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Our True Source of Power

From the Archives: February 16, 2003

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.  Zechariah 4:6

Last Sunday morning life was a little, well…bizarre! At least around the Welch household. As we slept on Saturday night (a neighbor said it happened about 1 am on Sunday morning), our power went out. And it stayed out. For sixteen hours. Sixteen very long hours.

By the time the lights did shine again, our appreciation for electricity had grown exponentially. Life without power seems unimaginable. It keeps our food from spoiling. It keeps us warm. It enlightens dark corners. It also cleans dusty corners. It thaws out lunch. It cooks our dinner (if it hasn’t spoiled!). It washes our dishes and our clothes. It connects us to the world. And, on a Saturday night, it even prints our sermon, which didn’t beat the power outage by all that much last weekend. That fact sent chills up my spine.

But as my kids sat in front of the television praying for a miracle, it struck me that electricity even entertains us. And that’s pathetic! The highlight of our electric-free day was the creativity it forced upon our lives. The X-cube-game-station was silent. There were the pangs of withdrawals, but the pain was fleeting. The kids found a ball buried in the garage and went out into the street and tossed it around. Together. It was a miracle!

We’ve grown dependent upon electricity, but not completely dependent. But I must ask myself — am I as dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit as I am the modern marvel of electricity? Am I completely dependent on His presence, or do I just give Him lip service? Which would I rather live without — electricity or the Holy Spirit? What if He didn’t show up some Sunday morning? Would I know He’s missing? Would you?

I depend on electricity to make life easier; I depend on the Holy Spirit to make life worth living. It is the Spirit who controls me. Life is not lived by might or by power, but by God’s Spirit. Oh, how I long to know that dependence daily in my life.

My kids prayed for a miracle. They got it. Or so they thought! The power fix was only temporary. Edison shut us down again most of Monday to make even more repairs. Ah, another shot at creativity — and it was a holiday from school! I’m thinking seriously of shutting off the breakers every Saturday night (after the sermon is printed!). But I think the kids are getting a little too smart for that trick. Besides, I don’t really want to hand wash the dishes or sweep the carpet with a broom. But even more painful than that reality, I don’t want to “do” church or live life without the controlling power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve grown more and more dependent on the Spirit, but I want to be completely dependent. How about you?

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