The Power Game
I have power. I can lift 50-75 pound boxes if needed, maybe a little bit more. I also have different kinds of powers. I can make decisions that leave me struggling for direction. I can say things that hurt people. I also have the power to wallow in pity. Wow! You should see me wallow, what a sight! I have the power and strength to do all kinds of things incorrectly simply because I choose to do them on my own. I choose to do them without God. When I forget to rely on God for strength, or refuse to rely on Him, I fail; there’s no other way to put it. Any of us can fall into this trap, but I hope you can stay away from it.
Since losing the sponsoring congregation for our mission work (a new church plant), I’ve been trying to rely on myself and my abilities to find a way to replace our lost funds. That can be, and usually is, a big mistake. Anytime God is left out of the equation, mistakes abound. I’ve not tried to leave God out of my picture, but right where he is supposed to be on my canvass is a big blank spot. There might as well be some text that says, “Insert picture of God right here.”
This is a time when I should be relying on God and letting him have control, more control than ever. I don’t take a lot of comfort in knowing that God’s children have desired to do things their own way since the beginning of time. Just look at the Israelites in our Bible verse today, “But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness – you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar and say, “Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?” They conquered a city, but they did it by the strength of God, not by their own strength. They were punished for their arrogance and forgetfulness. God warns them in the next verse that He will rise up a nation against them, and He did. And you know what? “Lo Debar” literally means, “nothing.” They probably also thought they conquered Lo-Debar on their own. Imagine that, by their own strength, they conquered “nothing.” That was their big accomplishment.
I’m like the Israelites sometimes. It’s not so much about not giving God credit, it’s doing things that we think are the best, without considering Him or His will. If you’ve been acting like me lately, trying to yield power without considering God, instead of staying strong through His guidance, you too have probably conquered “nothing.” Let’s try to get out of the power game together. I promise you, it wont’ be easy, but it will be better.