April 1, 2015
Last night there was a big storm blowing through Metter. Evan and I sat and watched the lightning out the window for a while and then went to stand on the porch. I love being outside at the beginning of a storm when the wind is strong and cool and you can feel it approaching. I once heard our friend, Hunter, ask someone what their favorite natural phenomenon is and why – he then suggested that was their favorite characteristic of God.
I love this part of the storm because I can feel the power of it, the danger of its strength, without personally being afraid of it. I never expect storms to affect me the way they do the people on the news (I know this is probably unwise)- but standing in them, I know they are capable.
That is something I love about God. I can see and feel His ultimate power, power that could calm that very storm – and did once. But I personally am not afraid of it because He loves me and I know that power is for me and not against me.
But if God wasn’t on my side – if I hadn’t accepted His love and grace – this power would be terrifying to me. Like I would (hopefully) be terrified if I knew that storm was indeed coming for our house. I pray my friends and family would all understand the power Jesus exercised over the grave – and that He could’ve chosen instead to use that power to stop the grave from ever happening. But He didn’t, so that God’s full power could be displayed and we would get the chance to accept or reject it and one day marvel at it in humility or cower before His wrath. I pray you will marvel at it.
Every year on Easter we are reminded of God’s power and how Jesus defeated the grave by rising to life- a yearly reminder that God has power over life and death. I know I personally focus on the death part as I meditate on the crucifixion and resurrection- grateful that it means salvation for me. I recognize the ultimate gift that comes for believers when we accept God’s grace and love- we receive power over death as well, which we will experience when we die on this earth and receive eternal life in a perfect heaven.
But what about God’s power over life? Why do my thoughts immediately jump to what his power means for my death? I have at least one more day (Lord willing) to spend on this earth, and I can use all the strength I can get. Yesterday I read a prayer from the popular, She Reads Truth, and the prayer made me stop and consider this. I actually planned to breeze through my quiet time yesterday, but the prayer was so powerful to me that I couldn’t. This Easter, I plan to focus on what God’s power over life and death means for me in my life on a daily basis.
And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
It means power over my fears of man and the depravity of mankind. No evil in this world can destroy me.
It means I have power over my sin and my flesh – I can live in freedom because “He who the Son sets free is free indeed”.
It means I have the strength to love my enemies and those that threaten me, as Jesus chose to do the day he allowed the weak human town to crucify him.
I can experience the power of grace – of both receiving and giving it – in my daily life.
I hold divine power over Satan, through Christ. Satan cannot exercise any authority over my heart or mind. He cannot build any chains that God cannot break.
I have strength for whatever battles lie before me in this life- in my marriage, my family, my friends, my job, the areas of my life that I don’t even know exist yet.
Most importantly, I have strength for today. And for today, that is enough.
I marvel that thou shouldst become incarnate,
be crucified, dead, and buried.
The sepulchre calls forth my adoring wonder,
for it is empty and thou art risen;
the four-fold gospel attests it,
the living witnesses prove it,
my heart’s experience knows it.
Give me to die with thee that I may rise to new life,
for I wish to be as dead and buried
to sin, to selfishness, to the world;
that I might not hear the voice of the charmer,
and might be delivered from his lusts.
O Lord, there is much ill about me — crucify it,
much flesh within me — mortify it.
Purge me from selfishness,
the fear of man, the love of approbation,
the shame of being thought old-fashioned,
the desire to be cultivated or modern.
Let me reckon my old life dead
because of crucifixion,
and never feed it as a living thing.
Grant me to stand with my dying Saviour,
to be content to be rejected,
to be willing to take up unpopular truths,
and to hold fast despised teachings until death.
Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.
Never let me wander from the path of obedience
to thy will.
Strengthen me for the battles ahead.
Give me courage for all the trials,
and grace for all the joys.
Help me to be a holy, happy person,
free from every wrong desire,
from everything contrary to thy mind.
Grant me more and more of the resurrection life:
may it rule me,
may I walk in its power,
and be strengthened through its influence.
– “Crucifixion and Resurrection” from The Valley of Vision
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