Monday, October 26, 2015

Power, Possibility, and Opportunity

image used under Public Domain license
@Inspire_Us: "Behind me is infinite power, before me is endless possibility, around me is boundless opportunity." - Author Unknown

That thought struck me, as I read that tweet, this morning.  Let's think on that one, together.  The Amplified Bible says this:

Colossians 1:17 And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).

When we go back to Genesis we see an interesting picture.  God took nothing and transformed it by creating out of it a something. Light and dark,  The planets and stars.  Land and sea. Animals, plant life, man.  There was nothing beyond God, then His power suddenly created it.

Our illustration is earth as seen from outer space.  That's part of what God created, but there's more to consider than just that.

As amazing as that act of creation is, think about Colossians 1:17.  Not only did God create everything, but that verse says He keeps it together.  It's one thing to create something and be done with it.  A contractor builds a building or makes repairs.  But, once he completes that task, he's done.  That's pretty easy.  Contrast that with our verse -- not only does God create, but He's the glue, if you will, that then holds it all in place.  That requires endurance and power.

We speak of God as being all powerful, all knowing, etc.  Colossians 1:17 is a tribute to that omni-everything.  And it's clearly pointed to in 1 Corinthians 4:20.  That says "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.".  In other words, it's a reality, not just hollow words.  And remember that, when the Bible speaks of the kingdom of God, it's not talking about some future place like heaven, where God will reign and have great wealth.  It's used to describe the presence of God, which can be right now.  What we see in this verse is the Bible telling us that there's power in being in God's presence.  If we have a relationship with God, we're in His presence and the presence of His power. But don't let that go to your head.

2 Corinthians 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We're the clay, He's the potter.  Our recognition of the truth of that verse adds to the picture. Earthen vessels.  We're not just soft lumps of spiritual clay.  We've been molded, then hardened in that shape in the kiln or oven.  We've gone through the heat to become something useful and worthwhile.  Yes, if we get out of a position of protection from God, being fired in the kiln makes us now harder and more prone to crack or break from wrong choices.  But we'll get to that in a bit.

The second part of our quote reads "before me is endless possibility".  Matthew 6:33b says, "and all these things shall be added unto you.".  In context, it's telling us our needs will be met.  But the verse never says how they'll be met or to what degree.  Endless possibility, limited only by God's choosing.  The bare minimum would be "enough", with anything greater being a very real option.  So, here we are allowed into the presence of our God, having our needs met through Him wielding His power.  And we gain the benefits of His power while still being weak and fragile vessels.

We need to jump back to the first part of Matthew 6:33 in order to fully understand the final part of our quote.  Matthew 6:33a tells us "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness". The tail end of our quote reads "around me is boundless opportunity".  In order to take advantage of an opportunity, we have to decide to take it.  Matthew 6:33b will never happen unless we actively seek the right things.  When we seek something, we're actively looking for it.  But that also requires a decision on our part that we want to go after it.

Everything in our quote comes back to "the kingdom of God, and his righteousness".  The presence of God and taking on His nature.  Without salvation and spiritual growth, there is no real power in our individual lives, no true possibilities, and all our opportunities would be the wrong ones.  It takes salvation and discipleship for those things to exist in a recognizable way and to a point where they don't just exist, but overflow in our lives.  How are you experiencing the abundance of grace and mercy to see power, possibility, and opportunity in your life?

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