Where Is Your Power?
We see it in relationships, in communities, and even in how we deal with ourselves – there is a quest to seek power that would endow us with some great existential authority.
As I write this we are in the throes of political posturing as politicians attack one another and attempt to outmaneuver each other in seeking their political party’s support to declare them “the” candidate to run for President. The job of President of the United States is often referred to as the most powerful position in the world.
We seek power over political parties, we seek power within the parties as we wrestle for elevated positions that we feel grant us the authority to have the last word. But the quest for power is not restricted to the realm of politics.
This quest for power is also found at work, in business, at home and deep within ourselves. Experts reveal that domestic violence is not about love or a desire to be loved, but it is often more about exerting power and control in a relationship. Depression, issues related to lack of self esteem and diminished self-worth are all about granting people outside of ourselves more power than what we grant ourselves. Our quest for inner strength is a desire for such an existential power that grants us authority and courage deep within us. A power that would help us override the negative launched on us from others.
In a world obsessed with power and dominance the Bible teaches us that our faith and authority is not rooted in the authorities or powers of this world. Jesus in his glorified state reveals to the Apostle John in Revelation the following message to the church in Philadelphia,
“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name… Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” –Revelation 3:8&10
Here we have a church in the outer boundaries of the great frontier in Asia Minor, a church with no authority or power during an age of persecution and yet, they had the fortitude to endure. In their patient endurance they neither compromised the word of God nor denied his name.
Their faithfulness proved worthy of Jesus’ praise for them and have been lifted up over time in history to be an example for us in faithfulness. Of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation, Smyrna and Philadelphia were the only two that did not receive any admonition by Jesus due to their faithfulness in the midst of persecution.
You don't need power, authority or the armies of this world to support you in order for you to be able to believe in God’s word and hold true to His name in your heart. You can do all of these things even when the world is against you.
Let us be the Church of Philadelphia, a church that proved faithful to God’s word, a church that held Jesus’ name as worthy to be praised and honored, despite what the world around them believed or desired. Our authority comes from Jesus and needs not be affirmed by this world. Let us prove to be faithful by loving God and loving His people.
Be strong, be faithful for your strength comes from God’s presence in your life.