I wrote Part I over a year ago fully expecting to write Part II the next week. . .then life happened. Let’s just say the enemy doesn’t want me to share with you who God really is because if we all learn how to tap into His power, it’s going to unleash us on this old world to make a difference for eternity’s sake. So I apologize. I was sidelined, but not cast down. Let’s keep digging in.
If we want to experience His power, we first have to understand it. For example, you can have the prettiest lamp and the best bulb around but if you don’t screw the bulb in and actually plug in the lamp, they won’t work. Now I’m not suggesting you have to know everything about electricity to make it work; you’ll never know everything about God either. But we can understand Him enough to have the confidence we need, and an understanding of how to plug into His power.
So let’s tackle a little theology. Don’t fret–I know that sounds lofty, but I’m a common, ordinary housewife so we aren’t going to lose anyone here. Theology is just a fancy name for the study of God. We can handle a little of that together.
In his book, “Knowing God,” J. I. Packer describes the attributes of God, dividing them into three subsets:
- QUALITIES (the things that mark the difference between the Creator and His creation): His self-existence, His infinity, His eternity, and His unchangeableness.
- PERFECTIONS (aspects of His moral character manifested in both His words and deeds): His holiness, His love and mercy,His truthfulness and faithfulness, His patience and justice, His goodness and grace. You and I may have some of these attributes present in our life but He has them to perfection.
- POWERS: His omniscience (wisdom), His omnipresence (presence–God with us), and His omnipotence (His might). Let’s call these God’s super powers.
To this list I’m going to add another important aspect of who God is:
- WILL: He uses all of the first three attributes to accomplish His will.
So let’s look at this in chart form (visuals always help me and we want to see God).
**Note that God’s will, qualities, and perfections influence the way He uses His powers. Those three powers are intertwined for a reason: they can’t exist apart from one another. Think about it: if God showed up today to help you with a problem but only brought his wisdom (no power), what good would that be? He might empathize with you but He wouldn’t be able to do anything about your situation. Likewise if He showed up with His power but forgot to bring His wisdom, He might do something but would it be the right thing? And face it, if He doesn’t show up, there’s just no way His power and wisdom are hanging out with you today. His super powers come as a package deal.
So many times we are satisfied to stand in awe of who He is and what He has created or to simply dwell in His presence–we just choose to hang out on one of those circles. None of those things are wrong, but it’s not what we were created to do. We were created for a kingdom purpose; He has work for us to do. It is our goal to live and walk in the center of His will–which means we must be in the very center of His three powers. Yes, God intends for us to have His powers available to us for each and every step we take.
Think of the lame man Peter and John told to rise, take up his bed and walk. He’d never used those leg muscles once in his life, so no doubt he didn’t have the strength or ability in his legs and feet to walk. . .even babies need time to learn to balance and walk. But the Word tells us he leapt to His feet–God’s healing includes giving us the strength we need even though we’ve been sidelined for a long time. It was time for this young man to accomplish his purpose. Likewise, when God tells you it’s time to rise up and walk in His power, you’ll have everything you need to accomplish the task you’ve been assigned.
When God chooses to use His power(s), His will, qualities, and perfections both advise and constrain any action. As His is an eternal nature, He is interested in His long-term goal: He is not willing any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). Christ demonstrated this when He chose to endure the cross for you and me for the glory that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:12). Even though He was mocked, scoffed, and crucified, He didn’t use His power to call a legion of angels to rescue Him nor did He deny the Father for selfish gain when tempted in the desert. His actions were determined by His eternalness, unchanging will, love, mercy, grace, and omniscience. God cannot separate His powers from who He is; He embodies His qualities and perfections in every action. Furthermore, God uses all of His qualities, perfections, and powers to accomplish His will. This is why it is so important we pray within His will, for He alone is sovereign, just, and the embodiment of love. Our plans are finite and flawed; His actions are pure and perfect.
As I look at this chart I realize God has all the power He needs to accomplish His will. It’s then I fall on my knees because He has chosen to do His work through me. . .and you. When He told Peter He was giving Him the keys to the kingdom He was entrusting the work that needed to be done to Peter (and likewise to us who believe He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God), to do His work. What an awesome and yet terrifying thought. Me?He trusts me/you? His answer is yes; He works through you and me. See why it is an imperative that we understand and tap into His power(s)?
Come back–we’ll tackle His each of His three super powers so we know what they are, how they work, and how to plug into them.