Originally posted at: https://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/powerlessness/
Let’s start with a small single piece of scripture that says something every human being ought to wrestle with, and then make a choice as to how they are going to live.
Jn 15:5(b) – Apart from me you can do nothing. ESV
This short statement from Jesus is from His last major discourse to His disciples before He was murdered. Read the whole text of it in John 14 to John 17, or a smaller piece that deals with Jesus being the source of all power, value, joy and love, in John 15:1-17.
Our scripture is a statement of powerlessness! And it has enormous value to those who will investigate what it means.
Jesus is claiming, and we have no reason to disbelieve Him, that nothing has happened, is happening or will happen on earth that He does not either allow or empower. Some might consider that to be a bold statement, but when we see what God says in the following scripture, it is no longer bold, it is simply bare truth.
Col 1:16-17 – For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ESV
God says that Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, created all things. He further says that in Him all things hold together.
Jesus put it all together and maintains it. Nothing can happen without Him allowing it or putting it in motion.
If this is true (which I believe it is) then we humans delude ourselves if we think we have any power over anything. We may live with a delusion that we control our job or finances or family, but for a person of faith, a person who really believes God’s word is true, the reality is that we know we have no control.
Yes, we act like we can control life, but just listen to the news; people get murdered and raped and lose their children all the time. If you had been able to ask those people before the events if they were in control of their lives, they most likely would have said yes. But everyday events prove this is not true.
But I say that understanding how powerless we actually are is a huge blessing to those that accept it.
- Powerlessness helps us to accept when things don’t go the way we want or planned, that it is likely that God has other purposes in mind.
- Powerlessness is a concept that allows an addict to begin working on their recovery, realizing that they actually have no control over the problem, but God does. (This is Step 1 of the Twelve Steps.)
- Powerlessness says that we cannot change others, so we ought to stop trying to change our spouse or kids or employees, and instead ask God to change them if it is within His will.
- Powerlessness tells us that when someone lets us down, or betrays us, that we could not have changed what happened.
- Powerlessness for those that try to help others means that even though we offer to help, we have no control over the outcome of our work.
- Powerlessness means that whatever good things we do in this life are eternally worthless unless we do them under the power of the Holy Spirit.
So then, the powerlessness that we feel in any area of our lives is real, for we are powerless without Christ.
For those that don’t believe this. I want to ask them one question:
- When you die, do you have the power to live again?
Powerlessness over our life is the test. Only Christ has that power, He used it to resurrect Himself from physical death to life. He offers to do this for all people, all we have to do is accept Him as the one who has all power.
In light of the truths that are found above, ought we not to pray in deep thanks for our powerlessness?