It’s in songs, and it’s in the heart. It is synonymous with control these days, rather than ability. POWER. Just as Thomas Edison tried to get “power” in the current wars with Nikolai Tesla — men strive for control, rather than the improvement of their abilities.
Power is felt from a litany of different concepts, from money, from perceived value… whatever boosts the sense of worth can bring with it a sense of power. Oddly enough, we value “value”, we feel power in “power”. My meta-cognitive abilities are being challenged right now. *Chuckles*
Does power based in substance or ability held really bring lasting power? Perhaps…. To me, it’s just as fluid of a concept as is value. It’s only held in honor in the heart because it is honored. Power isn’t fame, nor fortune, nor control, nor anything that requires a sub-type of itself, or template, to specify what it is.
The more powerful you are (in the worldly sense)… the more vulnerable you are. Political leaders lose their positions in one quick swoop, and some even lose their lives because they have the “power”. Revolution is the buzzword of many around the world. Ironically, these revolutions almost never call for the removal of the position, or organization that brings power… they usually just call for the person in power to be removed. Odd.
On that note, in very opposite fashion, He who is called omnipotent (all-powerful) is the very one who willingly refrained from using his own powers for things pertaining to himself. Jesus the Christ.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature a God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:5-11, WEB
He was bold with his words, and his actions. I like to think that he stood in a wild-west fashion against the Pharisees, yet in all that he did he was humble. His life was a protest (in a sense) against an ego bolstered by position, and false generosity — besides being one of demonstrating the crazy love of the Father.
The love of the Father is what secured the heart of the Son. In the warm love of the Father, Christ’s identity and essence were safe, for even when he was tempted by very human temptations… he held firm.
I find it interesting, when Satan tried to tempt Him he used basic human needs and desires (food, acceptance, ability, etc) to try and present a rebellious sub-narrative in a palatable way to the Son. That sub-narrative completely went against the purposes and intents of Christ. Being the Father empowered Victor that he is, the satanic attempt was to no avail. Just as Satan tried this craft on the Son — he yet uses it to this day. It is sadly effective in us, for we can be lured into temptation by others exploiting our weaknesses, or needs.
You can find a similar tactic in sales: where a need is approached and commented on, and one does their best to bootstrap interest in what is being offered. Not bad in and of itself, but it is a VERY powerful tool, though simple in principle.
Therefore, here is the point — when a want or a need brings a pain, the normal response is to try to do something about it. Not necessarily to solve it, but to do SOMETHING about it. Even if that something is ignoring it. For most people, that is POWER. The ability to decide how you will go about something, even if there are no means to accomplish it. Simply, the freedom to think, and to not have those thoughts threatened in any way, or by anyone. In the space of the mind — it isn’t kinetic power that humans crave the most (the power to DO); rather, it is the power to NOT DO something… to have the power of POTENTIALITY.
The only one that has all power and all means available to him (according to his good nature that is) is God. Yet, he doesn’t use his power, nor his transcendent nature, in a flamboyant way, and he certainly doesn’t ignore the human condition we face. Yes, he is above and far removed from sin, yet… consider this,
Having then a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let’s hold tightly to our confession. For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let’s therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need.Hebrews 4:14-16, WEB
His power is made known in his grace towards us, and in his manifest compassion.
In co-suffering with us, God uses power in a completely opposite way than we do normally. We want power to feel secure, not necessarily to act. We want power to escape the mental realities of suffering and difficulty, not necessarily to solve them.
In our pursuit to find power, and the mental relieve that it can bring, I find it interesting that certain careers are idolized because of the potentiality that they hold. There is a certain level of societal pressure that one can find themselves under to become involved in one of them, for example: Doctor (power of life); Lawyer (power of law); Accountant (power of wealth and money); Engineer (power of creation); Writer, Actor, or some position of creativity (power of fame); Sales and Marketing (power of influence and persuasion), and etc.
These are normal kinds of power to desire, and the potential that they hold is near limitless, yet there is an ironic twist of fate when they are sought for their own sake I feel. None of them by themselves intrinsically bring the highest powers in my eyes, the powers of freedom and love.
If we can exclude the time and dedication that people put into these careers for a moment, and look at the reality of their paths, more often than not they are held down by a sort of bondage to their pursuit, and from their pursuit. The latter being the worst.
Many (not all) people have had their parents and society constantly lambast them to become one of these idols because “it is good”, or “it makes a lot of money”. The reality being, their parents were just using their own children under the pretense that they want them to live a better life than they did, through using them as a proxy to the dreams that they themselves never actualized. In essence, making their children a slave to their own guilt over a lack of accomplishment. They search for freedom from their own points of failure through the lives of their children.
And then, these now young adults execute beautifully in school, gain accomplishments, and live the dream that their parents never could have, or for certain reasons, wouldn’t have. They become one of the people in these idolized positions and fields, often with immense debt and stress, sometimes never knowing “why?” This is heartbreaking to me.
In theses paths you are supposed to find yourself, and find your purpose. To be clear, if a person has a desire to be a doctor, lawyer, or something else because THEY desire to be one — that’s absolutely great and good. For the rest who seek such things because they are spurred by guilt, and shame… may God forbid it in his mercy.
Here is my point. These themes, things, titles, and careers (I’m only using them as an example) that are supposed to bring security and freedom; instead, bring bondage, sadness, and emptiness. Not because it is in them, but because they are sought for the wrong reason, often with the right spirit. To me, that makes it even worse. Good people making poor choices because of the misunderstood elements of what they are doing or seeking.
You sought freedom, and gained bondage. You sought fame, and found shame. You sought peace, and find strife. Therefore, the end is you bought into a lie. A damned lie at that.
If you use the power that comes with such things in order to secure your own ego, or to live the dreams of others in your one God given life for them, with no thought given to your heart… you will only secure the demise of your own!
Therefore, lives built on these temples of power and position, the very archetypes of power that God holds in his hand, if sought for their own sake (for no other reason than to have a wall against human fears and weaknesses), only deliver the result that procuring them intends to prevent.
Nothingness and almost inescapable shame.
I feel the author of Ecclesiastes understood this well.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun? One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises. The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually as it goes, and the wind returns again to its courses. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness beyond uttering. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there a thing of which it may be said, “Behold, this is new?” It has been long ago, in the ages which were before us. There is no memory of the former; neither shall there be any memory of the latter that are to come, among those that shall come after.Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, WEB
If the seeking power for its own sake reaps results that have no lasting substance — transcendent essence in other words — it is unto emptiness, ALWAYS! Maybe not now, but it tends to the path of vanity. One MUST have some higher purpose in the pursuit of power, if they are to live well, and God-willing live long.
For God, the overarching, all-consuming, and all-encompassing reason for all of his works is Love. To drive all reality BACK to freedom, though guided and marshaled by limits, and to bring all things back into the original order of fellowship, and wholeness with its original image and intent — filled with beauty, and clarity.
Though God is the law-giver — he is also the very manifestation of loving FREEDOM. For God to even allow the concept of “letting” it requires a characteristic that I seldom find in people I must say with sadness.
This is power to Christ. True power indeed.
Christ never came to seek the kind of strength, fame, honor, and accomplishment that the world (ancient and modern) values. He knew very well that he was the perfect example of what WE should aspire to be like, and have. The beauty in this is that his strength, fame, honor, and accomplishments are freely given in his grace. Perhaps not in the style of a lump sum, so to speak, but a steady drip is better than nothing in my eyes. His grace and mercy are girded about by his grand meekness.
Look at the Cross, and gaze upon your humble King!
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots. The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”Luke 23:33-42, WEB
Here… the Creator makes known his Meekness, and Love. Having the power to do something incredible, such as coming off the cross and having legions upon legions of angels manifest in light, and glorious decorum, chose not to put his splendor on blast. For why should he?
Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.Matthew 7:6. WEB
What good would have exercising that power have done in the grand scheme of declaring his love and will-to-peace, instead of will-to-power, to the world? Even though he did not, the people of that time still practically ripped him to shreds. Why?
Because though people put a pretty wrapper around destruction, the only God-like power we possess in flesh, apart from his Spirit, right now with a sure end is death.
We proxy and convey our dissatisfaction with life and goodness through creating all-or-nothing actions and plans wherein we can manifest our unbridled will. The wages of sin… death, then meets us with an expected recourse, though we lied to ourselves that it would be different.
As it is written in Ecclesiastes, “Vanities of vanities, it is meaningless!” Unless…
We change our view of what power is, and we learn that sometimes letting, through Grace, instead of taking through the potent and frenetic blitz of magnified fear, is where security and peace truly comes from.
Meekness isn’t weakness, it is power as it always should have been. Humble ability, always tempered by wisdom, patience, and good-will. It leads to life, instead of the rambling strife that comes from the ordinary pursuit of commonly honored titles, abilities, and things.
Therefore, meekness the potentiality of power in Christ, and the wise use of kinetic power. All the while, remaining in the ship of his grace through the storm of uncertainty, and amidst all of our limits and human vices. For in this, as it was before Christ through the Father, the ability to call in authority, or to do, yet acting in humble deference to the patent will of God, surely leads to the fulfillment of all that is good.
We now see the reality of a world that was built on vanities. We see it crumbling, and through a scapegoat of sorts, political games are being played so that people can keep up their facade of control and order. In their denial they set the solemnly set the course for their own destruction. For to just let “it” go, whatever it may be, is utterly unthinkable.
Whatever is yielded to God shall be yielded it back to you, by his own hand guaranteed. He will always give you more than you give to him — even if all you have to give him are your failures, mistakes, and etc.
Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free.”Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you.”Luke 6:37-38, WEB
For he is meek, and he meekly gives grace. A grace that is never to be earned by the works and creations of his children; rather, to be received as a eternal ever-flowing gift from the Father of Goodness.
There is no king saved by the multitude of an army. A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety, neither does he deliver any by his great power. Behold, Yahweh’s eye is on those who fear (respect) him, on those who hope in his loving kindness; to deliver their soul from death, to keep them alive in famine.Psalm 33:16-19, WEB
His accepting grace is power, his nature is power, for his power sources all of its strength from eternal LOVE. It doesn’t derive its meanings and reasons from all of his awesome titles, and likewise, neither should we derive our own strength from our knowledge, understanding, ability, skills, accolades, titles, and so forth…. It is only by and in divine love — a love whose character was so potently demonstrated on the cross, that we can source the strength to face the day, AND THEN go forth in the counsel of his will to procure knowledge, understanding, wisdom, abilities, skills, titles, and hopefully accolades the RIGHT WAY for the RIGHT REASONS.
May a pure heart drive humanity forward. I pray that we do not regress too far backwards in this time. May God have grace upon the world yet. This is my prayer for this generation, and for the ones thereafter.
I pray that God brings meek strength, and comforting grace to you all, forevermore and ever after. May his Love illuminate lasting truth to your souls, and in his grace, may you find rest.
Thank you for reading.