God’s power working within
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. 1 Timothy 1:12-16 NLT
Think of the times you are trying so hard to find the power of God working in your life. You are seeking method after method for unleashing God’s power but never quite able to pick the lock behind which the power of God must surely reside. Finally, in frustration you give up, assuming that somehow the power is too abstract. You start to think that it is meant for some select few, for super saints, or for people in the distant past. Yet, the Bile is laced with promises of power of God that He wants every believer to experience for it’s the one resource necessary to live victoriously. When we think of power, it is most often power used in some way to achieve one’s own desires. Power is flexing his muscles, or knowledge, or the ability to become famous and wealthy. But the power of God is demonstrated by His ability to accomplish His will in every situation, through any means He chooses in order to glorify Himself. God’s power is centered on His will and His glory. This is what Paul is describing from the text. It is the power that changed him to be the person God wants him to be. It is the power that provides him strength that despite his weaknesses, in His mercy, Christ could use him “as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.” God in His grace still works supernaturally; He still changes lives dramatically and permanently, and He influences events to accomplish what we never could on our own. God uses His power on our behalf to accomplish His perfect will. If we are not always open to do God’s will, then we will miss experiencing God’s power. We cannot demand God to provide us this resource of power in our life like a sandwich at a café. His power is ultimately a reflection of His will, so seeking His power in our lives is really seeking His perfect will. We ask Him in prayer to intervene in our lives in powerful ways when we encounter trials and difficulties so we could accomplish His will. It is only through Jesus Christ that our greatest weakness becomes a gateway to God’s greatest demonstration of power in our lives. “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).