Thine Is the Power
The light in the heavens was darkened
The earth was an ashen gray
The sky oíer head with ominous clouds
Had cast out the light of day
From far, far above, the thunder rolled
And from deep in the heavens, a crash
The earth reels; and a blinding light
Explodes in the sky with a flash
A death-bearing hurricane it was;
Grown men were filled with fear
Trees were bending, windows breaking
Panic far and near
Even invading troops on the march
And the sound of enemy fire
Would not invoke more fright than this
What awesome, unbridled power!
But oh, dear Christian, stop and think
The most deadly storm in the world
Is only a tiny fraction of...
The power of God unfurled
We cannot grasp its awesomeness
We stand on holy sod
For beloved, that same incredible power
Lives in every child of God.
The awesome power of God! It is beyond our comprehension. His creative power is beyond comprehension. He speaks, and worlds come into being. His sustaining power is beyond comprehension. He holds the whole universe together by the breath of His power. His transforming power is beyond comprehension. At His touch, a dead human spirit, residing in a soul destined for an eternity in hell, comes to life; and finite man becomes eternally inhabited by the Living God. His righteous power is beyond comprehension, as well. At the sound of His voice, nations crumble. At His touch, wicked kings and kingdoms perish off the face of the earth. One day He will but speak, and the earth will tremble; the sun will be darkened; the moon will not give forth its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and all the powers of earth will be shaken. One day His righteousness will be vindicated with great power, a power beyond our comprehension.
None of us fully fathoms the power of God. Just as you cannot grasp the magnitude of the Grand Canyon by staring at a tiny pebble, so you cannot grasp the power of God by taking the most powerful thing you know of on earth and multiplying it a thousand fold. You cannot grasp the power of God by magnifying manís concepts of power to the nth degree. It will not touch the surface. Nor can you fathom the power of God by taking what you see of it and imagining that to be the measuring stick of its awesomeness. You cannot measure the power of God by an erupting volcano. You cannot measure the power of God by a blinding snowstorm. You cannot measure the power of God by the debris of a drought or the wreckage of a flood. You cannot gauge the power of God by what you see, because what you see is such a small portion of Godís power that it would not even register on the scale of eternity were you trying to measure it. The power of God is beyond comprehension.
Yet it is possible; in fact, it is necessary to come to understand what we can of the omnipotence of God. We are told in Scripture that we cannot possibly comprehend it, yet we are told to sing of it, to worship at the thought of it, and to reflect on it constantly as we appropriate it for ourselves. His is the power! That is the vein of truth that runs beneath the surface of all of Godís efforts to teach man about Lordship. And that is one of the anthems of praise Jesus used to teach us how to pray. He said, "Pray like this:"
Thine is the Kingdom, Thine is the Power,
Thine is the Glory, forever.
Thus did our Master teach us to praise. We studied in our last lesson the principle of the Kingship of God. We learned that a kingdom is a sphere in which a king occupies preeminence and exercises authority. We learned that His is the kingdom because we are His by virtue of creation, because we are His by virtue of redemption, and because we are His by virtue of our own free wills. We chose to ask Christ to rule over us.
But the fact that His is the Kingdom cannot be separated from the fact that His is the power. For a king can only exercise authority if he possesses the power to exert that authority. It is of no value for a policeman to warn you not to speed if he does not possess the power to stop you from speeding or to punish you for speeding. With God, that is no problem, for His is the power. All power belongs to Him. He is the omnipotent, all-powerful God of creation. There is nothing He cannot do. Therefore, there is nothing we cannot trust Him to do. We can trust His Word because He has the power to keep His Word. We can trust His love because He has the power to demonstrate His love. We can trust His righteousness, because He has the power to defend His righteousness. His is the power, and it ever shall be so.
The title of our study is: "Thine is the Power".
I- Thine is the Power
II- What is the Power
III- Whose is the Power
I- Thine is the Power
The second anthem of praise from the lips of Jesus that was meant to describe how we could conclude our times of adoration and intercession was "Thine is the power!" It was a clear cut verbal recognition of the reality of Psalm 62:11, where we read:
"God has spoken once; twice have I heard this;
that power belongeth unto God."
All power belongs to God. What that means is that when we say "Thine is the power", we are testifying that the Creator God of heaven and earth not only possesses the ownership of all things; He possesses, as well, the authority and the energy to bring to pass absolutely anything He chooses to do in the Kingdom over which He presides. He owns it all, and He owns the power to rule it all. His is the power.
II- What is the Power
That brings us to the question, "If His is the power, then what is power?" Kings and presidents risk their kingdoms to maintain power. Young men, in search of success, may barter their reputations or sacrifice their families in quest of power. Nations store up arms to defend themselves against enemy invasions by those who are seeking to expand their power. And it is all so futile, for in the end, Beloved, the power belongs to God. Well the Psalmist said in Psalm 75:
6 "Promotion cometh neither from the east
nor from the west nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge; He putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Manís quest for power is useless at best. He will risk everything he has to gain power, and as quickly as the second hand on the clock makes one move, God can destroy him, his venture, his kingdom, or his dreams. Likewise, in the same split second of time, a sovereign, omnipotent God can lift up one as well as put down another. Power belongs to God.
The words translated "power" or "authority" in the Bible essentially can be summarized into one simple definition: "It is the authority to rule combined with the ability to rule." As one writer put it so well, "It is the right accompanied by the might." The right comes from the fact that His is the Kingdom. The might comes from the fact that His is the power.
The power of God, then, is His ability to exercise His strength based on His authority to do so. Because He is the sovereign, creator God who made us and redeemed us, He has the right to do whatever He chooses; and whatever He chooses is best. Because He is the omnipotent one, He has the might to do whatever He deems it is right to do. Without exception, the power belongs to God.
Our God is power. It is part and parcel of His nature. When He breathes, power comes forth. When He speaks, power comes forth. When He decides, power comes forth. He is Power Incarnate, and that power exhibits itself in a thousand ways. We will, however, in this study, try to look at only five of them. They are:
1- The power of God and creation
2- The power of God and the elements.
3- The power of God and the nations.
4- The power of God and His Word.
5- The power of God and His people.
The Power of God and Creation
First of all, there is the creative power of God. By that, we mean that only God can make something out of nothing, and everything that is good and acceptable has its origins in the heart of God.
God simply spoke and it happened. Because He alone has the right to create something out of nothing and because He alone has the might to create something out of nothing, He made the earth by His power. Listen to what the Scriptures say about the creative power of God.
Jeremiah 10:12 "He hath made the earth by His power. He hath established the world by His wisdom and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.
13 When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth."
Jeremiah 32:17 "Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh:
is there anything too hard for me?
God spoke and the sun gave light. God spoke and the moon appeared in the heavens to reflect its glow. God spoke and the oceans rose and flowed across the confines of this planet until God spoke, and the waters stopped and their boundaries were fixed. God spoke and the stars filled the sky like glistening diamonds, each assigned a place in the heavens, each with a distinctive name, each with a distinctive story to tell of the redemption of man. God spoke and there was day. God spoke again and there was night. God spoke once more and there was man. God spoke and there were animals, fish, birds, flowers, trees, clouds, and rain. God spoke and there was winter. God spoke and there was spring. Everything in its own season, everything in its own time; but everything by Godís omnipotent hand. He is the Creator God. He made you and He alone can remake you into the image of His Son. The very creative acts of God alone make it clear: His is the power.
The Power of God and the Elements
Secondly, God demonstrates His power through His control of the elements of nature. Not only did He create all things, He sustains all things by the breath of His power. He is able to sustain this universe with all of its turmoils and upheavals and rebellion against His authority. He sustains the perfect blend of chemicals, the perfect blend of temperatures, the perfect orbit of the planets, the perfect arrangement of the forces of nature.
God upholds all things by the word of His power. Should He but blink an eye, this world and all that is in it would cease to be. Should He but look the other way, we could not breathe the air, we could not sustain the gravity, we could not keep the balance of nature for one second. He is the sustainer God. What He creates, He keeps; and He can, because His is the power! And does not Godís physical world teach us truth of His spiritual world? Of course. So His sustaining grace in nature is but a portrait of His sustaining power in the Kingdom. I Peter 1:5 says it well:
"You who are kept by the power of God unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time."
All of nature waits on God for its instructions. It is God, according to Psalm 65,
6 "Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains, being girded with power, who stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people."
Psalm 107 adds:
25 "For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still."
Our God can speak to the wind, and it ceases to blow. Our God can speak to the seas, and the waters become calm. Our God can speak to the sun, and it ceases to shine. All of nature is in submission to our God. Can He then, not but speak, and the winds that blow against our lives be stilled as well? When it is within His will, cannot He calm the waves that lash against us and cause the storms to cease? He can. Because His is the power!
The Power of God and the Nations
Thirdly, our God demonstrates His power among the nations. He sets up one king and puts down another. He allows the nations to rage and war one against another, but only for a time, and only for a purpose. When He has had enough, the strongest of armies are overcome by the same raging sea which simply opens up as a gateway to Godís own. When He has had enough, those nations who defy His name and deny His word will perish off the face of this earth. Man will look, but they will be gone. When our God has had enough, those who shake their tongues in derision against tiny Israel will be no more. The nations belong to God and the power of God reaches all the way to the throne and back again. For His is the Power. Listen to what the Scriptures say:
II Chronicles 20:6 "In thine hand is there not power and might,
so that none is able to withstand thee?
Psalm 46:6 "The heathen raged; the kingdoms were moved. He uttered His voice, The earth melted."
Psalm 66:3 "How terrible art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee."
Isaiah 17:3 "The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters; but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."
Isaiah 23:11 "He stretched out His hand over the sea,
He shook the kingdoms."
The nations are no problem for God. We must stop our frantic fear over the plight of the world. Let not your heart be troubled over the international disasters that loom on the horizon of this battered universe. When God decides to act, the heavens will shake; the mountains will tremble; the trees will bow in submission to His name. Kings and kingdoms will vanish at the breath of His mouth. They may rant and rave for a season, but when God chooses to act, the nations will rest in the palm of his hand. For His is the power!
The Power of God and His Word
The fourth evidence of Godís great power is demonstrated by the authority of His Word. The difference between the power of God and the power of man is that when God speaks, it comes to pass. Nothing can stop it. When God utters His voice, it is done. That is the ultimate power. And the Scriptures are clear that His is the power when His Word goes forth:
Deuteronomy 11:2 "Is the Lordís hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my Word shall come to pass unto thee or not."
Psalm 33:9 "He spake and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast."
Isaiah 14:24 "Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.
27 For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"
Isaiah 46:10 "...My counsel shall stand, and I shall do all my pleasure.
11 ...I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it. I will also do it."
Romans 4:21 "What He had promised. He was able also to perform"
Hebrews 12:26 "Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I will shake not the
earth only, but also heaven.
29 For our God is a consuming fire."
Our God is able to keep His Word. He has said He will return and He will. He has said He will judge the nations and He will. He has said He will unveil a new heaven and a new earth and He will. His word is perfect and His is the power... the power to keep that word to the letter. That means that every word of God proves true. It means that we have an anchor in a world that is falling apart at the seams. We have a sure word that cannot fail, spoken by a God who has the power to keep His word to the letter. "What He has promised, He is able also to perform." Praise God.
The Power of God and His People
One last thought: Godís power is evident over His creation. It is evident over the elements. It is evident over the nations. It is evident through His word. But Beloved, there is still another place God demonstrates His power with unfailing faithfulness that is an even greater source of comfort. His power is manifest in His willingness to reach down and meet the smallest needs of His own. He will part seas and bring water from rocks, or He will simply send showers on a needed parcel of land in answer to prayer, or move the heart of an enemy in order to protect His own. He loves us. And His power is an expression of that love. Hereís what the Scripture says:
Psalm 76:6 "At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and the horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?"
Daniel 3:17 "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King."
We serve a God of infinite power! There is nothing He cannot do. He can speak and the world will stop turning. He can speak and the stars will cease to shine. He can speak and the earth will turn on its axis the opposite direction, or cease to turn at all. We serve a God whose name is power. But when you fuse that power with His matchless love, you have a God who cares for His own; who provides for His own; who protects His own, who intervenes for His own.
III- Whose is the Power?
The sum total of it all is that His is the power! But because His is the power, ours is the power as well. Paul spoke of this same power that raised Christ from the dead now abiding in us. Because there is nothing He cannot do, when He is allowed to be Himself in us, there is nothing we cannot do. So long as we are yielded to His kingdomís coming, His will being done on earth as it is in heaven, we are invincible. Enemies may shake their fist in our faces. Some may rise up and curse the name of our God. Persecution may abound. Circumstances may cloud the sky until the sun ceases to shine. But when it will most glorify His name, our God, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, will rise up on our behalf, and once again, just for us, the earth will tremble, the mountains will quake, the trees will bow in homage to His name, and our precious God will move into that situation in our lives that seems so impossible, and those walls that seem so impenetrable will melt before our eyes; because the power belongs to God.
So talk about His power as you walk by the way. Sing about His power as you go through the day. Praise Him for His power as you worship, as you pray. For,
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
His is the Kingdom. It all belongs to Him. His is the power. He has the might that goes with the right. So, Jesus is saying, as you pray, pray like this:
"Our Father, who art in heaven, thou alone art worthy to be worshipped. Thou alone art worthy to be praised. Hallowed be thy name. May your kingdom and the matters of your kingdom be as important to me today as they are to the angels in heaven this very moment." In other words, may nothing else matter but what matters to you. With that in mind, Father, do with me and with my life whatever it takes for your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Father, may the needs of this one day be all I concern myself with today. And may my heart be so unselfish this day that the needs of others become as vital as mine. Father, just give me today what I need, not necessarily what I want. Only you know the difference. Father, forgive me of the sins in my life. But Father, please electrify me with conviction, that I may recall in my heart every single person I have not forgiven. And dear Lord, donít forgive me until I have forgiven them.
Father, as I walk this earth today, I ask not that you bind the enemy or shield me from his onslaughts. Rather, I ask that you lead me into the tests of life where he has access to those areas of my life that need to be exposed and where your heart needs to be revealed. And Father, as I am tested, carry me in such a way that the tests will not become temptations, but rather victories.
I pray all of this, Father, with confidence that you know best, for yours is the Kingdom. It all belongs to you; and as your subject in the kingdom, whatever you do is best. And Father, you can do whatever you choose to do. Nothing is beyond your authority, because yours is the power, as well. So Satan has no final word in my life, Lord. Only you have that. This circumstance that so binds me, Lord, you can handle that. When the time is right, Father, you will move in with a strong arm and a mighty hand. Satan will bow in utter submission, for the earth is the Lordís and all that dwell therein. I hereby rest in you this day, Lord, for yours is the power... and I am yours."
Pray like this, Jesus seemed to be saying, and you will have prayed, indeed.
© Russell Kelfer. All rights reserved.