Years ago I heard the one time “strongest man in the world”, Paul Anderson, say to a large group of midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy; “Gentlemen, even though I am considered a strong man, I can’t get through one day without relying on the strength of Jesus Christ. Now I ask you – where does that leave you?” I wasn’t the only midshipman to slink down in my seat. Wow, if he needed to, then I surely did.
When I was in the Navy, the world’s largest seagoing vessel (at that time) was the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise. She was larger than the Empire State Building, and her flight deck alone was three times the length of a football field. The most startling thing about her was the tremendous power generated by her eight nuclear reactors. More than 200,000 horsepower, developed by her engines, drove the Enterprise through the water at speeds in excess of 25 knots…and for years without refueling.
It is difficult to imagine this 85,000 ton monster afloat and even more fantastic to imagine the power it contained. Yet there is power far greater than this available to every person. This is the power no force can produce. It is spiritual power and it is available to every person who will commit himself or herself completely to Christ, the One who has all power.
Would you agree with me that Jesus lived a life full of power? He told His disciples in John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…”. The power that was available to Jesus is now available to me – it is available to you. That is the power that healed the crippled. That is the power that calmed the raging sea. That is the power that raised the dead. That is unlimited power. That is the power that saved one of the youth that went off to camp this summer. It’s the power that saved me at the age of ten and the power that has transformed much of my character and life in the pattern of Jesus.
We’ve seen glimpses of Christ’s power displayed in our church recently. But I wonder if each of us is experiencing His power daily. WE CAN BE!! WE SHOULD BE!! WE ARE SINNING IF WE DON”T!!
It is time we let the power of God out of our lives – empowering us – enveloping us – enriching us so that those around us might experience the mighty power of God through us. The psalmist said, “Even though I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18). Yet before we can exhibit God’s power we must first have Paul’s desire expressed in Philippians 3:10a “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection”.
That day when Paul Anderson stood before us – massive – holding an 80 pound urn with the his pinky on one hand and doing curls with a 250 pound weight with the other as he spoke to us – I heard loud and clear that he relied on the Lord’s strength to get through each day. Yet I stand more in awe as I hear our Lord say, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather it is the Father living in Me, who is doing the work.” The mystery of Jesus’ earthly life is that He did not live by His own power. He came to live like any other person is to live and He relied upon the power of His Father to do everything He did. If Jesus had to rely on God to get through each day, where does that leave me? Where does that leave you? There is too much power failure in my life.
We’re not talking nuclear power; we’re talking divine power in and through each of our lives. Can you imagine First Baptist Church if we all get plugged in? Well?????? Jesus did! How can you and I do any less?
Reaching for the plug,