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Thine is the Power, Part 1


I love that Bible verse (1 John 1:7) about people just needing to walk in the "light" that they have.  It's a great passage to support the fact that God does not require more of us than what we have the background and experience to grasp.  However, even with that verse, I have found that it's a lot easier to SEE what we need to do than to actually DO it.  Our theory very quickly outstrips our ability to practice it.  So what do we do when our "light" exceeds our "walk"?

These four words from The Lord's Prayer ("Thine is the power.") sum up a very important part of our walk with God, and that is our absolute dependence on his merciful help in order to keep on walking.

"Thine is the power," is just one of three things we are reminded of at the end of The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:13).  The "kingdom", the "power", and the "glory" all belong to and come from God.  Praying those three lines seems so unlike much of what I think of as prayer.  We are not asking for anything, and it only barely comes into the area of praise.  Instead, it just seems to be a personal reminder of our total dependence on God even for our strength to trust him and obey him.

"Power" is a word that fits neatly between "kingdom" and "glory", since it has a kind of political sound to it.  But today I've been thinking of the word more in the sense of "strength", something I find myself falling short of so often.  Somewhere between walking in the Light and recognising that all strength ultimately comes from God is a merging of our will with his power to accomplish that will.

Jesus said to his disciples, "The spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)  This is the same Jesus who said, "Be ye perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)  Paul said of himself, "The good that I would do, I do not.  Oh wretched man that I am!"  (Romans 7:19, 24) This was the same Paul who said, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)  These apparently contradictory statements are only consistent when we understand that the strength (or power) comes from Christ in the first place.  

Even that passage about walking in the light finishes by telling us that our "walk" results in us being "cleansed from all sin".  So obviously, our walk is never going to be perfect. (Otherwise, there would be no "sins" for which we would need to be forgiven.)  There must be a dynamic interaction between our will and God's will, our strength and God's strength, always remembering that even what we might call "our strength" is a gift from God, to whom belongs all the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

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