Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Power Play

Power Play

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Lk.9.1,2

Hockey players are a rough and tumble bunch who understand the “power play” – when your team has more players on the ice than the opponent you have the power and are more likely to score. Whether Christians play hockey or not, we ought to understand the power play as well. God is with us (Mtw:1.23), and assuming we are with him (united in faith and purpose through Jesus Christ), every day is a power play. Frederick Douglass, the great African-American abolitionist declared boldly, “One and God make a majority.” That’s the ultimate power play.

Paul writes “I pray that you know…His incomparably great power for us who believe which … is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph.1:19;3:20). We often neglect to tap into God’s power, or may even – despite having the label “believers” – not actually believe in God’s power. Yet, Jesus empowered his disciples to drive out demons, heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God, especially to the poor. Jesus declared that any gate hell erects around a heart or a community will crumble when faced with the power of God’s kingdom expressed through the church (Mtw.16:18).
John Wesley, an eminently rational man, an Oxford educator, practitioner of medicine and inventor, was used of God to reconnect the church to the Spirit’s power and launch the Methodist movement. He recounts many stories of apparent miraculous healing, exorcism and overcoming impossible obstacles. Methodism was birthed by the Holy Spirit and God’s power play. Free Methodists have sometimes struggled with embracing powerful expressions of the Holy Spirit – perhaps fearing being “too charismatic” or appearing just plain silly to believe outdated things like miracles in our day.
I think we should fear instead considering Jesus as his Nazarene brethren did, a prophet without honor, and through our disbelief limit the miraculous outpouring of kingdom power (Mk.6:4,5) which Jesus actually commissioned us to grasp and deploy (Lk.9:1,2).
What if in 2016 we purposed to rely more readily upon God’s power through the Holy Spirit? What if we prayed for miracles, healing, conversions, and more leaders to enter the spiritual harvest? What if we sought God sized-vision and God-imbued power to overcome the obstacles that we face? What if we took Jesus at his word? What if we really believed?
I think we’d see a real power-play. Hell’s gates would crumble. The good news would be preached to the poor. Prisoners would be set free. The blind would see. The oppressed would be liberated. The Lord’s favor would be experienced (Lk.4.18-21).
So stop right now and pray! Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! Fill me Holy Spirit! Let’s get more players on the ice! "God and one are a majority!”

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