Kingdom Principle: Power flows for the purpose of Glory
|Acts 1:6-14||Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35||1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11||John 17:1-11|
- To pray is to acknowledge and confess that power is available beyond you.
- To bless and/or to curse to have power flow across your lips.
- To release control and stand in the face of adversity without retaliation is an act of power.
It is not uncommon for us to encounter power. However, to have power flow through you and it not be attributed to God’s glory, is for you to practice sorcery, witchcraft or simply Idolatry. Food is power to the body, as Prayer is power to the Spirit. But to eat too much or to eat what is not healthy will kill the body. In much the same way, we must beware of the power source which we turn if we desire for God to be glorified by the flow of power in our lives. God gives gifts to His Children in order that the power of the Holy Spirit might flow uniquely through each believer unto His Glory.
Prior to Jesus’ ascension, he tells the disciples too remain in Jerusalem until the gift of the Father, which is the power of the Holy Spirit, comes upon them. (We see the fulfillment of this promise in Pentecost – which is next week in the lectionary calendar) This Power is promised is a gift, and it is also called a baptism. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit has been explained previously. Here we will pursue this further to seek to understand the glory that comes along with such power. (Stephen clearly saw the Glory of God in his death, but others saw the power and glory of God in his life.) Are you aware of a power flow in your life? If not – you may be a glory hog and not even know it….
First, let’s further clarify that Power as it is unique from Authority. In this blog we have focused much more often on Authority than Power. But just his year we have begun to address power more fully. We have answered: Where Power comes from and what power looks like in you? When you lack Power, what it is that you are lacking and what are you not able to do? Overall we have discovered that in the Epiphany of Jesus that Power filled the earth and here we address that in the Ascension of Jesus, his name shall fill the earth.
Overall – Power comes from above. (This is why we look up!) Authority comes from within. Authority is produced out of our relationship with God, expressed in our Character. Our Authority is seen by others as an expression of favor, while others see the expression of power in your life as flow. Power is like electricity, while Authority is like a lamp with a light bulb. When you have Authority being displayed, Power is present. Power requires a conduit and without direction it is both dangerous and remains potential for the use of good or evil. Authority (through character) gives the Power direction (creating credibility). This is why we must be born of the Spirit, (the first step of Authority) before we are Baptized in the Spirit (the first act of Power). Clearly Jesus was full of both Authority & Power.
The LORD gives power to the powerless, but this power is not for to do our own will, rather it is to demonstrate the will of the Father in our lives. As I stated earlier, power flows and the results reveal to whom glory shall be given. We are not to seek Glory, for in doing so, we are revealing that we value our name above the NAME of God. (John 7:18) Glory is the LORD’s and we are to become witnesses of His Glory. Glory is not ours to control, extend, or create. Glory is often an ill-fated pursuit as a means to unity, however it is only Love that can produce unity. Glory has been defined as the Holiness of God revealed. Therefore Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s Holiness revealed.
Jesus prayed that we (those who bear the Name of the Father and the Name of the Son – I AM) shall be one, as Jesus and the Father are one. This name is first given in Ex. 3 to Moses is – I AM, and throughout the Gospel of John , Jesus claims this name- I AM… is the name by which we are to find our I AM.
This prayer has often been understood as a call for the church to work towards unity. But unity is to be kept, not sought, and it is a work of the Spirit not the church. (Eph.4:1-5) Love is power and to live loved is the secret of unity. The “Highly Priestly” Prayer of Jesus is that we are to be protected by the power of the Father’s name which the name is given to Jesus – so that we may be one, as Jesus and the Father are one. (Again being one, has more to do with living under protection than pursuing unity) Jesus connects; Power with the Glory shared by Jesus, the Father and the disciples. Our Oneness is not in our actions, attitudes, or associations; our oneness is found in the shared flow of power and expression of Glory under the name of YAHWEH – I AM.
Finally – The interchange of Jesus and the Father demonstrates that the work of Jesus has been completed at the direction of the Father. We must further highlight that Jesus receives glory not only from the Father, but from the disciples, the very ones who question the reality of the kingdom he teaches, deny him, betray him and are confused most of the time…. this demonstrates that the good that comes from them is not because of their “goodness” or ability, but rather out of humility and trusting in the Father. This is the rest which is given to God’s children. God’s Power is a gift of rest, not relentless work. God’s power releases you to cast all your cares on him, not to be care-free. God’s Power shall restore and perfect you, support and strength you, heal and repair you, and establish and root you. (all from 1 Peter 5:10)