In the natural world, you must always have fuel to use power. No matter if it’s electricity, cooking, heating, or driving. Even something as simple as a candle requires wax as a fuel. The same is true for power in the spiritual realm.
The Galatian church was starting to think that they could get power to serve God by following the Law. In his letter, Paul shows them the true source of their spiritual power.
What we commonly mean when we use the term fuel is combustible matter. But there’s also a general definition of fuel. According to this definition, fuel is whatever feeds or sustains any expenditure, outlay, passion, or excitement. What, then, is the fuel for our spiritual power?
It doesn’t take much study of the Bible to realize that faith is the fuel – that which feeds and sustains our spiritual passion – for the Christian life. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Without faith, we would have no access to the grace of God. Faith is the requirement for God to do anything at all in our lives.
Having the fuel is important. But we must also know how to utilize it. Just holding a can of gasoline doesn’t automatically make me travel 60 mph. I need to put it in the gas tank of a working automobile.
Unfortunately, there are many in the body of Christ who haven’t learned this simple concept. We hold on to the fuel of faith and expect the light and heat of God to start working. When nothing happens, we conclude that the Scripture is wrong, or that maybe God doesn’t do miracles anymore. The Bible has the answer to this dilemma.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
In this verse, the word value literally means force in the Greek. It’s not how you look on the outside that gives spiritual force, or power, to your walk. It’s the fuel, faith, expressing itself through love. What that verse says in the Greek is that faith must energize or activate itself through love.
If I put this in natural terms I could say that faith is the fuel, and love is the generator producing the voltage needed to maintain the power of God in us. The Bible clarifies this truth.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:2
If I have all the faith-fuel in the world but don’t have the love-generator to use it in, I am nothing. This is where much of the church finds itself in this generation. We seem to be so full of faith, yet accomplishing nothing for God.
According to this verse, it sounds like a love problem to me. If we’re not using our faith correctly, then there’ll be no manifestation of power. I must use my faith to power my love-walk.
Trying to follow the Law is totally different. I don’t need any love at all. I could even look down on you because, after all, I follow the Law so much better than you do.
It should be obvious that following the Law of Moses will never bring about the changes that God is looking for in His people. Just the opposite; it puts us into competition with each other.
We need to serve God the way He wants us to. We need faith in His Word. Then we must use that faith to fuel our love-walk. That’s where true power originates.
Question: How have you experienced the failure of faith without love?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017