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Replacing Power with Talk

As we continue through First Corinthians, Paul shows his frustration with the church leaders who insist on doing things their own way.  They had an inflated view of themselves.

Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.  But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.  What do you prefer?  Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?
1 Corinthians 4:18-21

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 much of what’s 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’s 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.

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.  Change is the keyword.  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 takes 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 many churches around the country, few are being healed, set free from sins, or seeing great growth in their spiritual lives.  It seems that we’ve 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’ve also heard, “She has a powerful anointing to sing.”

But 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’ve learned to cover over our powerlessness by calling emotionalism power.  The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how many people wept, how many chills ran down your spine, or 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’s 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.

Question: What does a church look like that’s walking in the power of God?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on February 22, 2019 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Is Your Faith Visible?

BeamAre people around you aware of your beliefs? Actually, they know more about what you believe than you do sometimes. What do I mean by that?

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
James 2:14

The truth about faith – your beliefs – is that it’s not so much what you talk about, but what defines your actions. It’s why you do what you do. It’s the choices you make and the path you pursue.

When I heard the truth about Jesus Christ, faith was birthed in my heart. Because it was a real faith, it prompted me to do something. I made the choice to publically accept Him as my Lord and Savior.

True faith is made visible in your actions.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17

People can only see what you do and how you respond to circumstances. They only see your living faith. You may tell yourself that you believe certain truths, but if you don’t live them out, you’re only deceiving yourself.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.
James 2:18-19

Even in the case of demons, what they believe affects what they do. They may hate the truth, but it still causes them to tremble when they think about it.

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
James 2:24

It’s only when what you believe and what you do line up that you can truly say this is your faith. That’s why Christianity is a counter-culture to our modern society. We live in an age where the lie is much more preferable to the truth.

The American way of life teaches us that it’s normal to believe one thing and then live a totally different lifestyle.

“I’m a Christian – but I can’t let that affect my politics.”

I’ve heard that on many occasions. According to Scripture, what do you truly believe? What you do shows your living faith.

The world system is based upon a foundation of self-deceit.

“I’ll trust you to do what you say – as long as I get it all in writing.”

“I’ll love you forever, but we need a pre-nuptial agreement, just in case.”

All of these, and more, are examples of how our present generation has left the truth and is in pursuit of a lie.

As the church of Jesus Christ – we are different! We must not be like the world. Our beliefs should affect our behavior. If they don’t, then what do we truly believe?

It’s time for us to stand up and live out what we believe.

Question: What are your beliefs in Christ that you find most difficult to live out?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Faith, The Church

 

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Spiritual Power – The Holy Spirit versus the Law

PowerI’ve been posting about the two different sources of spiritual power – the Holy Spirit and the law.  Remember, it’s the law that powers sin.  There are some important differences between the law and the Holy Spirit.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Literally, this verse says God is powerful enough to do everything you need according to His grace.  In all things, at all times – this means that the power of the Holy Spirit is permanent, whereas the law is temporary.

If I base my walk on how well I follow the law, I’ll soon be in big trouble.  Everything is fine while I’m at church, especially if I just went to the altar and repented.  I go on my way feeling strong spiritually.

Then it happens, on my way to the car I get into an argument.  It all goes downhill from there.  Now Satan has a base for accusation again and I can feel my power dwindling.

On the other hand, I can base my spiritual walk on the Holy Spirit within me.  I know that He’s always there.  I can run to Him in all things, at all times, and I know that He’s able to meet my need no matter what.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1 Corinthians 4:20

There’s a second difference – the Holy Spirit is true, but the law is deceitful.  What does that mean?  When it comes to the law, you can always talk a good game.

“I pray, read my Bible, and am always on time for church.”

You can make it appear that you’re very powerful in the Lord, if that’s what it takes.  It’s a good thing that most believers don’t know what true power is or the charade would be over.

With the power of the law, you can hold the batteries in your hand.  Show off how much voltage you’re capable of.  We can even hear other’s proclaim, “Boy, those are a lot of pretty big batteries.”

The reason I said that the law is deceptive, is because the batteries can be dead and no one would know the difference – unless they looked for change being produced.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret – even the little pink bunny that keeps going and going eventually dies.  His batteries run out.

When yours do, because you’re relying on how well you follow the law, then you’re left with only the appearance of power.  That’s when we get together and “Remember when…”  Remember when our batteries were charged and we saw someone saved, or healed so many years ago.

It’s time for the church to tap into the only reliable source of power – the Holy Spirit whom God has placed within us.

Question: How have your attempts at following the rules turned out?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Power of God

 

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Kingdom Power

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.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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