Have you ever experienced a power failure in your house? Our modern life necessitates electrical power. When we experience a power failure, we immediately attempt to determine the cause of the power loss and how quickly it can be restored.
Imagine for a moment that your power goes without restoration for an extended period. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and eventually years pass with no power. Initially you would be very upset; however, you would eventually learn to live without power. You may even attempt to generate your own power in order to have the fulfilling life that was afforded to you when power was readily available. If the powerless state continued an entire generation would never know what true power is. They would be perfectly satisfied with an inferior form of power, because that is all they have ever known.
In a recent conversation, my friend and I were discussing the public failure of a well known figure in the evangelical Christian world. My friend was close to this man and knew, first hand, that he had sought deliverance from his personal demons for many years. He had confided in other Christians and asked for prayer and counsel; however, he was never able to conquer his destructive tendencies. He was very good at keeping up appearances and the masses of Christianity were unable to tell that he was struggling, until it was too late.
It does not matter who this person is or what he was struggling with. I only use the example to illustrate that there is a power failure in our Christian world. Each of us knows of people who have privately struggled, lived a double life and eventually “snapped”, spilling their destructive tendencies on everyone around them.
The Bible gives us examples of what true power looks like. It looks like a believer having discernment, seeing through the facade that a struggling person puts up and speaking to the underlying issue. It looks like personal demons being confessed and cast out never to torment that person again. The Bible is full of examples of believers having discernment, so that “sin” can not hide. We also see examples of believers having power to cast evil out and it actually works!
I ask, “Where is this discernment and power today?”. I fear that we have been without power for so long that we have come to accept these situations as part of our Christian life. We have accepted an inferior form of Godliness. We have become good at convincing ourselves that we have power, but even that deception is getting increasingly difficult as we see more and more cracks in the “form of Godliness”. Those cracks reveal a lack of power that must be addressed.
I am not saying that if we have biblical power that there would be no hidden sins and that no one would suffer temptations. I am; however, saying that these things are known to God and those who have “the mind of Christ”, that is talked about in the bible, can also be aware. These abilities are given to encourage and build up those that are struggling.
I understand, to some extent, why there is a lack of power. It is far easier to rush off to a conference and get pumped up from catch phrases, inspiring music and gross generalizations. These things inspire us and are just the shot in the arm that is needed in order for us to continue telling ourselves that we have power. It is far more difficult to look beyond the facade (our own and those around us) and admit that our Christian life lacks Biblical power. It also involves asking God to do whatever it takes to get us in a position to see true power. Those of us that know the Bible fear that prayer because we know it can result in some painful things (see “What Is God Doing?” post). As a result, we count the cost, determine that it is too great and go back to a form of Godliness, without power.
I believe there is a rumbling that crosses denominational lines and church groups. It comes from believers that are no longer content with an inferior form of Godliness, without power. These people are willing to pray “dangerous” prayers and follow God into the wild unknown. Like their forefathers in the early 1900s (Google Azusa street revival), these people are willing to leave the confinements of religion, in favor of real power and relationship. I believe these people will leave a legacy that will last far beyond their lifetime, because power changes things.