1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
Paul’s words to us are very clear. When it comes to power in the kingdom of God, we better do more than just talk. The problem is that most of what is called power in the kingdom today is just that – talk. The first step toward walking in the power of God is to understand what true power is all about.
Let’s start by looking at things from a natural perspective. When we talk about “power” it is usually in the context of electrical power. We use phrases like power lines, power plant, and power outages. We think of electricity as being a form of power. This can help us to understand spiritual power.
Very simply put, the definition of power is the same whether you’re talking about electricity coming into your house, or the power of God to heal the sick. The International Edition of the Webster Comprehensive Dictionary defines it in the following way:
“Power is the ability to act. It is the property of a thing that is manifested in effort or action, by virtue of which that thing produces change.”
Let me boil it down for you. True power is the ability to produce change. That’s the key word. It takes power to transform water at room temperature into hot water for a cup of tea. It takes power to get a one-ton car to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. It takes power to transform a body from sickness to health. It takes power to change a liar into a saint. It take power to replace guilt with innocence.
If we understand this correctly, then the verse above should bring new understanding. It’s our assignment in the Kingdom of God to produce change. It’s not about how well you can speak about it. Change is the priority. Is the church producing change?
You have to remember that this passage was written when Christians were the people who were “turning the world upside down”. In light of this, how powerful is the kingdom of God today? In order to answer that we must ask, how much change is being produced in the church today? The unfortunate answer is – not much. In most churches around the country not many are being healed, set free from sins, or seeing great growth in their spiritual lives. It seems that we have become masters of talking as if there’s power in our lives.
We say things like, “That was a powerful message.” Or, “We had a powerful service last night.” I have also heard, “She has a powerful anointing to sing.” Speaking of singing, one of the biggest areas in which we fall short is in our songs. We come to church on Sunday mornings and sing a host of songs about the power of God. Then we sit back and think that because we just sang about it, somehow that means we are walking in it. What I have found in actuality is that most of our “power” is usually just words.
If no one leaves the service changed, then there was no power manifested in the service. There are plenty of unsaved actors and singers that can evoke an incredible emotional response from their audience, but that’s not power. People weeping during the service is no indication of any power. We have learned to cover over our powerlessness by calling emotionalism power. The bottom line is – no matter how many people wept, no matter how many chills ran down your spine, no matter how many people were slain in the spirit – if no one was changed, then there was no power.
Do you want to walk in the true power of God? Then you need to stop talking about it, and admit your lack – if that is the case. We need a true, Biblical knowledge of what it is and how to use it. We need to seek God for a touch from His hand. That’s where true change – true power – originates from.