Power Failures Always Seem To Happen At Night: Losing Spiritual Power When It Counts!

Posted: February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

Luke 9:37-43 — Power failures. Why do they happen? Sometimes they are massive area-wide power failures. Sometimes, a blown breaker will cause a power failure in just your house or even just part of your house. We grope around in the dark until power is restored. That cluelessness in the dark is frightening. We feel like we are going to run into something because we cannot see it. Why do power failures often happen at night when we need electrical power the most. It is ironic is it not that when we need the power the most, that is when we most often have power failures.

It is the concept of power failure when you need it most that brings us to our passage today. While Jesus had taken James, John and Peter up to the mountain for their once-in-a-lifetime mountaintop experience, He had left His disciples down in the valley with the crowd. While Jesus and his inner circle guys were gone, the remaining disciples encountered a demon-possessed boy but yet the could not cast out the demon from him. Just at the beginning of this chapter, Jesus had sent His disciples out all through Judea and He had given them the power to heal and to cure and to cast out demons. Why now in less than 40 verses later are they unable to do what they had been given authority to do? Power failure. Pure and simple. They had a failure to believe in the power that they had been given. They were caught up in the celebrity of Jesus rather than the power of Jesus. When you get caught up in the celebrity of church or in the celebrity of a preacher, you faith will not run very deep and you will be scared away by Satan when he presents us with trouble. We will have power failures.

One way that power failures strike us is that some churchgoers think that if they get on the inside circle with the preacher that it validates their walk with Jesus. They measure their Christian self-worth by how much access they have to their pastor. The larger the church, the larger your self-worth is if you have made your way into what you perceive as the inner circle of the pastor. When we make the pastor the focus of our relationship in church, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. A pastor, particularly of bigger churches, do not have the personal bandwidth to be able to seek you and make you feel good, seek you out and appoint or anoint you. It is these people that typically stir up trouble in churches when the pastor does not put them in the spot that they think they deserve. These are often the people that are not willing to work behind the scenes for years. These are often not the people that do the work of the Lord unless it gives them some spotlight time. These are the people who have shallow faith. These are the people who cause division. These are the people that create churches within the church. These are the people who are in love with the celebrity that the church can bring to their lives. It’s all about them and not about Jesus. The disciples probably were just as susceptible to the pride of being in Jesus’ entourage as we are about being in a pastor’s entourage today. Pick me. Pick me. What you did not pick me? These are the ones who cannot submit to leadership. These are the ones who starve to be singled out as volunteer of the week with their name announced from the stage. It is not about the power of Jesus to change lives. It is about them. It is power failure.

Maybe these disciples were caught up in the celebrity that they had achieved by being with Jesus. Jesus was extremely popular at this point. They had seen Him heal. He had even given them power to do so when He sent them out earlier in this chapter. When your faith is dependent on celebrity status, then it will be shallow. When you encounter a problem, you will being drawing on celebrity status and not on the power of God. If what you seek is closeness to God and you submit to His will, His power will be available to you to help you conquer the roadblocks in your life. If you faith is based on somebody seeing you do something, you will have power failure. The disciples could not cast out the demon because their authority was being blocked by their own lack of real faith. When we have real faith, we actually do believe that the Holy Spirit of God lives within us. We actually do believe that Jesus is our Master. We actually do submit to the will of the Father.

Yes, believe me, we are going to have encounters with Satan in various forms throughout our lives but it is only in the power of faith in the power of Jesus Christ that we will overcome them. Our overcoming may not be exactly as we personally planned it but it will be the way that God planned it. We must trust in the power that we have been given. We must be willing and joyous to serve in the ways that He sees fit and it may not always have celebrity status attached to it. How many times have you or I served at church or served our fellow man just because it brought glory to God. We must be Christ followers who serve the Lord in total submission whether the cameras are rolling or not, whether other people see our benevolence or not, whether the pastor chooses you or not. We must have our power cords plugged into the right place. Otherwise, we will have power failure.

Father, help me to remember that I have relationship with you. Help me to remember to keep my eyes vertically on you rather than wondering if people are seeing me serve you. I must serve you because I want to bring glory to you rather than celebrity to myself. Help me to never get caught up in placing my value in whether people are anointing me. Help me to seek your anointing. Help me also to never fall in love with the celebrity of any spiritual leader. Help me to fall in love with the thing that they point us to – Jesus. Help me to always compare everything to your Word to ensure that I am seeking your will. Help me to be submitted to you so that there will be nothing to block the power of you in my life. Help me, thus, to avoid spiritual power failures. Amen.

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