The Power of God
Power, it is the ability to perform effectively and get specific and desired results. Power is one of the few things everyone wants in some form. Men and women have sought power and fought for power throughout all of history. But power placed in human hands has often been a negative force. It has been used selfishly to steal from the many to give to the privileged few. It is rare when power entrusted to human hands is freely exerted for the good of others. The old saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is a tragic human reality. But the power of God is different.
God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy . . .(Psalm 62:11, 12a)
Power, ultimate, sovereign power, belongs to God. He is all-powerful. His ability to perform effectively and get specific and desired results is infinite. Speaking to God, Job says,
I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. 30 (Job 42:2)
And when Mary questions the angel about how she, a virgin, will conceive and be the mother of the Son of God, he tells her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you . . . For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:35, 37)
When God delivered the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, He fed them in the wilderness with manna or bread from heaven. But the people soon complained, because they wanted meat. So God declared that He would give them a diet of meat for an entire month. But Moses doesn’t see how this would be possible in the desert!
And Moses said, “The people whom I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat that they may eat for a whole month.” Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for them?” (Numbers 11:21, 22)
Moses asks God, “How in the world are You going to feed six hundred thousand men with meat for a month from supplies in the desert?” When you add in women and children the population God had to feed was about two million people! But God responds to Moses with a question of His own.
And the LORD said to Moses, “Has the LORD’s arm been shortened? Now you will see whether what I say will happen to you or not.” (Numbers 11:23)
Another version of the Bible reads, “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Is the LORD’s power limited?” 31 God’s question is a challenge to His people. The answer to the question is crucial for a life of faith. And the answer of the Word of God is absolutely clear.
Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (Jeremiah 32:17)
The arm of the Lord is not shortened! There is no limit to His power. There is nothing too hard for God to accomplish. There is no prayer too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply. There is no temptation too powerful that He cannot help you to overcome it. There is no hurt in your heart too deep for Him to heal. And this brings us back to Psalm 62 where we started.
God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. Also to You, O Lord belongs mercy . . . (Psalm 62:11,12a)
Power, all power, infinite power belongs to God. So too does “mercy.” The Hebrew word translated “mercy” would be better translated as “steadfast lovingkindness” or “loyal love.” God is the most powerful being in the universe, yet His power is not a negative force. He doesn’t use His power to take from others; He uses His power to give and to bless.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him,
“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1, 2)
When God revealed Himself to Abram to bless him and confirm His covenant with him, he calls Himself “Almighty God.” This is one of the great titles for God. 32 In the Hebrew it is “El Shaddai.” The title “Shaddai” means one who abundantly nourishes and satisfies. “El” means the great strong one or mighty one. Put together “El Shaddai” is the all-powerful one who abundantly nourishes and fully satisfies. Almost everywhere that the phrase Almighty God is used in the Bible, it is in the context of God blessing His people. It is this awesome and infinite power of God manifested for the good of His people that brings Him great praise and glory.
I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, And Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:1-16)
Our all-powerful God opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing. He upholds all who fall. He is gracious and full of compassion. Proverbs 3:27 declares,
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
God does not withhold any good thing from His people that His power can provide.
This knowledge of God’s power and majesty and great goodness is greatly lacking today. This is one of the reasons why our faith is so feeble and our worship so weak. How could our faith be feeble if we reminded ourselves of God’s great power and awesome acts? How could our worship be weak if we thought deeply about the glorious splendor of God’s majesty? If our faith is feeble and our worship is weak, it is because we do not have a correct understanding of God’s power.
Our God is a mighty God! But our God is in heaven; He does whatever he pleases. (Psalm 115:3)
For I know that the LORD is great, And our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth. (Psalm 135:5, 6)
For the LORD of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27)
Whatever God wills, He can do. He is never hindered from manifesting His power. He never starts something that He cannot finish. There is never a divine power failure, never a black out or a brown out or a meltdown. Our desires are many times far beyond our powers to achieve, but not so with God. It is no more difficult for God to create a universe or a butterfly. It is no more difficult for Him to destroy a galaxy or save a soul.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: I am the LORD who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself. (Isaiah 44:24)
I have made the earth, And created man on it. I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded. (Isaiah 45:12)
Our Almighty God has created and stretched out the universe. He commands the stars and the planets. If He can create and hold the universe together, then He can redeem your life from destruction. He can put a broken life back together again. In Isaiah 40, God speaks to His ancient people who are much like many Christians today. They are people of God but they are despondent, they are defeated. They are people who feel hopeless and helpless. Therefore God calls out to His people and says, “Behold your God!”
O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountains; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:9-12)
Behold our God! He is all-powerful, yet ever so tender with His people. God alone has the might to create a universe and to keep the earth in perfect balance. 33 If the power of God can create a universe and balance the earth, then He can certainly take care of you.
Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?
Behold the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. (Isaiah 40:13-17)
Oh, how well we know all the great nations of the earth! There were the empires of Babylon, Greece, and Rome. But where are they now? They are all gone. So too is Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin. The Soviet Union is gone, and one day the United States of America will be gone too. But God is the Almighty, and His kingdom is eternal.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Behold this awesome declaration of God concerning Himself! Who can be compared to Him? He is never weak, never weary. His power and might are infinite. No force of nature, no country and no power can thwart His purpose. God is able to carry out His will to its fullest and most glorious conclusion.
Our God is able to conquer every obstacle in His path. He is able to subdue all things to Himself. And He is willing to help us exchange our weakness for His strength. God is able to save your soul. He is able to meet all of your needs.
The Lord is able to heal your broken heart. The Almighty is willing and able to work within you to help you become the man or woman He knows that you can be. Behold your God! Behold His immense power and might and grace! Like our father Abraham, let your faith be strengthened by giving glory to God. For all that God has promised He is able to perform (Romans 4:21).
God is not just some nice grandfatherly type who has a kind heart and gives good advice. He is not someone who had a command of things yesterday, is groping for a handle today, and who is out of touch with tomorrow. We have fooled ourselves into thinking that God was the God of miracles in the days of the chariots, but He is impotent in the modern age. He who created the universe, who parted the Red Sea, who protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego 34, who raised Jesus Christ up from the dead, He can and will exercise His mighty power for you! This great truth is made clear in the apostle Paul’s letter to the believers at Ephesus.
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.(Ephesians 1:15-23)
Our Almighty God wants you to know and experience “the exceeding greatness of His power.” He wants to share with you that power that raised Christ from the dead and enthroned him above all power and dominion. In God we have divine power to transform our minds and lives. We have power to live gracefully in holiness and peace. The power of God toward those who believe is creation power—it created a universe. It is resurrection power—it raised Jesus Christ up from the dead. It is ascension power—it set Christ at the right hand of God. It is dominion power—it gave Christ authority over all of creation. We desperately need to bring this power out of the dusty pages of history and into the present reality of our lives.
Again, in his letter to the believers at Colosse, the apostle Paul speaks of the awesome power of God available to the child of God.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14)
God, through His mighty power working in the Lord Jesus Christ, has delivered us from the power of darkness. He has conveyed us into His Son’s glorious kingdom. And He will strengthen us to face all of life’s challenges according to His glorious power. That power is unlimited and far beyond anything we could ever imagine.
We have divine power to overcome sin. There is divine power to heal and to restore. There is divine power to transform our lives, reconcile our relationships and to bring us peace. There is almighty power to bring us to salvation in Christ and to keep us saved till the day of our full redemption. 35
We need to understand this great power of God and we need to let it change our lives. Our awesome God is worthy of our total confidence. He is worthy of our absolute loyalty. And He is worthy of our heartfelt worship because of His awesome power that works in us who believe.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21)