The Power Generator
A pastor friend of mine was talking to me recently about his new passion for energy drinks. He is really into the Monster Energy drinks. I picked us up a couple of orange tabbed Kaos Monster Energy drinks one day. In between sips, I was reading the safety warning on the side of the can. It said something about not exceeding three or four of these drinks a day. I was thinking, “This must be some pretty powerful stuff.” My friend described it as Tang on steroids, so I drank it expecting this huge energy boost….but nothing. I think I would have rather had a Carmel Macchiato—I get more of a lift from coffee on steroids than Tang on steroids. It tastes better too! The Kaos Monster Energy drink was my first taste of the energy drink craze and honestly, I don’t see what all of the hype is about. I guess I can understand that people are looking for the next thing that will give them the energy to do more in less time. We are all looking for more power.
Anything in motion needs power / fuel / energy to keep going. I know that Uncle Newton taught us that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force. Uncle Newt was right, but the reality is that we live in a world of outside forces. Work, school, friends, family, media, hobbies…even the church…can be outside forces that slow us down. Outside forces cause our motion to turn into recession. So we need energy. Fortunately, for us who are Christ followers, there is a “pick me up” that is caffeine-free, sugar-free, ephedrine-free. It is all natural and abundant in supply. (Ok, enough with the infomercial!) I am talking about the Holy Spirit.
Our verse for the day is Philippians 2:13. The NIV translates this as “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” This translation is adequate, but it doesn’t bring out the richness of this verse. I like the The Amplified Bible’s translation: [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire] both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Love of a different kind requires power of a different kind. The power that we can create on our own is commendable, but it is never enough. To express a Jesus kind of love requires that we be a certain kind of person—a person who has been recreated in the image of Jesus. And this requires a Jesus kind of power—a power that is generated by the Holy Spirit. This is best summed up in one statement: The Christian life is not a matter of willpower, but a willingness to open up to God’s power. Willpower will always cause us to crash, just like the energy crash from a high sugar diet. We have to quit trying to be a Christian (little Christ), in our own power and open up and allow God’s power (the Holy Spirit) to shape us to look like Jesus.
Today’s prayer: Lord, I know that I am bankrupt morally and spiritually. I lack the ability, consistency, discipline and character to be like Jesus. I open up my mind and heart today to be filled with your Spirit of power. Holy Spirit, empower me and shape me to look like Jesus. Amen and amen.