I love my bread machine. It does all the hard work of mixing and kneading. Then all I have to do is shape the prepared dough into rolls or loaves. So imagine my grave disappointment when my machine quit working the day of our Thanksgiving feast.
It still looked like a bread machine—filled up, plugged in, and set to make dough. It sounded like a bread machine doing what it was made to do. But when the timer beeped 45 minutes later, the ingredients hadn’t even stirred. It was only pretending to be a bread machine. Not tragic, but very frustrating.
The tragedy is when this happens to us spiritually—when those who claim to be believers cease doing what we’re created to do. It’s grievous when those who claim to follow Jesus practice “a form of godliness, but deny its power” (2 Tim. 3:1-5). It’s not enough to look like a believer, sound like a believer, while denying the power to live a godly life.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is more than going to church, raising hands in worship, going to small group meetings, and even reading the Bible. It’s not enough to talk about Jesus and how marvelous He is if He doesn’t have full authority to act.
I realize I deny the power of Jesus Christ:
When I wallow in self-pity
When I allow my feelings to dictate whether I will be completely obedient or not
When I give in to discouragement or worry
When I reject God’s unlimited resources and wisdom
It’s not enough to “sit on the counter” filled with the right ingredients—plugged in, and making the right noises—if I deny Christ’s power to accomplish His purposes in me.
If you are in Christ, you have access to spiritual power—
To pray the Name of Christ with authority over the forces of darkness
To face life with courage
To practice self-control and overcome temptation
To have wisdom beyond human intellect
To gain victory over despair
To receive healing from the sins and scars of the past
Apostle Paul revealed the secret in his letter to the Ephesian church:
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
God’s power that raised Jesus from the dead; that’s what we need! God promises when we’re weak, He is strong.
I’m too weak to face the challenges knocking on my door. I’m ready for an infusion of God’s almighty power to do through me what I cannot do in my own strength. God doesn’t give us this impossible task to “live as Christ” without the resources to accomplish it. With Jesus on the inside, we can love the unlovable, patiently endure piles of trials, maintain hope against impossible circumstances, and experience joy in a world filled with hate and confusion.