Devotions this week based on the Message: “Counterfeit Gods: The Seduction of Success”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Are we asking the wrong question about power?
When you mix our sinful nature with our American culture, you get a powerful resistance to power…unless you have it!
We naturally resist being controlled by someone else. We don’t want someone to tell us what to do, where to do it or how to do it. But when we get to tell someone what to do, where to do it and how to do it? That’s kind of fun, isn’t it?
We naturally love power, but we resist power over us.
Why is that?
We believe power puts us in control so we can have power over power!
We believe when we have power we can use it for what WE want instead of being under the power of someone else.
We have the wrong perspective on power. We need a reorientation of our heart.
First, we will always be under someone else’s power…God’s. We cannot, nor should we want to escape the power of God, but our sinful nature loves to try. From the beginning of time, the first temptation was to be “like God.” Our sinful nature wants all the power and the glory. But it is not ours to gain, it is God’s to give.
Second, remember power is not ours to gain, it is God’s to give.
Remember Jesus’ banter with Pilate when he was on trial?
John 19:10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.
Third, ask a different question. “God what do you want me to do with the power YOU have given to me?”
When I ask this question I realize power, whether that be as an older sibling or the president of a country, is GIVEN to me for a purpose…God’s purpose. Consider these two teachings:
Mark 10:42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
Greatness is not using power to lord it over others…greatness is using power to be a servant of others!
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
God’s power has given us all power to live the godly life God desires us to live.
Power is a good thing. Power is a gift of God. Don’t let power become an idol, but use it to serve others and glorify your Savior.
Power is God’s to give, not yours to gain.
Apply: What power do you have in your life? In your circle of relationships? Workplace? Evaluate: Have I been using my power for selfish purposes or servant purposes?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the power YOU have given to me. Help me always to remember power is a gift from you and always seek to use it in a way YOU desire – to love you and love others. Amen.