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Issue 24

The Power of God

"Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morningthere were all the dead bodies!" (Isaiah 37:36, NIV) So ended the attack of Sennacherib on Jerusalem, for the Assyrian army left shortly thereafter. Sennacherib had come down from Assyria, "like the wolf on the fold" (Byron, line 1). He came and invaded Judah, taking every city in his path until he reached Jerusalem. He went to Jerusalem and besieged the city, mocking King Hezekiah. Here we find another example of Gods faithfulness to His people, for Hezekiah came to the Lord, and prayed, "O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God." (2 Kings 19:19, NIV) God heard Hezekiahs prayer and delivered Israel from Sennacheribs hand. In this passage of Scripture we see the loyalty of God and His awesome power. Two places in which Gods awe-inspiring power can be seen are the evidence of Scripture and the daily life everyone leads.

Scripture abounds with examples of Gods glory. Gods glory power and faithfulness are greater than anything we could ever ask for in this world. He is perfect in weakness. In Exodus, the Lord says to Moses, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." (33:20) God is great and powerful. He parted the waters of the Red Sea. With a word, He created light. God can do all things. Ephesians 4:6 says there is "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." He is "over all." God is in control. But in being over all, in control, He is not, as Job Huss considers in The Undying Fire, "a being inspired by a malignancy at once filthy, petty and enormous, or [who is seen in creation which] displays a carelessness, an indifference, a disregard for justice" (p. 74). He is not such a being, for in the Bible He is seen to be always caring for His people, as in the story of Joseph, where Joseph is sold into slavery, then thrown into jail, yet is ultimately one of the highest officials in Egypt because of his faithfulness to God and Gods faithfulness to His servant. God is over all, and in control. He has set the stars in the sky and the planets in their courses. He is watching over us. He knows what will happen, and will take care of us. The verse in Ephesians also states that God is "through all". God is powerful. Consider what it means for Him to be through all. Websters New World Dictionary of American English has various definitions for through. A variety of the dictionarys definitions are, "in the midst of; among", "over the entire extent or surface of", and "from the beginning to the end or conclusion of". It seems that all of the definitions listed are ways of describing God. God is in the midst of usa very comforting thought and one worth thinking of. He is also in the midst of everything going on around us, which is something to keep in mind, especially when we cannot hear Him. Again, through this definition we see how God is "over" all. He is everywhere, "over the entire extent or surface of" all. And God is Eternal"from the beginning to the end or conclusion of" all. He is everywhere. He is in everything and will be there to help us when we call on Him. He is through it all, He is going to be there, as it says in Revelation, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord god, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." (1:8) Finally, Ephesians 4:6 tells us that God is in all. If He is in all, He is within us. He is there in everything. He is the "undying fire" within every man, as described by Job in The Undying Fire. Every piece of creation is a little image of His beauty, a lily, a sparrow or a mountain springall are images of God and show us how He is in all. Yet, this moment in Ephesians has more to it than just all. If we examine it in context, we see that it is in the midst of a passage telling about how there is only one God and how He is in the Christians, not just this world. When this verse says that God is "over all, through all, and in all", it is also referring to the fact that He is with all Christiansnot some, not just the lucky, the ones with the proper theology, or the meek, humble or unashamedbut all. When one considers the fact that God is in all Christians, it is suddenly evident how much easier it can be to be like Himfor the unlucky, the slightly off-kilter, the proud, outspoken and ashamedall. If God is in the spiritually immature, then now we see how much more easily they can become spiritually mature, because of Him watching over them and keeping them safe and loved. As well, the fact that He is in all Christians gives another point for there to be unity in the body of Christ, for all the Christ-like, all the members of His family, are connected by a God who is over them all, through them all, and in them all.

Yet what does Ephesians 4:6 have to do with the greatness of God? It has everything to do with the greatness of God. Here is a God is over us all. He is over the whole world. He is higher than it. He is not of this world, in other words. It says in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." God is not of this worldHe is over this world. He is higher than it, more powerful than it, and more wise than anything this world has to offerthat is how amazing God is. When a person considers the world, he sees that it has great power. It can make a man or pull a man down. Because of the world, those in Christ have sometimes fallen. Because of the world, created by God, men have suddenly realised that God is what everything is all about. Yet, this world, which many see as being a tortured place to be, is nowhere near as great as God. God is the be all and end all of existence. He is over existence. He holds it all in His power. And He is so great that no matter how good any human gets, God will still be over him. The German atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, "There cannot be a God because, if there were one, I would not believe that I was not He." Despite any grandiose claims on the part of feeble-minded men, God is alive and greater than any human being could comprehend, for He is over us all. God is through all. How many people can claim to be through more than buildings and life? None can certainly claim to be through all. Yet God is. He is through all. The mere fact that He is through all makes Him infinitely more powerful than any human could ever be. He is the epitome of power. He is infinity. He is holiness. He connects everyone, we all have that undying fire within us. And the fact that God is through all, to put it in the simplest terms, means that He is really big. God is enormous. He is infinitely powerful and infinitely huge. He says in Isaiah that He holds us in the palm of His hand. Note that we are in His handsingular. God has massive hands, and we all fit in one of them. He is through all, connecting all and evidently infinitely bigger than all. Thirdly, this verse says that God is in all. He is within each of us. He is so great as to be huge and enormous, yet so wonderful and caring as to be in each one of us. He lives in every Christian in the world. He is not merely through the Christians, but in. God dwells with man today, living in man and through man. He personally cares about each and every personthat is how amazingly loving, wondrous, mighty and merciful He is.

Scripture is an amazing tool at showing everyone the might and power of God. Yet God is not just somebody who wrote a book, through it at us and said, "Im powerful, but now Im going to go play golf." God is not sitting up in Heaven, eating golden, heavenly potato chips and laughing at us as we struggle through life. God is mighty and powerful, and wants to show us. Another way in which He shows us His greatness is in our daily lives. We do not just stumble about this world lost and alone, having no signs of Him. God is there with us, as mentioned before. He is there to protect us and guide us. And in our lives He is manifest in greatness, showing us how great He really is. Some days He strikes us over the head with His greatness and we realise"Hey, this is God and Hes great!" Other days we stop and see something small and realise the same thing. How can someone see lightning and not be amazed by the might, power, and precision contained within the Being Who created it? Lightning is more than just a light show. People have looked upon lightning and have seen in it the glory of God. Lightning is fascinating. It comes from the depths of the clouds above and vanishes in the same brief instant. It is a conglomeration of powerfully charge electrons, streaking about with enormous volumes of energy, letting them flow. Lightning is at once beautiful and frightening. Looking over a lake, it can be seen sometimes firing in streaks of light from one cloud to another, illuminating all around. When considering lightning, which often looks like the clouds, or perhaps the ancient gods of the pagans, are having a little match of some sort someone once said, "Perhaps Mars and Vulcan were warring over Venus once again. Or the One, true God of the Hebrews was having fun, and was showing the false gods of yore Who is Truth." Yet God reveals Himself and His grandiose, unbelievable, unattainable power in more than just nature. God does more than merely display Himself like an artist pours out emotion into a painting. God is always around, always moving, and always powerful. Dutch Sheets tells a story of a girl who had a horrible disease in the brain. They prayed for her and prayed for her and prayed for her. Every week he went in and faithfully prayed with this girl in the hospital. He prayed for her healing at home. Yet rather than getting better, her condition worsened. Most of her brain was unusable, and the doctor predicted that she would die. It was at about the point where any sane man would give up. But God does not train us to be sanerather than giving up, the intercessors finally wholly gave in to God. God healed that girl and she has no brain damage. No medical reasoning can explain what happened. The doctors were baffled, and did not understand what had happened. What happened was the power of God, surprising people and showing them how great, awesome, and wonderful He is. God is not remote, and He is ever displaying Himself in the lives of His people. One girl was brought to faith in the living God by a mere pink sunrise. Suddenly, she saw that there really was a God. He was not distant, but something real, and someone powerful enough and artistic enough to paint that sunrise just for her. Another example of the power of God is in the story of a monk. In the sixteenth century there lived a monk. Most likely, he was Benedictine. Regardless of his order, he was a monk, and he was very real and very alive. He had a great faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. It so happened that this monk could actually float when he prayed. The Power of the Spirit came on this man and he could literally fly. People, being the way people tend to be, were rather shocked, surprised, and frightened by this. So they told the monk to stop. Essentially, God said no. Eventually, they chained this monk down, accusing him of heresy or some such nonsense. The Holy Spirit broke his chains while he prayed, chained, and he floated.

God is powerful. Whether He is setting planets on their courses, putting to death 180 000 Assyrians or simply painting a beautiful, pink sunrise, He is showing mankind is power. All anyone has to do is look, be it in Scripture, nature, or a normal day. God is evident, helping mankind. He is the "high King of Heaven", as "Be Thou My Vision" says. He is "over all through all and in all." May He be in each of us today as we go out into the world to preach His Gospel of Truth.

--MJJ Hoskin, 2 286 words

Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin