Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel,

whose power is in the heavens.

You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;

the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

(Psalm 68:34-35)

So often you and I, the people of God, suffer from an extended power failure. It’s not that our supply from God has been cut off; it’s because we’re not even plugged in. It’s as though we’ve not only lost sight of the outlet; we’ve forgotten there IS an outlet. So we come to God’s sanctuary for many things: fellowship, comfort, validation, sympathy, motivation – even entertainment – but usually the last thing we’re expecting is an awesome encounter with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

We frequently pray for strength to face our trials, but far less often do we ask for, or expect, God’s power to be manifested in our lives. Sure, power is useful, but everyone knows that it can also be dangerous in the wrong hands. If we plugged ourselves in to God’s power, what might be the result? We might start telling other people about how faith in Jesus saves and transforms us, and give them examples from our own lives – all while being more concerned for their eternal destiny that what they might think of us in the moment. We might pray expectantly and listen for God’s voice – and wait to hear it. We might move spiritual mountains previously too intimidating to even approach.

We might look for God’s miracles, and have eyes capable of seeing them. We might spread the gospel to those who have never heard it, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, pray that God would heal and raise the spiritually dead – including the dead places in our own spirits.

Power comes to us through a transformer. Jesus is the ultimate Transformer. He’s taken our sin and its consequences and transformed it into forgiveness and new life when we accept Him as Savior and Lord. Too many of us, however, have been more than willing to accept Him as Savior, but we put up a big STOP sign in front of the Lord part. We may give Jesus parts of ourselves, but rarely do we give him all, or even most, of our lives. We are reluctant in the extreme to let go of some major areas. We want to retain supervisory control over our time, our resources, our pleasures, our relationships – we consider these our own domain and retain the right to decide how much of them we’ll allow God to have.

We don’t plug in to God’s power because we insist on having our own power. If we’re honest, we’re more than a little afraid of what might happen if we give God complete power in our lives. He might ask us to do something we don’t want to do; relate to people we don’t really like or approve of; send us where we don’t feel like going; ask us for more than we want to give – or give up. He might expect us to be pure in what we see, hear and do. He might want us to think more about others than we do about ourselves. In other words, He might ask us to be more like Jesus.

In our houses, a prolonged power failure means no light, no heat (or air conditioning, depending on the season) and spoiled food in the refrigerator. For some, it means no running water. There’s no television, stereo or internet. We’re at a loss in so many ways that we feel crippled when we’re without power for long.

In God’s house, His people also find ourselves hampered at every turn when there’s no power. There’s no light, no warmth, and a lot of things that should feed and build us up get spoiled instead. The communication highway of His Word to us is off-line. We’re still in there, fumbling around, lighting a candle here and there, but essentially operating in a place that is cold, dark, and starting to smell of decay.

Surely it’s time for God’s people to stop being afraid of making Jesus Lord. Isn’t it time to man up (and woman up) and follow Him wherever He leads, because only He knows where we need to go? Isn’t it time to teach our children, our spouses, our parents, our co-workers – everyone we come into contact with – by example? Isn’t it time to see that a wishy-washy commitment is no commitment at all, and think through the consequences?

You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;

the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Let’s wake up and see our personal power for the pitiful thing that it is, search for the outlet of God’s power, plug ourselves in, and prepare to be astonished by AWESOME.

(A suggestion: If you’d like to read a helpful book on what it takes to follow Jesus, try “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman. ISBN 978-0-310-33193-3)