The Bible Speaks
“God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.” Psalm 62:11
Recently I went to prayer with my list of many needs in my hand, but as I began to pray I had to set the list down. It was time to give thanks and not to ask. God had done so much and I simply needed to tell Him how very thankful I was for all the work He had done.
I have been in full time ministry for 30 years and therefore my work has been primarily to motivate people, every which way I can, to follow after Christ. Whether it is preaching or teaching, counseling or advising, calling or visiting, my work has been to move people away from the entanglements of sin and closer to the holiness of God in Christ. As a pastor I have been given a significant amount of influence and I endeavor, day in and day out, to use it to the glory of God. I usually see some success but worldliness is still common and sin is abundant. At times I am tempted to give up, but then the Lord reminds me of this simple truth: “power belongs to God.” It’s His work, not mine.
Most who believe in God also believe He is powerful; all-powerful. We know of His might and strength as we read of His miracles in the Bible and we see His work among us. We know God can do anything, but we also believe that we ourselves have some power. We believe that through our craft and ingenuity we can influence others toward the ends we believe God wants. Our usual method is to work hard at it and then, when we come to a standstill or become utterly frustrated at the lack of progress, we turn to God and plead for His help. This is the usual path of all who minister the gospel, but it is the wrong one.
The Bible speaks and tells us power not only resides in God but belongs to Him. This means that if anyone is to exercise any power in this world it has to come from God who gives it. Believer, your words, your influence, your counsel or administration is only effective if God grants His power to it. Jesus said “apart from Me you can do nothing.” Any success you have in ministry or in life is due to God’s granting you power. Power belongs to God. It is His to give and His alone; which brings me back to prayer. Why work and then pray? Turn it around: pray and then work. Go first to God and then be ready if He wants to use you. Rely on Him and not yourself … with His help. And, by all means, thank Him for all He will do. You will be amazed and how much He can do without you.
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor at Turner’s Chapel.