Tag Archives: power of God

Spiritual gifts are overrated

supernatural gifts

It’s impressive when somebody asks you how you knew. You gave words, disclosed by the Holy Spirit, to encourage a person in a very specific way. Or you prayed for a person and he got healed. Using the fireworks can be a thrill — and it can make you feel like a spiritual hotshot.

But just lighting off fireworks doesn’t make you a Christian. Nor does it mean you have a blackbelt in spirituality.

No the blackbelt comes when you love someone who is hating you violently.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy… and have not love, I am nothing. — 1 Cor. 13:1-2

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Prayer: a distinctive of a Christian

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Samson?

Maybe Samson wasn’t muscle-bound at all. To the contrary, the Bible states that it was the power God that came upon him and enabled him to perform Herculean feats. But after Samson violated the last remaining distinctive (having his hair cut off), God’s Spirit left him and he became a wimp.

What distinguishes you as a Christian and sets you apart from a person who doesn’t know God? I hope prayer does.

Most of the “signs” of a believer in the Bible are inwardly, not outwardly. (Even circumcision was a a

Not muscles, but the power of God enabled Samson. You can access that same power.

Not muscles, but the power of God enabled Samson. You can access that same power.

very private sign!) The believer knew it and no one else. Carrying a Bible and wearing a Sunday hat don’t make you a Christian.

Only you know how much you are praying. Jesus prayed. His disciples prayed. They have left us this legacy. A significant portion of our day is to be dedicated to prayer. I shoot for at least an hour. A friend of mine gets three. (Praise God for her!)

 

The outer edge of the envelope

While the engineers calculate mathematically the performance capabilities of a new aircraft, it is the test pilots who hazard their lives finding the “outer edge of the envelope,” the real limitations of a plane. Go behind that limit, and you die.

Of course, the cocky cadre of test pilots are always trying to go beyond the established “outer edge of the envelope” in typical male bravado and one-upmanship. There’s the drive to go beyond the extreme, to set a record, a new edge to the envelope.

Chuck Yeager, a foremost test pilot

Paul does this. He is searching for the most extreme pronunciation of God’s capabilities, he is pushing the outer edge of the envelope, the limitations of language, to most emphatically express the overwhelming power of God, when he says: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. — Eph. 3:20 NIV

The same verse in New Living Translation: Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish INFINITELY more than we might ask or think. (caps mine)

When I was studying Koine Greek, I realized this. Paul can’t find words to measure up to the reality. He employs multiple superlatives and still comes short. God’s power is far greater than any language can express.

Because of the limitations of language, do we limit our faith?