Gods of Power

God of Power

Gen 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

God created Adam to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. The one thing Adam was not to have dominion over was himself. God was to have dominion over him, and Adam had to partake in his own development by obeying God’s rule over him, not by his own wisdom. The source of life in Adam was his relationship and obedience to God.

God created Adam innocent, that is, he was intended to develop, not from evil to good, but from the natural to the spiritual by obedience. It was to be a natural progress. However, Adam was told he could take a short cut and be like God instantly if he would disobey God and obey the rebellious god of power, Lucifer—the devil himself.

Lucifer made the same offer to Jesus. Luke 4:5-7 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Unlike Jesus, Adam obeyed Lucifer and took rule over himself, thereby introducing sin into the world. Sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, a deliberate and emphatic independence of God. Sin is mutiny against God’s rule; not vileness of conduct, but rebellion, self-rule, and the quest for power .

However, this is the outcome for Lucifer and all who obey this god of power.

Isa 14:12-15 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (KJV)

We are all born with this sin nature in our heart. The outcome of deliberately remaining independent of Jesus Christ ends in damnation, by God’s direct decree, not as an inevitable happening; and the outcome of dependence upon Jesus Christ ends in Heaven, by God’s decree, not by chance.

When Christ’s law of love is disregarded, and the desire for power directs our lives, we do things we never dreamed ourselves capable of doing with word, thought, and deed. When a person cannot achieve his desired goal for power, the result is often catastrophic to others and always destructive of oneself. Men and women will kill and die for power.

The promise of this god of power is self-glory, self-fulfillment, self-indulgence, self-satisfaction, and every other form of selfishness, all of which is hostility toward God.

This behavior is expressed in the whole mixture of music stars, Hollywood stars, politicians, sports heroes, slogans, and obsessions that make up the contemporary scene. It is expressed in glossy magazine ads, alluring store windows, bumper stickers, tee-shirt inscriptions, and television situation comedies. The world is energized, living, breathing, grasping, and lusting for life and power–minus God!

Those who worship this god of power often affect the course of nations by creating conflicts which result in the sacrifice of our young men on the battlefield. The world is in turmoil. Terrorists hijack ships and airplanes. Gunmen take hostages. Internal strife plagues nations. What is the underlying cause of all this unrest? Satan, the god of power.

The reason for family quarrels, neighborhood feuds, strife between labor and management, and war among nations is the inherent desire for power. When someone is seeking his own interests, sooner or later he comes into conflict with the selfish desires of others. Society will show little improvement until individuals experience a change of heart through Jesus Christ.

It is easy to hate war. But it is also easy to overlook the desire for power in our own hearts, which is the seed of all conflict. For at the heart of all conflict is a selfish heart.

Churches are divided by power-seeking members. These church members are dominated by a self-will which pursues power, prominence, and control rather than the will of God.

Every discerning Christian knows that most church conflicts are not about the building, budgets, or programs at all. Often church disagreements surface because there is a desire for power rather than God’s will. The god of power tempts every Christian. This desire for power expresses our pre-Christian nature that is still seeking to control our life and the lives of others. Christians will never be freed from the evil influence of the god of power, but by God’s grace we can escape his dominion. Only by walking daily in complete surrender to the Holy Spirit can we be free.

However, nothing is so much resented as the idea that I am not to be my own master. Jesus said in Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Therefore, to gain freedom, we must deliberately give up our right to ourselves to Jesus Christ. Am I willing to say, “Yes, Lord Jesus, take complete control”?  If I am, Jesus Christ has gained a disciple.

Making disciples is not popular to-day; it takes too long. We still like short cuts. We are all for passionate evangelism—taken up with adding to the number of “saved souls,” adding to denominational membership, and having things which show splendid success. Jesus Christ spent three years making disciples and there were conditions to becoming one—If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself.”

There are no short cuts to developing holiness. Like Adam, the one thing we are not to have dominion over is ourselves. God is to have dominion over us, and we are to partake in our own development by obeying God’s rule over us, not by our own wisdom. The source of life in us is the Holy Spirit and our obedience to Him.

However, the god of power still tempts us to take short cuts. For instance: Acts 8:17-23 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."

There are still some individuals who think the amount of their tithe and offerings gives them the right to have power and control in the church. If they are not granted it, they withhold their tithe, or leave to find a church where their money will command respect. They do not realize the god of power still controls them.

Every element of self-reliance and self-promotion must be slain by the Holy Spirit, the power of God. Complete humility and dependence on God will always be the occasion for the Holy Spirit to manifest His power in an individual or a church.

After all, it requires the Holy Spirit to convict a person of sin. Any person knows that immorality is wrong. Their conscience tells them it is wrong. It takes the Holy Spirit to convince a man that the thing he most highly esteems, his own self-rule, is an abomination in the sight of God! There is nothing more highly esteemed among men than power and control, but Jesus Christ is the enemy of such men because they seek rebellion and independence of God.

We are all born with this sin nature. Therefore, we are separated from God. Jesus came and died for our sin to reconcile us to God. Because we are dead in our trespasses, we must be born again of the Holy Spirit.

Our new birth is the birth of Jesus Christ into our human nature, and our human nature has to be transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God. With Christ, we now have the power to sacrifice the life of our flesh to the will of God, becoming dependent on Jesus Christ as He was dependent on the Father.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

We cannot develop the mind of Christ if we do not have His Spirit, nor can we interpret His teaching apart from His Spirit. However, with the Holy Spirit, we are able to live a life so hid with Christ in God that what Jesus said will be true, “men will see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

This is the work of Christ in us, the sign that we are no longer independent, but completely dependent upon Him. Personal dependence upon God is the attitude of the Holy Spirit in our soul. It is the attitude of Jesus. He states repeatedly—by Myself I can do nothing.

John 5:19-30 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out-- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

This attitude, which is in Christ, is also to be in us.

John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

In addition, Phil 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Therefore, we are dependent on Christ for everything and for all power. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. However, we will exhibit His power when we walk as Christ walked.

1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Sad to say, it is sometimes impossible to distinguish those who call themselves Christians from those who don’t. They think, speak, and act like the average unbeliever.

On the other hand, believers who are filled with the Spirit will not desire power or the things of this world. Yet, they will possess the power of the Holy Spirit. They will resist conformity to this world’s unholy standards, even though such a position is unpopular and may cause them to be ridiculed and persecuted. They realize that as citizens of Heaven, they are in the world but not of the world. They show by their conduct and attitudes--the truth, and they enjoy the blessings of being totally dependent on God.

God places His Holy Spirit within believers. The Spirit is intensely concerned about any rival god in the Christian heart. God refuses to share our commitment with any other god.

People who are preoccupied with power have a very shallow view of God and His redemptive purpose in the world. They see Him as One who exists to provide for their wants and needs, alleviate all their suffering, and make their lives as pleasant as possible. They may get that kind of picture of God from secular novels, but not from the Bible.
All attempts to manipulate a sovereign God into serving our own selfish purposes insult Him. The Bible relates the desire for power to friendship with the world, which makes one an enemy of God.

What god do you desire? Our prayers might reveal the answer. For the next few days, let’s analyze our prayers. Do we seek God with all our heart or seek the fulfillment of our requests? Do we desire an intimate relationship with Him or do we just want things from Him? Do we listen to Him, or do we do all the talking? Prayer isn’t a time to give orders but to report for duty. Are we in charge, are we seeking control, or are we submitted to His will? The god of power will even try to influence our prayers. Therefore, we must be alert and pray in the Spirit.

Phil 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

If you fear letting God have control of your life, I want you to know the god of power, Lucifer, is in control of you. We must serve somebody and the only choices are Jesus Christ or Lucifer. I pray the Holy Spirit is leading you to give Jesus Christ complete control of your life. Come and confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God; repent of your sin, and receive a new life—a new birth from the Spirit through baptism.