Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Power Struggle

I had a conversation with someone about values. I shared mine, and he shared his. Without going into much detail about the conversation, he valued “strength”, which struck me as strange. In my mind strength was simply a means to an end, an enabler. Strength is like money: it’s only good for what it gets you. But what I do with any of my resources, such as strength or money, that can reveal what I truly value. If we cherish something that is simply an enabler, will we ever be satisfied? Can it ever be attained? It has no intrinsic benefit, but it only enables that which is really needed.

It’s been said that the only one who truly believes that money doesn’t matter has never known what it’s like to be poor. Something similar could be said about power, and maybe that’s why so many people are struggling for power. Our world is focused on power structures and power struggles; people have come to focus on power and money as the goal rather than a means to an end.

I look at these enablers differently, but it’s not because I take them for granted. There have been times in my life where my strength has been stripped from me to the point where I’ve been completely dependent upon someone else. And I know what it’s like to not have money, too. I’ll be honest: growing up without made me hungry for something more, and I can still struggle with that. But walking with Christ has opened my eyes to reality.

If money and power were so important, why weren’t they emphasized by Jesus? Instead, His messages focused on living rightly and embracing the Kingdom of God. He wasn’t concerned with power because all power was already His, something that He laid down for a period and picked up again.

As I understand it now, all power comes from God. There is no strength in my body, no power of intellect, that doesn’t come as a gift from the Almighty and Ever-Living God. That’s humbling, isn’t it? Yet it is reassuring to know there is no limit to the resources that He makes available to us. But He doesn’t just give to us as we want, like some genie in a bottle granting all our wishes. He wants us to partner with Him, walk with Him, and to see things the way they really are, the way He made them to be, so that we can become as He desires us to be.

The truth is: there is a power struggle, but it’s all one-sided. It began with one rebellious angel who decided he should be the most powerful, and it continues with angels and men that join in his rebellion. This struggle has been going on for millennia… all one-sided, because on the other side is God and those living in His Kingdom. God, the Author and Creator of all things, versus an assemble of rebellious brats who think they can somehow usurp power from the One Who
is Power itself, the very One Who gave them every resource they have.

Everything is a power struggle for those who believe that first fallen angel. But for those who let the Kingdom reign in their lives, there is no power struggle, there is simply the use of resources that God provides to do what it right: to provide for and protect others in demonstration of love. There is even the use of power to protect those who have joined in the rebellion, to help them understand the reality of God’s love. After all, the best way to destroy an enemy is to make them your friend.

But at some point, the enemy camp will be filled with only the irredeemable. At that point, all of heaven will be quiet in the solemn realization that no one else will be joining the Kingdom, and the power of God will be displayed. The rebellion will come to an end, and all those who struggled for power will discover it was a foolish endeavor. And those who struggled to live rightly and walk with their God will find their reward in an eternity of unfiltered love and joy. May we all be struggling for the right thing!

copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (