The longest prayer recorded in scripture that Jesus made is found in John 17 and a significant portion of that prayer was His request that we that is, the church, be connected to God and to one another.
Why do we need a connection? Most of the things we rely on today is powered by one energy source or the other. We all communicate via our phones. These phones are powered by batteries and without power in them, they are just useless items.
Man was made to connect. In Genesis 3, we read that after Adam and Eve had allowed themselves to be deceived by the snake, they heard God walking in the garden. How did they recognise God's footsteps? It was because they had a connection with the Father and could recognise His presence whenever He visited them. That connection was however lost when they disobeyed God.
We all know how we feel when we suddenly experience loss of power. You can barely see your way around the house and if you do not have a flash light close by, you end up stumbling in the dark, not sure of where you are going. This is the point where many are today. There is a yearning in their hearts that wants to connect to something or someone and because they do not know the ultimate source of that connection, they stumble in the dark and end up tapping into sources of power that end up destroying their lives because those connections are not life-giving but destructive.
The first thing we need to know and understand is that God is the ultimate source of power. The Psalmist recognised this when he said, "God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God." (Psalms 62:11)
There are a lot of things I learnt in school that I have forgotten decades later but there are a few things that I keep remembering constantly one of which is a phrase I learnt while studying a subject called 'Government' . It was a quotation by Lord John Acton, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". In the hands of an unconverted heart, power is a dangerous weapon and can have disastrous effects as we have seen through dictatorships all over the world. On the other hand, when a believer walks in the power of God, his or her actions give life to those who are around them. The power that God gives does not corrupt or harm others, rather it is used to deliver and set the captives free.
If God is the ultimate source of power, how then can we tap into this power? My knowledge of electricity is somewhat limited but I know enough to say that you cannot connect your household appliances directly to the power grid. There is too much power at that location that your appliances will simply evaporate. This is why various connections are involved when it comes to distribution of electricity power to homes. Power is first distributed along grid lines to distribution centres and then passed on to sub-stations and then to neighbourhood power lines before connecting to our homes.
When man sinned in the garden of Eden, we lost the ability to hold power. We had become corrupted and any interface with God's power would have destroyed us. This was why God has to quickly send man away from the Garden of Eden. In order for us to be restored to that power connection, we needed an interface, an incorruptible source and that was in the person of Jesus. All man's attempts at seeking God's power failed before Jesus came to the world. When He began His ministry, people witnessed first hand what the power of God could do. They saw the blind man see, the deaf having their hearing restored, the leprous healed and the dead raised to life! (Matthew 9: 1- 8)
After His resurrection, Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples and they were filled with joy and excitement. They had thought that the hope of the deliverance of the Jews had died with Christ on the cross and now they have seen Him alive and well. All hope was not lost! (Acts 1:6) Jesus however redirected them to the purpose and plan of God for mankind and the role they and by extension us, will play in the grand scheme of things. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8)
Notice the word, 'after'. They would not receive power 'before' but after the Holy Spirit is come upon them. This brings us to the role of the Holy Spirit. If God us the source of all power and Jesus is the power grid, then the Holy Spirit is the substation. He is the one who feeds us with power. Unless we have the Holy Spirit, we cannot operate in the power of God. People who seek power from other sources end up paying a high price because apart from God's power, all other power is from satan and his demons.
Since we know that all power belongs to God, how can tap into this power and use it for the benefit of others?
What We Need To Do
- Connect to God - John 14:6
- We need to connect with other Christians
*And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles*. (Acts 9:26-27)
- We need to remain connected (Abiding in the Vine John 15)
- We need to be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8)
Things to avoid:
Isolation - The enemy is prowling around, looking for those to devour - "*Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.*" ( 1 Peter 5:8)
Avoid Division - Division in the body causes disconnection and disconnection causes loss of power.**
Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. (Acts 15: 1-5)
*Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.*
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the BiblepraiseFellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org