Links Daily Devotional

Mighty for Us

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9b, NIV)

Tonight, eight men who have endured 32 qualifying rounds and likely more than their fair share of physical therapy will tee it up in Las Vegas for the finals of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. They range from the well-known two-time champion Jamie Sadlowski to quiet Dan Beckman, who spends his afternoons working behind the counter at the local muni in Fresno, California.

You can watch it for yourself on Golf Channel, but to give you a run-up, here are the simple rules: Each golfer is allowed 2 minutes, 45 seconds to send six drives as far as he can, keeping the ball within the confines of the grid. Your best distance is the one that counts.

In other words, this is golf’s greatest show of power.

What are we as followers of Christ to make of power? Certainly, power’s allurement can stand opposed to the course God would set for our lives. The person who aspires to earthly power often attains it by way of prideful self-promotion and the denigration of others. You won’t find Jesus in that.

But we are normally more willing to allow for power when considering one’s internal fortitude. “I just want the power to make it through today,” you might hear someone say, and there is little pride in that expression.

As in all things, though, we find the best example of an attribute when we look for it in God. What power does he demonstrate and how is it dispensed to us?

In both Isaiah and Zephaniah, we read of God as the one who is “mighty to save.” In our time, we have restored hero status to firefighters and other emergency specialists who bring their strength to life-saving action. This is a picture of our God, but with internal and eternal reference. He does not just pluck us from the burning house for more days on earth. Rather, he unleashes his power against the enemy who would drag our souls to hell. This is the highest expression of God’s power, for it rescues us for everlasting life with him.

But Paul wrote too of how God’s power can be set into a person for the sake of life and ministry. When tormented by an unidentified “thorn,” the apostle called on God, who did not remove the thorn because he wanted Paul to see that his “power is made perfect in weakness.” That is, when we give in to God, he goes in to us. When we forfeit our pursuit of power for the sake of God’s entry into our lives, it is his infinite power that emerges rather than our finite strength. Our bodies may feel weak, but our spirits are, shall we say, super-charged by his indwelling.

It seems ridiculous to, like Paul, boast of our weaknesses. What pride is there in that? Well, it is pride in our heavenly Father, the one who deserves all exaltation and who finds it in us when we fall back enough to see with wonder all that he can do.

Jeff Hopper
November 4, 2014
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