Power Devotion 5
Key Verse: Numbers 16:48 He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.
Do you have a favorite Old Testament story? There are so many to choose from it might be difficult to pick just one. Maybe you would choose Moses at the Red Sea or Joshua at the battle of Jericho, Elijah calling fire down from heaven and consuming the water soaked altar would have been amazing to watch. All of these are great, but for me, the story of the High Priest Aaron running to stop the plague is one of the most striking of Old Testament stories. Israel had sinned, which caused a plague to move across the people killing all that it touched. When Moses cried out for mercy, God told him to send Aaron to the altar and collect some of the coals. Then Aaron ran to the edge of the plague and “he stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.” Whatever struggle, trial or temptation you are facing today in your life it is important to remember that this battle will not be won by your power or ability, but only in the strength of the one God sent to stand in the middle of the living and the dead.
Jesus came as the great High Priest to stand between life and death for us. We are as helpless before the onslaught of sin and this world as the people of Israel were standing before the plague. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. 15:57. Your power today to overcome and live in victory has been given to you because of the work that Jesus Christ has done. How silly would it have been for someone in the desert facing that plague to tell Aaron, “Wait, don’t stand between me and this plague, I think I can work things out on my own!” Absurd, right! That is what many of us do when we rely on our power to fight the fear or sin, or doubt or struggle we are facing.
Be willing to rest in the shadow of your Savior Jesus Christ as he stands for you between the living and every death thing that is trying to defeat you. Find at least five times today, when worry or fear begins to grow in your heart to quote 1 Cor. 15:57. He gives us the victory!
Power Devotion 4
Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 10:4, The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
The first car I ever owned was a 1972 Chevy Malibu. It was a great car with a fast engine and an ugly tan paint job. My father helped me buy it used in 1977, but I didn’t mind how old it was, it was mine, and I loved it. Several years later, it was still the same great car, but the years and my lack of proper care for it caused it to run rough with a severe lack of power. While in college a friend’s father saw the sad shape the car was in, she took the car to his shop to work on it. He returned the car with new tires and a complete tune-up of the engine. It was like a new car; it was hard to keep it anywhere close to the speed limit. Fighting with weapons filled with divine power transforms and changes us to demolish the strongest battles in our life.
The Bible teaches us that if we allow God to fight for us and through us with his divine power, we will be able to defeat any strong force that stands before us. This is because “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Cor 10:4. Don’t go to battle with worn out, broken down, human efforts that will never allow you to win the battle. Instead, remember that in Christ we have been given weapons that are divinely empowered to overcome even your greatest strongholds.
So, what are these divinely empowered weapons we are to fight with when faced with seemingly impossible strongholds? The next verse in chapter 10 explains that we are to, “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (vs.5). Winning the battle begins with keeping your mind and thoughts lined up with the mind of Christ. Don’t say I can’t believe when He says you can, don’t say it won’t matter when He says it will don’t say it’s too much when He says you can do all things in Me. Today, take those wrong, worldly thoughts and bring them to Christ. Taking captive means presenting them to Jesus, they cannot stand against his word, life, and grace.
Power Devotion 3
Key Verses: 1 Samuel 11:6, “…the Spirit of God came powerfully upon [Saul].”
1 Samuel 15:9 But Saul…spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle…everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely.
Do you measure the power of God’s Spirit in your life by how active you see your spiritual walk with God? It is easy to develop a strange correlation between how spiritually healthy our walk is currently with God and how strong or powerful God’s Spirit is in our life. But God’s Spirit does not grow weak when we are struggling in our faithfulness. The Bible in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 teaches us a valuable lesson about the faithfulness of God. “If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” The promises and faithfulness of God will never end! As long as we continue to believe and trust in Him and not disown him even in our weakness and struggles, God promises to be faithful to everything he has given us.
Saul was chosen by God to be king of Israel even with all his weaknesses and faults. Throughout his life, he continually made wrong choices, yet God still placed His Spirit powerfully on his life. When you feel weak, and it seems life is out of control, remember, God has never been out of control. Continue to turn to God for the answers that have eluded all your human efforts. If God was willing to empower Saul in all his failures, how much more can we trust Jesus, the one in whom we have died with and now we have life! Since we have died with Him, we have died to all our human efforts and abilities, but now we live with all His power and authority in our life.
God’s power is not weak or insufficient in your life; he has provided you all the grace and authority to live in the victory He has for you. In everything, you can always trust the faithfulness of God in your life today.
Power Devotion 2
Key Verse: Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him”.
In the movie, Lord of the Rings our hero Aragon faced a fleet of enemy ships and with his two friends with him, commanded the ships to surrender. They responded with the well-known phase of, “You and what army”? Aragon replied simply with, “this army” and a great host of shadowed figures attacked the ships. We find a similar response in Joshua 23:10 when Joshua reminded God’s people that, “the LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised.” When we are faced with insurmountable odds, we have the calm certainty that God fights for us. He fights not just with us, and he fights not just for us, but God fights for us!
Too often we ask God for a little help so we can make it through our trial or struggle or temptations. But God does not want to give you a little help; He has promised to come as a mighty army and ultimately defeat the enemy. I believe many do not expect and ask God to come in and destroy their opposition because they are not sure God will show up. But God is not a man that he should lie nor is He anything like us that he should regret His word. God promises that as we trust Him even in the most difficult times that he will fight for us.
Of course, this does not mean that we will never have any struggles or trials. Isaiah 59:19 tells us that, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” Notice that this battle is not between us and our trial but between the flood of the enemy and the standard of the Lord. God makes our battles His battles, the enemy comes in like a flood against us but what he finds is God as our standard-bearer fighting for us. The word used for “standard” means to put to flight. In other words, God doesn’t just protect and defend us he strikes the enemy and causes him to flee. God’s power does not just set up resistance; He attacks! The standard-bearer wasn’t someone who carried a flag; he was the one who struck the first blow. God is fighting for you. What have you been fighting that you need to surrender to your Standard-bearer? Allow God to fight for you, surrender to him today and allow Him to strike the first blow!
Power Devotion 1
As I sat with my boys watching Toy Story for the first time, I felt sad for Buzz Lightyear. He genuinely believed that he was a real “Space Ranger” and that all his lights were real and deadly lasers. But he soon discovered that he was just a toy, with no real power at all. Too many Christians have made this same journey. They have come to believe that all their Christian lights and gadgets that make them look good and sound spiritual amount to very little in this world. The only power that can and does make a difference in our lives is the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us through the redemption and salvation of Jesus Christ.
God wants you to be more than a “toy” in this world; he has provided his Spirit to empower your everyday life. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” The Bible teaches us that “God gave” us power, real power, the power that can make all the difference in your life today. He did not give us power and then take it away, but power through the Holy Spirit that remains and interacts with everything we do in life. More importantly, it is essential that you believe that he gave you power. This power works in us to enable us to love and live a life of self-discipline or spiritual success. God’s power in you is not just for show, but a reality that gives us the ability to live a life of love and compassion toward others, while residing in God’s favor and success.
Playing outfield in baseball can be a scary moment if you not sure you can catch the ball. Don’t see God’s power as something you have to have the skill to “catch.” The verse in 2 Timothy teaches us that God has given us the power, it is not about how right or spiritual we are at catching what he was thrown at us. Today, walk in the faith that all the power you need to face every obstacle or trial has been given to you. It is a power that enables you to walk in the love of Christ and find victory in every struggle. You are not a Toy Story character shooting a make-believe toy; you are a child of God empowered by the Holy Spirit to change your world!