1 Corinthians 4:20 – “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” NASU
We are told in the Hebrews 13:8 that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” If that is true then I must ask, “If not now, when?” If we cannot have what they had in the Old and New Testament times, why not? If we cannot be the Church described in the Gospels and the Book of Acts today, why not? If we cannot expect the miraculous today, why not? When did God become impotent? When did God become dependent on the arm of flesh and the technology and medicine of modern times? When did God cease to be the God of the Bible and the Keeper of His Covenants? I am not trying to make anyone mad, but I am very serious in my pursuit of the answer to the question, “If not now, when?” and “If not now, why not?
There are countless passages from the Bible that declare the Greatness, Glory, Majesty, and Power of God. There are also multiple passages that describe His goodness and desire to bless and care for His children. With all the biblical evidence that He is The Living God and Eternal, how did we arrive at the place of modern religion where God suddenly became impotent? In 2 Samuel 22:33 we read, “For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and He makes my way perfect.” In 2 Chronicles 20:6, Jehoshaphat raised his voice in supplication to God and said, “…O LORD God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.” How did God become impotent?
When I read 1 Corinthians 4:20, I stand in awe and feel a sense of remorse that I do not see what the Bible describes as the norm for God and the believers. It says, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s Power.” We read in the Old Testament of the many miraculous acts of God and hear God’s own declaration that He is our healer, deliverer, protector, provider, and guide. He is THE LIVING GOD! He created this world and the entire universe with the Word of His Power. He created man from the dust of the earth and breathed the Life of God into him, making him a living soul. He delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage with incredible miracles, signs, and wonders. He sustained them in the wilderness, opened the red sea and the Jordan river. From Genesis to Revelation He is the God of Miracles!
In the New Testament, we find Jesus living a sinless life as man and for man. We find Him going to the Cross to offer Himself a Sacrifice for Whosoever would come and receive His Grace. He rose from the dead, has now ascended to the Right Hand of the Throne of God making intercession for us and His promises and provisions are more than a little amazing. Paul was captivated by the Mightiness and Eternality of God. He comprehended God’s desire for us to participate in the enforcement of the Victory Jesus won at Calvary and wrote in Ephesians 1:17-18, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…”
If he had stopped there that would be amazing but he continued saying, “…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the His right hand in the heavenly places, far above principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” (vv.18-21)
Jesus declared in Matthew 28:18 that ALL AUTHORITY had been given to Him. All authority in both heaven and earth. Then He commissioned and commanded His followers which cannot be relegated to those disciples only but to all who believe in all ages, to Go into the nations of the world and make disciples teaching them to observe ALL that He commanded. He promised to never leave or forsake them. In Mark 16 we have the repeat of that directive with an addendum that believers would have accompanying signs. Among other things they had power over the devil and demons and could heal the sick by the laying on of their hands and faith.
The Bible declares that Jesus came for the express purpose of “Destroying the Works of the Devil.” Has that fully transpired? Is the devil still doing his dirty devious deeds? Is there still a need for the miraculous power, presence, and person of God in this world? I hope you said, Yes!
In Ephesians 4 we are informed that God has given gifts to the Church for the purpose of equipping believers to do the “work of ministry”. He gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers for spiritual service and ministry. He gave them to build up the Body of Christ UNTIL we all attain the ‘unity of the faith’ and of the ‘knowledge of the Son of God’ and until we become ‘mature to the measure and stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.’
The Bible speaks of the part being done away as including knowledge when that which is perfect has come. I must ask if that is speaking of the Bible canonized why do we still have the imperfect, the devil still roaring about, knowledge still increasing, and unity not achieved in the Body of Christ?
Why did Jesus instruct us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 to pray for the Kingdom of God to come to the Earth and the will of God to be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven if that was not possible. Why did He tell us in Matthew 6:33 to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?” Why did He say that because He was going to the Father His followers, including us, would both do the works He did and greater works?
In 1 John 4:17 we are informed that “as Jesus is, so are we in this world.” How is He? Is He still God? Is He still longsuffering? Is He still the Mighty God, the Living God? Is He still the same yesterday, today, and forever? When did He become impotent and bound by the doctrines of man relegated to operating within the parameters and confines of modern science, medicine, technology, or economics? We sometimes pray for God’s guidance but not His manifestation of Power in the miraculous, why? We sometimes expect God to help us financially but not in healing and deliverance, why?
The God I met in the Bible and at that kitchen table in Palestine, Texas 50 years ago is not Impotent but the same yesterday, today, and forever and He does not change nor, does he fail to keep His word. My God is not Impotent! That is not to say that I have attained the place of faith or spiritual maturity that I see the Power of God as I believe is possible as frequently as I believe He desires, but as Paul said, “I am pressing toward the mark.”
God bless you as you step into the presence of God and experience the Mightiness of God! Have a fantastic day!