Thursday, January 4, 2018
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When my wife and I inherited her grandparents' old farmstead in the country, we knew it was going to take some work. We were just grateful that we had a place to kind of get away, you know, and get some "r and r". We had several workmen there, racing a deadline to get some building and remodeling done before we had a lot of company. Well, on Thursday, they brought in some of the specialized tools they would need to finish the job on Friday. We went to bed Thursday night looking forward to having everything finished the next day. Now I don't usually wake up in the middle of the night, but this particular night I did. As I looked at our glow-in-the-dark digital clock, I noticed its' red numbers were flashing the same time at me, over and over again. This is not a good sign. Power outage! I almost went right back to sleep, figuring the power would come back on sooner or later. And then it hit me. Those workmen are going to be here shortly after sunrise, and they're not getting anything done without those special tools. And those tools won't work without power. Believe me, we didn't get back to sleep. We got right on the phone to the power company! Actually, hey, I did my part. I identified the problem. I asked my wife to get up and make the call. What a guy!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Tools Without Power."
Now those workmen have some really impressive tools, but they're useless if there's no power. Just like our tools. Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 20:7. These words were penned by King David who had some impressive tools in his tool kit-including probably the greatest arsenal of horses and chariots in the Middle East at that time. And in those days, whoever had the most chariots and horses was the superpower. That would be David here. Here's what he says about his impressive battle tools, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
King David says, "I've got some great weapons. I've got some great tools here, but that's not what I'm trusting in. It's not where my power comes from. I am depending totally on the Lord my God." Now David didn't sell his horses. He didn't burn his chariots. He used them. He just didn't depend on them. He knew where the real power is, and it is not in our human weapons.
So, let's talk about the tools we use to get things done, even in God's work. I call them the six "powerless p's": planning, promotion, politics, personalities, programs, persuasion. If we can just make a great plan, get the right personalities, put together a hot program, promote this just right...hey, we've got a winner here. Or if we just have the right connections, the right image, the right presentation, we've nailed it.
And God says all our impressive tools are as useless without His power as those workmen's tools were without electrical power. God has told us how to access His power with the only "p" that has any real power-prayer...the tool we often think of last...the tool we spend the least time on. Our actions, our use of time tell us that, no matter what our theology says, it's really our human weapons we're depending on most of the time. That's why we spend a lot more time in planning meetings than prayer meetings.
The frequency and the fervency of your prayers--that's the way to measure your dependency on God. If you're not praying often, if you're not praying passionately, with desperate dependency, then it's earth stuff you're really counting on, tools that are ultimately powerless.
The real enemies in your situation are ultimately spiritual enemies, in heavenly places, the Bible says. And our weapons are powerless to defeat those enemies. Only the Lord can do that. That's why, in Paul's words, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:3)
Listen, it's time to give God regular, dedicated time-to enter His holy presence and unleash His awesome power. Without that, all you've got are some impressive weapons, lying powerless on the ground because of a power failure, because of a prayer failure.