This post is revealing a lost teaching of Christ that he gave to liberate us, which needs to be rediscovered! I encourage the reader to work thru my unpolished flow of thoughts, & see if the Spirit of God will reveal the deep truths that this post is attempting to bring to light. It explains why we repeatedly see individuals seeking someone in power to hand over their freedom!
All of us have noticed how a strong man’s power brings him followers, whether he be someone like Hitler or Billy Graham. Money, knowledge & popularity can bring power, but don’t automatically make one strong. It’s normal for us to size up a person, whether he (or she) is strong or weak. The strong will fight, the weak take flight. The strong are admired & celebrated. They are victorious (successful, prosperous, blessed, saved, winners, the ones on top). The strong believe in a will to power, & that progress is achieved by fighting & confronting. They use intimidation & impose their will on others. They have a philosophy of success that basically says success justifies power. I have seen big powerful ministers intimidate –verbally bully—those weaker in their congregations. The Billy Graham crusade has for years had the power to forbid any of their counselors from proselytizing, only Billy is allowed that power. Their crusades love large numbers of both attendees & decisions for Christ…(even if the numbers are at times exaggerated). Churches are into power also by merging to gain size, by dominating their rival denominations, to investing in money markets, seeking larger memberships & more prominent buildings. Consolidation of rel. power created Rome, Constantinople, Moscow, Lhasa, etc. Around the world, strength is sold, & weakness mocked. It doesn’t matter what philosophy of the world you attach yourself to: whether, capitalism, communism, Christendom, fascism, Satanism, or the New Age religions, they are all based on strength/power. They are all religions of power. We love contests…which team will be stronger?…It even catches our attention in the store, will the tyrannical brat be stronger than the doting mom? In all this fascination w/ strength & power, we are failing to notice some important things.
Weakness, the opposite of strength, is not the answer to life. Christ himself, who was no weakling, spoke of the weak who would not endure. MT 13:21, MK 4:17 He tells us not to fear the strong. (cf. MT 10:28 & others). The weak, once they are identified in life, will soon be the target of aggression, theft, condensation & in general a Darwinian free-for-all. It is common to view the weak as failures (fragile, feeble, rotten, cursed, useless, worthless)…they are the poor, the unskilled, the homeless, the rejects & discards of society who are at the bottom of the heap. The church under Constantine got a chance to side w/ strength, & since then Christendom has attached itself to the coattails of the Ruling World Order, which in turn has made the est. churches culpable in assisting the elite rob, kill and destroy. For instance, Hitler exuded power, and the German churches, like everyone else, admired strength. The Lutheran church split when part of it saw the pure evil of Hitler, and some of the Catholic clergy allowed themselves to be martyred rather than help him; still in general as long as he was strong, many people worshipped him. When his armies quit being all-powerful, his generals (some of whom had previously admired him) wanted to kill him. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was exceptionally Christ-like in opposing Hitler & doing it out of faith & from dependence upon God. He was fearless, yet his actions were from faith. His life models some of where this post is going. (By the way, Love breaks Weakness; prayer & silent reflection help us to see things as they are from God’s viewpoint.)
O.K., so far I have only reviewed what many readers already knew about the strong v. the weak. Having a choice of being a strong chess player or weak, most would want to be strong. Most of us are dedicated to power!! We adulate it.
But what is this Spirit of Power in the world? And why does it like to exploit? And why does it crave secrecy, which gives it even more power. You see this Spirit of Power is just that—a powerful Spirit of the Dark side. When we allow this Spirit in our life, it helps us legitimize power, & then when freedom is lost, it is easier to forget because of our love of strength/power. In awe of this Spirit, people develop a strange willingness to surrender their freedom & allow forced conformity. Christ said that man does not live by food alone, but by every word that comes from God? Why would he say this? Because our natural tendency is to believe in strength, and to think that strength & power=success & blessing. But God’s ancient wisdom says that victory is not necessarily to the strong (ECCL 9:11). God says that He will fight for us (EX 14:14) so hold your peace. He will send fear to our enemies. (EX 23:27) and give us the words to defend ourselves. (MT 10:20) In fact, Christ takes it takes it to the limit…he cautions his disciples about everything assoc. w/ strength & power: don’t get rich (MT 6:19, 19:24, MK 10:24, LK 18:25 & others), don’t be proud (MT 18:4), don’t exercise power & authority over your brothers (MT 20L26-27, MK 10:42-44 & others).
“Whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, & he that humbles himself shall be exalted.” MT 23:12. By humbling himself, Yahshua does not mean to become weak; no, the word means becoming obedient to God Almighty (cf. PHIL 2:8). In contrast w/ our natural tendency to love the strong & to desire strength, he warns that strength like military power gets destroyed by military power (MT 26:52) and that a strong man will be taken down by a stronger man. LK 11:21-22. And this is an opening to proceed to my next line of thought…even the strong amongst us are weak!! A top gunslinger lives in constant fear that the next gunslinger will outdraw & outshoot him. And when we get into the heads of those who come across as strong…we discover weaknesses & fears that they are covering up. And now we are leading up to Apostle Paul’s great insights about how no one can self-justify himself with works. None of our works are that good. We are not as strong as we want people to think. There is no self-justification…we are all dependent upon the mercy & grace of God Almighty!! Wow, we need to humble ourselves just like Christ taught! Rather than seeing Worldly success as divine favor, we should ask for divine favor first that our worldly success comes from God. Why? Because every plant (believer, project, item of success, etc.) that is not planted by God, Christ taught would be rooted up!! MT 15:13
Throughout history, there has been a continuity of followers of Christ who did not lust power, but humbled themselves; their stories are told in the massive book Martyr’s Mirror. When I was Amish, I experienced a different way of life, one that is not based on power. I also realized that the Spirit of Power loves change, needs change. One of things change does is put traditional eternal values under pressure to change like everything else. But we want the same kind of faith that the faithful believers of Hebrews 11 had. That faith is based on the unchangeable eternal character of God & His unchangeable Word. I was blessed to know several very Christlike men, who showed me time & time again, that we do not need to fight, or flight, but we can be assertive in a positive godly way so that everyone involved benefits and becomes a better person…a win-win for all is Christ’s way. The answer is not in strength, but in Jesus Christ.