We need power! I mean, we don’t “NEEED” power. But we need power! On a very basic level, we like to know that when we flip the switch in a darkened room, that the lights are going to come on. Electricity powers our refrigerators and freezers, our main way of preserving food. Power is life. If you don’t believe me, ask those families who lost older family members to heat related deaths because they didn’t have air condition or didn’t want to run the AC because they were on a fixed income and couldn’t afford it.
We often hear about the “oil” situation, the pros and cons of nuclear power, how affordable solar is becoming, etc… For those who prepare, if you don’t have a battery backup, generator or some sort of solar setup to charge small electronics, you probably haven’t been in preparedness very long.
It’s not hard to “see” the need for power in our lives. But do we understand the need for power in our spiritual lives?
We often read about the “Power of God” in the Bible. A very cool picture of God’s power is found in Numbers 11. There, a frustrated Moses speaks to the Lord. But Moses replied, “I’m in the middle of a people with 600,000 foot soldiers, yet You say, ‘I will give them meat, and they will eat for a month.’ If flocks and herds were slaughtered for them, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?” Numbers 11:21-22 (HCSB)
Moses had seen God’s power at work before, many times before. But for some reason, in this moment, he wasn’t believing that God could come through for the Hebrew people.
Check out what God says to Moses… The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? You will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you.” Numbers 11:23 (HCSB)
Guess what? They ate meat!
Man! Isn’t that cool! “Is the Lord’s power limited?” No way! He is the God who created the universe and everything in it. AND, He still has time for you and to know every intimate detail of your life!
It might be a topic that we don’t always discuss in Christian circles, probably because it can sound kind of kookey. But the Power of God is discussed many times in Scripture. Let’s look at another passage of Scripture that speaks to this topic…we should know this!
23 The same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to Him and questioned Him: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, if a man dies, having no children, his brother is to marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first got married and died. Having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same happened to the second also, and the third, and so to all seven. 27 Then last of all the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had married her.”
29 Jesus answered them, “You are deceived, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 31 Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God: 32 I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
33 And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Matthew 22:23-33 (HCSB)
The Sadducees were a ruling class of Jews in Jesus’ time. It is said that they had the “money.” They understood power from a money/earthly perspective. However, they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. Life has to be pretty sad not to believe that there is something more waiting for us in Heaven.
So, when they approached Jesus with their question, they must have thought that they were going to be pretty slick asking a question that would cause resurrection believing Jews some discomfort or confusion. But Jesus is way smarter than that.
Jesus responds, “You are deceived.” Wow! How would you like to be a ruling class Jew and be told by a backwoods Galilean that you were deceived? The KJV says, “Ye do err” and the NASB says, “You are mistaken.” The Greek word is planao and means to “to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way.”
Somewhere along the line, the Sadducees started taking a different route, depending on their own power, their own money, their own reasoning and not the Law, Prophets and Wisdom books that God had provided for them. Maybe their earthly power corrupted them? Maybe to stay in power, to keep their money, they had to start rationalizing and compromising their faith until it got so watered down that it didn’t even resemble Judaism. In fact, we might see a little picture of that in the next words used.
Following Jesus’ indictment of being deceived, the KJV uses the word eido for “not knowing.” It means “to see, perceive, know, examine…” But the NASB uses the word oikos for “not understanding.” It means “belonging to a house or family, domestic, intimate.” Could it be that Jesus is telling the Sadducees that the place they are coming from isn’t even in the “family” of Jewish belief? (source)
So what didn’t the Sadducees “know” or what didn’t they “understand?” Jesus says the Scriptures! The purpose of the practice the Sadducees were referring to can be found in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Verse 5 says, “When brothers live on the same property and one of them dies without a son, the wife of the dead man may not marry a stranger outside the family. Her brother-in-law is to take her as his wife, have sexual relations with her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law for her.” Did you get those last two words, “for her.” This was about protecting family property and providing for the widow. It was never about who the widow would now belong to, although she was now the bride of the other brother. This practice goes back to Genesis 38 with Judah and Tamar. This really isn’t rocket science. It’s just the Sadducees weren’t using Scripture correctly. But right next to that, Jesus says that they didn’t “know” or “understand” the power of God either!
There is power in the Word of God. Not in some magical, book of spells sort of way! Although some in Christian circles do try to use that way… But it is powerful in the fact that men, inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote down what God was telling them. They used their own writing styles and their personality shows through, but it was God moving in them by the Holy Spirit.
And His Word is powerful because He….created the Heavens and the Earth…because He is All-Knowing…because He is everlasting….because He is All-Powerful. This God who is all this, has given us His Word so that we can know Him better, know His promises and know how He works in this world!
Paul shared this understanding with Timothy when he wrote, “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 HCSB
Sometimes, we are looking for some sort of mystical experience to get closer to God, when all the time His Word is there, waiting for us to read and grow in our relationship with Him. It seems too easy doesn’t it? But when was the last time you really got into His Word? When was the last time you read and believed on the promises that are written for you, that have been there for generations?
1. Start a Bible Reading Log. I have one that is easy to use in the Resource section of this website. You really need to have some sort of system for getting through the Bible. You don’t want to just open it and read it where ever you land. You won’t get through the whole counsel of God like that.
2. Write down His promises. Get a nice journal/notebook, that will last for a while and copy down the Scriptures that seem to stick out at you. These would be Scriptures that you read often and start to memorize.
3. Share Scripture. Get on social media, email or verbally share the Scriptures that are meaningful to you. They will also be meaningful to others. You’ll see!
4. Believe that the Scriptures are the Word of God. Believe that when you read His Word, He is revealing Himself to you!
We tend to read and hear about all the negativity in the world. It seems like we are always waiting for the shoe to drop! Focusing on all of these things, without having a grounded faith can get discouraging and overwhelming. You need to combat this with His Word, His promises.
As Christian Preppers, we need to remember that nothing can take us away from the love of God! That is encouragement in the most uncertain of times!