“POWER UNDER CONTROL” By Pastor YAU
Text: Exodus -15; -11 September 7, 2008.
Power under control: The
2) Power without control: Moses, a Jewish boy, unlike all other Jewish boys at his time, was raised with all the privileges and powers Egyptian princes had in the palaces of the Pharaoh, king of the Egyptian Empire. After Moses had grown up and went out to his people, he saw the injustice of the hard labor his people had suffered and the beating of one of his people by an Egyptian. He thought he could use his royal power to bring about deliverance for God’s people from slavery by killing the Egyptian. But he was very wrong. His misuse of power only dissipated his opportunity of helping his people because he had lost the respect of his own, (Exodus 2:14)
THE NATURE OF POWER:
1) It is human nature: Among all the tricks Satan used to lure Eve to disobey God was enticing her to believe that when she ate that forbidden fruit, she will have the power of God: to know good from evil. (Gen. 3:5) Ever since that moment, power seeking is part of human nature. While some means of seeking power are legitimate and harmless, others have used extreme violent and even immoral means to gain power of control such as killing and cheating. All of us have the urge to gain power usually for our own benefits.
2) It is neutral in nature: Just as fire is neutral in nature, power is neither good nor bad. When power is sought with legitimate and harmless means for positive and productive results both for personal or human benefits, the seeking and using of power is good. Many of us believe that knowledge is power and we pursue knowledge for the good of our own and others in our community. Some people have used their power of knowledge, influence and position to do good for others. But we also see people abuse power by using it for personal gain at the expense of others.
3) Its origin is from God: The Bible has so much to say and show that God is the origin of all powers, be it in the nature or in all human aspects. From the power of creation to the power of calling people to serve His purpose, God has made known to all that He is the center of all powers. God is also the origin of civil power when He gives authority to civil government. God also gives power to those who hold positions of authority in the society, family and the church such as parents, pastors and teachers. (1 Corinth. 13:1)
4) Its pinnacle is in Jesus: After He rose from the dead and before He ascended to heaven, Jesus declared that “all power in heaven and on earth is given to me” (Matt.28: 18) by His Father. Jesus also has the power over the church in being the head of the church. He has the power to forgive sins, to reconcile men with God and to give salvation to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12) Jesus also has the power to judge all men in the last day when He comes back to bring believers to himself. In the Book of Revelation, we know that Jesus has the power to condemn Satan to eternal destruction.
GETTING TO KNOW POWER:
1) Power of the mind: This is the power to think, to learn and to understand, to know and to analyze facts and concepts. Some may call it the intellectual power. Gold has given us this precious ability so we are able to know God, the nature, knowledge and ideas. This is a very important power God has given to men so we possess part of God’s nature and image. This makes man so much different from the rest of His creation. We use this power to learn to know God and all about His word in the Bible. God wants us to know Him.
2) Power of the heart: This is the power to feel, to love, to care and to respond to feelings. Some may call it the emotional power. Emotional power is also very important. We use it to love God and love people, to show our care and concern and to feel the love of others to us. We certainly want to use it to show our love to those who are close to us, have done so much for us and have shown their love to us. We also need to show God we love Him by listening to Him and obey His commands. In some cases, the power of the heart is much more powerful than that of the head or mind.
3) Power of our words: The Bible, especially in Proverbs, has so much to say about the power of words we use in our daily life. Words have so much power that could build people up when they are used properly. Word spoken improperly may destroy people, their reputation, confidence, career and future. Words we use may also reflect our character and integrity. It is imperative to be truthful, respectful and careful when we use words in speech and in writing.
4) Power of our actions: This is about the effects and influence of our actions. Whatever we do to ourselves and to others will affect others near and far. The more power you have or the higher position you occupy, your actions will carry more effect and influence on more people. Actions we take in our lives may also impact others by influence and effects. So, we need to be careful how we act in our lives at home, in school, at work and in God’s church. As the reckless action of Moses in the story, we need to know how we act or react to others.
PUTTING POWERS UNDER CONTROL:
1) Under the control of God: This is by far the most important attitude we need to have when we exercise power we may have. Recognizing God as the ultimate authority of power brings us proper attitude to follow His guidelines set in the Bible whenever we use power given to us. We use power as representatives of God to achieve His purpose, not ours. We need to acknowledge a higher power, God.
2) Recognizing our responsibility: In exercising power, just as exercising freedom, we must recognize our responsibility to all aspects involved: to ourselves, to others and to God. All powers carry responsibilities to prevent the abuse of power. We also need to make sure that we are exercising power for the benefits of all parties involved, be fair and balanced.
3) Exercising power with humility: We must recognize that we have very little power over very few people and things. To assume power or authority we don’t have may lead us to disgraceful downfall. No matter if it is in the family, to our spouse or children, to our coworkers or employees, to people at God’s church, even we may be in position of authority, it is good to be humble to all people when using power we may have received from God. God promised to bless those who are humble and meek. (Matt. 5:5)
4) Seeking wisdom over power: With all the powers of ancient kings, King Solomon encouraged us to seek wisdom over power in his book of Proverbs. It is wisdom from God that may lead and guide us to walk in righteousness. It is wisdom that will help us make right decisions. It is wisdom that may help us choose the right words, make right choices that will bring us joy and honor. True powers are given by God or people for common good. People who hold power or authority need to seek wisdom of God so they may discharge their power properly for the greatest good of all people.
1) Never rely on your power: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and not lean on your own understanding (intellectual power), in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Never think you can handle your life with your own power. Rely on God and He will lead and protect you from going astray.
2) Lean on the power of God: When you are feeling helpless and hopeless, remember that God is the source of all powers. Regardless of whatever needs you may or problems may be in, God is much greater and more powerful than your needs or problems. Seek God and His wisdom and he will make your paths straight.
3) God and His saving power: This is the most important power everyone needs to know: God loves you and wants to see the best of you for lasting benefit. Accept His call of repentance and trust Him with your life and He will bring your life to a higher ground in this life and give you eternal life in the life to come.