Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 1

Table of contents for Personal Power

  1. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 1
  2. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 2

Many People are on a Search for Personal Power.

No one wants to feel helpless. It is not uncommon for people involved in searches for personal power. The validity of such a search or desire for power is often questioned. Everyone has seen situations in which power corrupts. One may wonder whether power can ever be good. In Part 1 of this post, we’ll answer that question, as well as motivations for power. In Part 2, we’ll define pure power and power’s ultimate safeguard.

The Validity of Power

There is a type of power that we are all to experience, a power that is to be influential in each of our realms of existence. Though this is revealed through several quotes, I’ll use the most direct one first.

I pray that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which God has called us…His immeasurable, unlimited, and surpassing power in and for us who believe. It is the same mighty power He used when He raised Christ from the dead. Eph. 1:18-20

This quote is by the apostle Paul, author of the majority of the New Testament and considered by theologians to be the greatest leader in the Early Church. His prayer was that each person would have a greater understanding (some translations “enlightened”) to know that the same immeasurable power that raised Jesus from the dead is a power that is “in” us and “for” us who believe in God. A limitless power that can return a dead, decaying body to life inside us, and for us to use, is beyond most people’s hope or expectations.

In another place, Paul speaks of his own personal search to know the resurrection power of God:

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. Phil. 3:10

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. 1 Cor. 2:4

If these quotes by the apostle Paul do not eliminate your doubts as to whether or not God intended us to have power, here are three quotes  from Jesus Himself.

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Matt. 22:29

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions [referring to evil spiritual forces] and to overcome all the power of the enemy [satan]; nothing will harm you. Lk. 10:19

I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do…I have sent them into the world, just as You sent Me into the world. Jn. 17:4

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In the first quote, Jesus was telling religious leaders that they were in doctrinal error due to a lack of knowledge in both the Scriptures and the power of God. In the next quote, Jesus expresses to His followers that His delegated power in them can overcome the spiritual powers of evil forces. It takes power to overcome power. Lastly, in John 17, Jesus is praying to Father God, saying that He completed the work He was supposed to do on earth and is sending people to do the same work that He did, “just as You sent Me…”

The Purpose of Power

The purpose that God intends for His limitless power, resurrection power, to be in us and for us, is in itself a type of safeguard, though we will discuss that in a moment. Power’s purpose is to continue doing for people what Jesus did for people while here on earth. Jesus said,

I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you. Jn. 13:15

What was the whole course of Jesus’ public life? Healing all that were sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, forgiving sins, restoring ruined lives, healing broken hearts. (Lk. 4:36; 6:19; Acts 10:38; Matt. 4:24;15:30)

Even during his time of public travel, Jesus gave His power to those closest to Him and sent them out to do the same things He was doing. See here:

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases. Lk. 9:1

They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Mk. 6:13

This is Part 1 of a 2-part post.  In Part 2, we will cover “The Proof of Pure Power” and “Power’s Ultimate Safeguard.”

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