Last week, radiation from the sun disrupted satellites and forced airlines to reroute their planes. It was the strongest solar storm to strike our planet since 2005. Today we learn that such attacks will be bombarding us on a monthly basis. As big as last week’s storm was, scientists say we got lucky–it glanced off our planet’s magnetic field. If future storms attack us more directly, they could cause massive power blackouts, radio disruptions and satellite failures. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop them.
Every now and then, nature reminds us of our frailties. Yesterday I encountered a statement in Scripture that seems relevant to this fact. Responding to his critics, Jesus said, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). Immediately I was struck by this insight: it is vital that we trust both the word of God and the power of God.
Some focus on the latter to the exclusion of the former, so emphasizing their experiences that they do not measure them by biblical truth. But most of us make the opposite mistake. We know God’s word, but do we know his power?
The first Christians did. After Pentecost, “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43). The Greek is better translated, “through the apostles.” They experienced God’s power, not theirs. Peter could say to a man crippled from birth, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6). He trusted Jesus’ name and power, not his own, and the man was healed (v. 7).
Can God use us as he used them, or did the first Christians possess some capacity that we lack? Jesus promised us, “anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing” (John 14:12a). In fact, “he will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (v. 12b) and would send us his empowering Spirit (John 15:16). But here’s the key: “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13).
You and I live in a culture that prizes self-reliance. Do we trust the Spirit’s power or our own abilities? Do we work for God or do we ask him to work through us? Do we seek our glory or his?
Scripture is clear: “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Why do you need his unlimited power today? Name your problem, submit it fully to his will and purpose, and claim his promise to “meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Then “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Rely on his power, not yours. And remember: All of God there is, is in this moment.
Dr. Denison’s cultural commentary originally appeared at http://www.denisonforum.org. It has been reposted here with permission of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture.