Posted by: mikenicholsblog | September 5, 2011

release, don’t harness

Last week my control issues came into full view. A good friend invited me to participate with him in a high performance driving school. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to drive high performance cars at fast speeds and sharp turns. With better planning I would have been the first driver in each session, but my friend took the driver’s first. You must understand that he likes fast speeds and sharp turns (with burning rubber). I had several white-knuckle moments and my theme song for the day was “Nearer My God to Thee”. In all honesty, it was a great experience, and I had a wonderful time. But my friend’s comfort with the power of the cars, and his fearless driving gave him the ability to challenge the course in ways I couldn’t.  He relished the power and I sought control.

The morning after my hair-raising experience, I was challenged to understand the power available to all believers. The apostle Paul was obviously concerned that the believers at Ephesus didn’t have a full understanding of the power of God in their lives. In a marvelous prayer for them, Paul mentions the greatness of the power available to us.

Ephesians 1:19-20
…and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

Understanding the power available to us in Christ helps dispel the fear and doubt that clamor to control us. It is my opinion that believers in Christ live with a small view of God’s power on a personal level. Sure, it’s easy to marvel at His creation power and the power to make us a new creation in Him, but far different to live expecting His power to work in and through us. Think about the fact that you never need to ask Christ for more power. You and I have all of His power we could ever need or want, our problem is applying that marvelous power to our daily walk. It is no secret that those who live trusting His power seem to regularly see answers to prayer, and live with far greater confidence and joy.

If you and I are not careful, saying the words, “incomparably great power for us who believe,” become wonderful words with little meaning. At this moment, are you enjoying the great power available to you, or just struggling through the Christian life in your own strength? You may feel that you are battling between trusting His power and seeking to control your own journey. We all experience that battle. But I would like to believe that in my journey and yours, we are growing in understanding, and applying that power that is ours more and more. Why would we want to live any differently?

Now back to my high performance driving experience. My friend and I drove the same cars. He went faster, and made sharper turns. What caused me to fear, gave him great exhilaration. We both had a great time, but at a different level.  I struggled with controlling the car, and he enjoyed all its power. Because I had to be in control, I never really released the car to see the limits of its power. My friend got closer to really seeing the fullness of the each car’s power.  I hope you can see my point: understanding and applying His power is the only way to drive.

Drive well for Christ!

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