I am writing you this blog post to share something about the grand and powerful nature of God. I say you because I believe nothing with God is accidental. I believe that even the fact that you are reading this is part of His plan. I am serving this week as a church camp counselor high up in the mountains surrounded by forest pines, with a running creek that can be heard in the background. I believe God in his creative genius was the mastermind in planning all of the natural beauty around me; from little blackberry bushes to the onset of lightning bolts of electricity flashing across the sky.
All the students up here at camp were pulled out of the lake this afternoon due to the forming of thunderclouds overhead. Being from Southern California, I can count on one hand the times I have actually seen lightning. I will say the power of a bolt striking across the sky is pretty spectacular for me to witness. It speaks to me of His power.
There are many ways God can speak to us; through the lyrics of a worship song, through the prayer of a child and through the beauty of nature. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we have the chance to witness God’s power as a lightning bolt striking across the sky. These are the kind of experiences I long for. I deeply desire just to see a display of His grandeur as if He were saying, “Step back. I AM here. I am omnipotent and omnipresent. Watch what I will do!”
Paul, an apostle of Jesus, experienced God’s power in this way on the road to Damascus.
His Word Tells Us…
As [Paul] neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” –Acts 9: 3-6
There are really three parts to Paul’s conversion experience. First, he witnesses the supernatural power of God. Second, he identifies the power as Jesus. And third, he is commissioned to move out and begin to follow God’s direction for his life.
Can you relate to these experiences of witnessing God, identifying Him as God and being commissioned to follow his plan? I think when we fail to stay the course in our own faith journeys, it is because we haven’t fully submitted ourselves to faith through this process. Either we haven’t really ever witnessed the true power and authority of God, or we witnessed the power of the Lord, but didn’t correctly identify this power’s source. The final way we get off track is when we slink back from the calling God has shown to us. We may feel inadequate, afraid, or even selfish concerning our time and resources. We may hesitate giving up our fleshly desires to live a life worthy of His calling. But missing out on what God has called us to would be a tragedy. Imagine if Saul had decided not to follow God’s plan; if he had never become Paul who spread the gospel to many peoples and wrote a number of books of the New Testament. What if he had remained Saul and persecuted Christians for the rest of his life?
I pray today that you will not be content in living the life of who you were, but instead that you would experience His power with an intensity that awakens your spirit to live the life of who he is calling you to be, and that you will give over to Him all that you hold back, so he can begin to, or continue to use you as part of His plan.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We know that you are real and powerful, that you are able to strike our lives with your electricity even like a lightning bolt strikes the sky. I pray that you would help us to glimpse the incredible power at your disposal, so that we could willingly give our lives over to your purposes.
Commission us today to embark in seeking those works you have planned in advance for us to do. Help us to let you engineer the direction of our lives. May we believe in you, trust in you, and give honor and glory to your name all of our days. And, may we step back in awe of you and watch the lightning bolts fly!
In Jesus’ Name,
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” these are the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. – I Corinthians 2:9-10