Thank you for joining me for our Coffee Hour and for some thoughts on what is only part, albeit a significant part, of the Salvation Story: His death and resurrection, His ultimate display of power revealed through a restraint of power. Grab your coffee, and your Strand of Faith, and let’s pick up where we left off and hopefully conclude this series … just in time for Good Friday tomorrow!
Have I told you I am back in school for my Bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies? Oh, how I love learning! Well, this past week, we talked about power, the types of power, and multiple definitions for power, how it is used in the church, and out. One of the definitions for “power” is “The potential to influence others.” We were then asked to think of people in positional power, and that included pastors! Then we learned about the types of power, which is positional versus personal and the difference is that positional power is based on a title or a position and personal power is based on relationship.
Then there are the styles of power: Coercive power. Oooh, did I feel a bit of remorse after hearing about this one. The example the professor gave was about parenting, but I saw myself in the beginning of this ministry and even up to a year ago as a coercive type of leader, talking people into things that they really didn’t want to do. There’s the style of utility power, which is a type of compliance for a benefit. And then finally, there is legitimate power where others follow due to a belief in the leader and this type of power generates commitment. Oh, how I long to be this type of leader with this type of power.
Let’s broaden the lens of the scope now to The One who is most powerful, He who has all the power; the time and place: right before His ultimate surrender of power.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
Do you see the beauty of His legitimate power shining through the prophecies?
I don’t know about you, but I read those words and I am filled with this sense of wonder, awe, and covetousness. What an incredible restraint of power, to not defend yourself when being attacked!
You may be saying, “Well, why would I not want to defend myself?” or “Does Jesus expect us to be doormats?”
Let me answer the first one first and I’m sorry to put it this way, but I must answer the question with a question: Why do you need to defend yourself? The more I learn about His character, the more I yearn to be like Him and the closer I am to Him, the less I need to defend myself. If there is any twinge at all, any division of the heart, could that be fueling the need to defend ourselves in time of conflict? Here’s another way to put it: Does/will defending myself bring eternal value? When it all comes down to it, He knows our hearts and the more we restrain our power over others, the more power we will have.
And to answer the second question: Does Jesus expect us to be doormats? No. Not only no, but heck no! No one can wipe their feet on us unless we let them, and when we “turn our back” we leave them nowhere to stomp!
But Jesus hung there, surrendering His power that we might walk in/with His power, dying that we might live, giving that we might take … any and every opportunity we can to not let His pain go in vain!
See, the Easter story is only part of the story for His power lives in each one of us who have confessed that He is Lord for one day, because of His surrender of power, His ultimate legitimate power will be revealed as every knee bows and every tongue confesses …
Oh, Coffee Hour Friend, may we each allow His surrender of power to empower us, His pain to be our gain …
P.S. Join us tomorrow for a beautiful Good Friday word of encouragement from Debbie Croley @ Croley’s corner of Chicklit Power!