While reading from the book of Romans this morning, I started contemplating the power and sovereignty of God. Here’s the question I found myself pondering: “Just how powerful is God?”
The Sunday School answer: God is absolutely powerful. But when you think of God, how much power do you ascribe to Him? A.W. Tozer once stated, “What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Tozer’s point is that we seldom—if ever—rise above our level of thinking; therefore, it is incredibly important to identify what and how we think about God.
For instance, if we view God as punitive, fear of punishment will drive or day-to-day lives. If we view God as Aladdin’s genie, then we will live expecting God to answer our every whim and desire. If we view God as distant, we will live in isolation from Him. I think you get the point… how you perceive God dictates how you live.
Let’s return to our original question, “How powerful is God?”
When you think of God’s power, do you think of His ability to create? Do you think about God’s work to sustain life in the universe? Do you think about Jesus defeating Satan? Do you think about God answering our prayers? What do you think about? My time in pastoral ministry has opened my eyes to one strange way that most all of us think about God… we tend to think about God in theory instead of in reality. What do I mean?
By theory, I mean that we conceptualize how God works within the universe through principles and generalities instead of personally and specific. We believe God heals, but have we experienced His healing power? We know God provides, but do we see where He cares for us? We know God rescues, but do we know what He rescued us from—have we tasted it? We are trained and taught to think correctly about God theologically (doctrinally), but we are not trained to recognize where God works in and through us in reality. It’s almost like we live as practical atheists and theoretical Christians at the same time—we believe in God but we do not live in expectation of God working in, through, and among us!
When I read Romans 5, I hear Paul announcing that Jesus set us free from the slavery to sin Adam sold us into. Paul proclaims a general truth that is specifically applied: “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass (Adam) the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflowed to the many?” (Romans 5:15). Paul states the principle, God’s grace triumphs over Adam’s sin. However, Paul also applies the principle specifically by identifying that God’s grace overflowed to the “many”. How can the “many” be specific? The “many” are real people!
For Paul, God’s salvific power is not a concept as much as it is a life-altering reality. If you asked Paul, “Just how powerful is God?”, Paul would respond: God is powerful enough to save me from my sin and stop me in my tracks to do it! Paul felt the work of Christ. Paul knew the liberty and freedom Christ gives (Gal. 2:4). Paul knew what it was like to experience a complete course-correction in life. Paul knew what it was like to have Christ remove sin, and Paul knew what it was like to have Christ support him in crushing times (read Philippians).
Here’s our question: How has God demonstrated His power and sovereignty in your life?
Be specific and praise Him for it!
Stop and reflect, look for where God did the impossible.
Look for where God is working now and revel in it!
Our God lives—praise Him and enjoy Him!
I hope this finds you well, and I look forward to our time together this Wednesday!
In Christ, Pastor Darin