Keeping Our Power

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Luke 4:7 jumped into my mind today. Not the words themselves, but just the chapter and verse number.

My mind was beginning to center in the wrong direction. Someone I know thought they could read my mind, and spoke their own erroneous thought to someone else. When I heard, I was taken by surprise. What they said was wrong and unjust. But I forgave, and trusted Christ in me to live through me, and He did.

But this morning – the soul-storm began to spin, slowly at first. The mind started mulling it over again, that forgiven thing.

Suddenly, this: Luke 4:7.

When I looked it up it turned out to be Satan offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world. “It’s all Yours if only You will fall down and worship me.”

That’s what we’re doing when we fixate on something other than God, when we fear that thing, that person, that circumstance. A soul-hurricane begins to spin around that false center. Fall down and worship me. I can give you power. The skies turn dark; high winds start whipping up the spin factor.

I’ve been there many times, too many, and I’m finally learning the lesson: Stop it before it starts. Boot out the lie, drop the flesh weapons, and stand.

Stand in who I am. Stand in that new creation reality of Christ living in me, through me, as me. Stand in the Spirit by faith. For I am dead, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God. I am a new creation. Christ lives in me.Otherwise I get caught up in the soul-winds and the flying debris within myself, begin judging others in that unclarity of mind, and soon, POW, I’m living and acting from the flesh, judging from appearances, and acting out from the devil’s way of thinking. Been there, done that.

To lose our power all we need to do is hand it over to another person, a situation or circumstance, or to our emotions. We put that lie in the center of “I.”

To keep our power, we’ve got to recognize Christ as our real center – not the lie, that circumstance or person. We recognize that we have no power of our own, that all power in us comes from Christ, and His power in us is unassailable. Immovable. Unshakable. Eternal, and utterly, completely real. More real than storms. More real than other people’s flesh trips. More real than our own flesh trips.

Christ in me, through me, as me. When we stand there by faith, that’s worship. “You are Lord. You are strong. You are love Himself.” And we can connect ourselves to that power: “You are Lord in me. You are strong in me. I am love because You are love in me.” We can love and forgive the other person, because Jesus Christ is forgiveness Himself. We move back to Center and stand until the storm has passed, and – no sin happens, because “Every one who is remaining in him does not sin” (1John 3:6, YLT). We trust. He lives.

We give away our power to shadows and idols, and it comes back at us full force because the only power anything has over us is the power we have given to it. We worship at the wrong altar when we ascribe power to anything or anyone other than God.

I’m thankful there is such a hiding place for us, such a strong tower and source of real strength, and I’m thankful to God for the temptations He allows in my life that push me to recognize and utilize that holy Place.

Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.


9 Comments

  1. Andrew C

    Wow…God’s timing is very cool. I came upon my own new circumstance this morning in which I have to choose whether that is just is what I am going to pursue or whether it is Jesus.

    Thanks Ron.

  2. jennifer

    I’m in the middle of my own mini-storm. To some, it may seem like no big deal. Something I’d wanted for a LONG time, prayed for..is being taken away from me. Something my 5 year old daughter asked for, prayed for and stepped out on faith and asked for..and now doesn’ tunderstand why her “Prayer is being taken away”. How do you explain that to a little one.
    It’s hard not to get wrapped up in that whirlwind..of emotion, etc.
    However, I’ve turned it over to the Lord, he knows best. He will help us through this and onto better things.
    Thanks Ron.

  3. Tony Heringer

    Jennifer,

    I prayed for you and your little girl just now. Sometimes my prayers of this type are just an agreement and then a lament — as in “This still hurts.” Point her to David and the Psalms. Show her now, if appropriate, the best way to relate her hurts and disappointments to God is to do just that – tell Him “This hurts.” He’s provided you to be His loving arms in this situation and I thank God that He has done that.

    Ron,

    I’m slowly working my way through Revelation and using a commentary in my study called “More Than Conquerors” by William Hendricksen. Your post reminded me of this section of the book’s introduction:

    “He is with us—with us in the Spirit, walking in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands (1:12-20). ‘And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, Fear not; I am the First and the Last, and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’ We are, indeed, more than conquerors through Him that loved us!”

    We are able, because He is able. Wow! No matter the storms we are in – self-inflicted or otherwise – we can weather them because of our “soul anchor.” (Hebrews 16:16-20). Here’s a great Michael Card video to cap off my two cents on this one:
    http://www.uulyrics.com/music/michael-card/song-soul-anchor/

  4. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    Tony,

    Forgiveness of sins is truly wonder-ful. It’s a resounding truth that takes a long time to begin to fully appropriate – to take as “a given.” But the divine power to overcome sin and temptation is something many do not enter into; sin shall not have power over us because we are no longer under the Law, but under grace, and sin derives its power from the Law (the use of human fleshly effort to ‘be like God’). We are more than overcomers through Christ, more than conquerors; we are to reign in life, not beat down by temptation but taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I used to think this involved my fleshly effort; now I know it simply involves faith – that continual return to “Christ lives in me and is my peace, my purity, my power, my love, my forgiveness” or whatever particular need I have in the moment. I have a need – He is the continual supply if I turn to Him in faith.

    Jennifer,

    Those questions are hard for adults, let alone for children. But as always our Father knows what is best, and sometimes that doesn’t make sense to our temporal view. You could possibly say to your daughter that her earthly Dad doesn’t always say yes to her requests; even if they seem perfectly reasonable to her, he has purposes for her that are far beyond her present level of understanding. So she can trust her parents to do what is best, both for her and for all concerned. She may not fully understand you, but it’s likely she’ll remember it later when her understanding is enlarged.

  5. jennifer

    Thanks Tony.
    I really appreciate that. Like I said, our situation is so small/minor in the scheme of things, that I hated to even mention it.
    However, I do agree w/you, that this is the time for her to learn to relate her needs/feeling to God and let him know. This has been an upset for she and I, but we will get through it. She’s only 5, but has a tremendous heart that I know God has plans for her. She’s above her years in her loving and compassion and understanding.

  6. Stacy Grubb

    “But the divine power to overcome sin and temptation is something many do not enter into”

    In much the same way as the new believer seems to suddenly understand that there is more to life than the lifestyle they’d known prior to believing, learning how to faithe opens a whole new level of living as a believer.

    Jennifer, I can only imagine how your heart breaks for your daughter. I never knew disappointment until I experienced it as a mommy through my son’s eyes. Just yesterday, my husband and I had a mild disappointment (major annoyance), but we talked about instances in the past when things didn’t go as we would’ve liked and we later discovered that we were glad we didn’t get what we had wanted. Past disappointment that eventually worked in our favor makes any new disappointment so much more easy to handle. God has proven that He has His reasons and that His desire is for me to be happy. It’s so difficult to explain that to a five year old, but if you point these things out to her, now, she’ll recognize it more and more as time passes. It’s definitely an exercise in building faith and trust in God.

    “Stop it before it starts. Boot out the lie, drop the flesh weapons, and stand.”

    This reminds me of a verse in a Mindy Smith tune (written by Shelby Lynn, I believe), “Follow The Shepherd Home.” It says, “When struggles come like they tend to do/I’ll hold still, I will not roam/I will draw my strength from the Well of Love/And I’ll follow the Shepherd home.” Sometimes – or all times, maybe – our biggest challenge is to just be still and let God do the living. Often, it’s because I know or think I know the way God is going to handle the situation and I convince myself that I want something different. Intellectually, I know I want what God wants for me. But I allow myself to frequently be a slave to my emotions and what I “know” matters far less to me than what I “feel.” Eventually, that leads to a catastrophe that drops me off somewhere around rock bottom. Stopping the storm before it starts is so often something that I would’a, should’a, could’a done, but instead made the choice to ride it out and take the fall.

    Stacy

  7. jennifer

    I was reading something earlier that I thought pertained to this…
    “In Him we have Redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7.
    In Him we have the model of what rejected love does..it stays faithful.

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