Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Are We Using His Power?

A few nights ago, our family began our typical Daily Dinner Roundtable Discussion. My teenage daughter, Katie, seemed a little down upon returning from softball practice. She felt the girls were mistreating each other off the field but was more upset that Coach had not addressed the situation. As the floodgates began to pierce through her eyes, her softly spoken voice muttered the words “I know we can do so much better.”

I empathized with her. I felt her pain. I saw her heart. Yet, still I asked, “how can you change it?”

“Mom, it’s not my responsibility to manage the team. She’s the Coach. She has the authority to address the team if she’d only pay attention to the issue.”

What a great teaching moment. Calm externally, yet leaping for joy internally, I responded, “How do you know the Coach hasn’t noticed the issue?”

“Well, she hasn’t told us of any plans to address it.”

Curiously, I asked, “Is she required to tell you?”

In total frustration, she replied, “I don’t know, Mom. Is she?” 

“Katie, Do you not believe a member of the team has the power to influence change? When Coach chose you, she believed that you could represent her vision. And weeks before the season began, how did Coach prepare you for college recruiters and even news reporters?”

“She prepared us by giving us the words to say – in the event she was not present. (Sigh) Mom, you’re suggesting I have the ability to change the team because I’m part of the team. But, I don’t understand how recruiters relate to the current issue on the team.”

“Katie, your Coach has prepared you to be her representative anytime she’s not present. Though you are not Coach, she’s equipped you with power to speak because you believe in her vision.”

She gave me a “thumbs up” and finished dinner, slightly optimistic for the next day. She left the table and stated, “Tomorrow, I’ll try to remind them of who we are.”

This story with my daughter reminds me of the dialogue between Jesus and the Apostles before His ascension into Heaven. In Acts 1, the chosen apostles asked Jesus,

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom of Israel?” Acts 1:6 (NIV)  

And the Lord made it very clear,

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Acts 1:7-8a (NIV)

Often, we look up to Heaven and ask, “God, when are you going to fix this?” instead of looking in the mirror and asking, “When will I do something about this?” It’s similar to requesting a bonfire while holding a lighter in our hands. We’ve been given the power of the Holy Spirit to change the world around us. Operating in the power given to us allows the Holy Spirit to direct our paths and filter our words and hearts to align with the will of God. We are fully equipped to be His hands and feet; when some of us cross our arms and stomp our feet – all in the name of waiting on God.

Are you facing a situation today where you’re waiting on God to work something out? Could He be pointing at you and suggesting you tap into His power:

“That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead ...” Ephesians 1:19-20 (NIV)

How can we use the power he’s given us to not only shape our lives but our communities and places of employment?

The only pre-requisite for operating in this power is to believe in it. Then, build up your confidence to shake up your world. Declare victory over your life by the power of the Holy Spirit! Decide if you will be a Worrier, Whiner, or a Warrior. And remember, when you’re facing a trial and unsure of the words to speak – there is power, even in a whisper, when calling on the name of Jesus!

Copyright © 2018 Asha McMillian, used with permission.

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