Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 4, 2015
Do you refuse to speak to me? Pilate said. Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or crucify you? Jesus answered, You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. John 19:10-11
Over the years I have witnessed leaders who used power for the greater good, or abused power for their personal gain. My assistant football coach in high school used his influential position as an opportunity to teach me about life. It was not about Coach Ferguson, but about a moldable young man who looked up to him. He used his power for God. Later in life, a leader I highly respected changed the rules to accommodate his compromised lifestyle. He used power for himself. Without accountability and humility, I am a candidate for improper use of power.
Pilate found himself in a position to give or take life. He arrogantly asserted to Jesus his perceived power over Jesus. The son of God broke His silence and reminded pompous Pilate that all power on earth is given by God in heaven. This high minded Roman leader felt pressure from the local religious leaders and their frenzied followers to act, but he failed to acknowledge Almighty God as the author of all power. God entrusted power to this political leader for the greater good. Instead of standing up for what was right—Pilate bowed to what was wrong.
“I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king” (Daniel 2:23).
How do you steward God’s gift of power? Prayerfully, as you seek wise counsel. Not taking yourself too seriously, but taking seriously the process to make the best decision. Are you willing to make the hard call for what’s best in the long term, though unpopular in the short term? A ‘no’ to yourself now—could mean a ‘yes’ for many more later. If you are the most powerful person in the room, make room for increased humility. Your influence is not about you, but about those who respect you. Give away power and you’ll gain respect. Influence is God’s highly valued gift.
Therefore, we seek the Lord—the power Giver—to understand His mind on how to manage well our influence. Competing voices whisper ways to systematically amass power. They have their biased agendas, but only the still, small voice of the Spirit speaks what’s best for the kingdom of God. The Lord gives us His gifts for His glory, thus we offer back what God gives us, as an offering of praise to our heavenly Father. The world’s power source is affluence, access to power and accomplishments. Our all powerful source is God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all” (1 Chronicles 29:12).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me how to give away Your power to those who manage it well.
Post/Tweet this today: When you discover you are the most powerful person in the room, make room for increased humility. #giftofpower #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: Andy Stanley interview on his Presidential Inaugural message on Power
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