promise of eternal life.
The word ‘power’ occurs 57 times in the New Testament. It is used to describe the most powerful event that ever happened, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and it is this power that God offers to us.
We have the choice to rely on the power offered by society or the world around us or we can rely on the power of God to help us live our lives His way.
So, whose power are you relying on today?
You may find the following prayer helpful:
Gracious God, from the wealth of your glory, I ask you to grant me power through your Spirit to be strong in my inner self. I pray that I may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep is your love for me. I pray that your power working in me is able to do so much more than I can ever ask or even think of. Great God, I ask for your power in my life that through me others will come to know and accept that same power that you may receive all the glory, honour and praise as many more come into a relationship with you. I ask this in the name of Jesus.
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