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  • Scott Johnson

The Power of Being Powerless



We love power. Power over others. Power over our circumstances. You got issues… You want to be in control of your circumstances. You want to be in power.

In 2013 I moved to Florida and with that move came humidity, gators, another level of BBQ and claustrophobia. I don’t know why but it seems like the moment I arrived in Florida I began to struggle with claustrophobia, I mean on another level. This was not your normal I don’t want to be buried alive kind of claustrophobia (ain’t nobody want that). I began to stress about sitting in the back of the car. What if they have child lock doors and I can’t get out when I want out? What if my seatbelt won’t unlatch and I can’t unbuckle when I want to? Ya… pretty pathetic but it overwhelmed me. I needed to control my environment.

Don’t we all have that same problem? We want to control our circumstances. We want to be in charge because if someone else is in charge that means we have to let go...

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (Romans 7:18-19)

The book of Romans is known as one of the clearest presentations of the Christian doctrine. And here in Romans chapter 7, we hear that we cannot do anything good. That our ways are naturally wrong, bad, and sinful. Paul is explaining that when we attempt to do things our way with our intentions we fail. So why would we think that we can control our compulsive desires?

Selfishness, porn, addiction, pride, anger… These unhealthy habits occur in our life even when we desire not to act. Why? Because in Romans 7:19 “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” We will fail, we are sinful in need of a savior.

That doesn't mean we should be okay with it…. I have heard it before that if we are sinful but God forgives and we won’t succeed in attempting to do what is right then we should recognize our sinful actions as glorifying God and his perfection. Obviously, this is an extreme example of an issue we all live by. Too often there are actions, thoughts, sin in our life that we continue to act on because it is looked at as less worse than others. Gossip is not the same as a drug habit, right? Don’t be fooling yourself.

FROM DEATH TO LIFE

My old self-has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

In Galatians Paul tells us that we no longer live once Christ lives within us. This is the great example of us transitioning from death to life, salvation. We can celebrate salvation, new life, hope because it is no longer us but Christ. You see we are naturally sinful, selfish, arrogant. But when we give our lives to Christ our past is buried and new life is resurrected. The Christian life, christ follower.

Meaning and purpose are found when we live for Christ

So how do we apply the power of being powerless?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

The followers knew exactly what it meant to 'take up your cross.' In those days the cross represented torture, crucifixion, death. There was no doubt about it.

Jesus is telling us that our thoughts and actions must die if we want to experience true meaning. If we allow our ways to creep back up we will experience a slow decline back to a self-seeking control issues. We must die to ourselves daily so that Christ can live through us. Meaning and purpose are found when we live for Christ

As you wake up every morning ask yourself how you can find power in being powerless?

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