I do not know about you, but I have grown up in church all of my life and when I look back at what I remember and what I see in churches today I ask myself  what has happened to the power of God?  I can remember the sovereign power of God falling in services and people running to the alter repenting of their sins, not being led in some sinners prayer.  Services lasting all night and into the next day; where people really touched the heart of God, lives were really changed by the power of God not like today where services are run by a handout to follow along. God forbid the Holy Spirit would move and change the order of the service.  Four or five fast self-centered, humanistic praise and worship tunes from off the overhead projector maybe one or two slow tunes to fool your emotions, take up the offering, and then the real highlight of the service – the announcements.  The preaching (if there is any) is no more than 15-20 minutes of a watered down denominational doctrine drivel with no power or authority then off to our favorite cafeteria style restaurant hoping to beat the Baptist or Pentecostals.  No wonder there is no real power in the house of God today; no commitment, no dedication (to God nor man), and no desire to hear God’s word from supposedly God’s man. And before and after in most churches today tea, coffee, muffins, and cake are served; what have we been reduced to nothing more than serving coffee and donuts and smiling at each other?  Where is the power of God?  What a question to ask.  What I remember and what I see today are two different churches, two different life-styles, and two different levels of commitment and dedication.  Maybe there are two different Gods?  No I do not believe that, that cannot be true.  And no I do not need to quote Scripture here to support my belief I know that there is one God, because my mother taught me this from a child, the Bible I read supports her words, and that is enough for me.  The folks in Ezra’s day knew exactly what I am saying.  In Ezra we read, “And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient (old) men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 13So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.”  (Ezra 3:11-13) Like many Christians today they sing songs, do church activities, and give thanks to God for He “is good, for his mercy endureth for ever” (now these words are true) they build big beautiful modern buildings with manicured lawns and fancy parking lots, and “shout with a great shout,” but like some priests and Levites (old men) of Ezra’s day, if the Christians today could see and feel the real power of God they too would have “wept with a loud voice.” Now here is my point. Sadly, just like in Ezra’s day, the priests and Levites who shouted with joy prevented the people from being able to discern God’s Spirit and from remembering where the church has come from as the Body of Christ. The struggles and hardships of yester year is faint in the minds of most Christians today and that is reflected in the Spiritual awareness, heart conditions, and character of the people. Now I was raised mainly in the Assembles of God Churches. In the past the Assembles of God churches held the line to Godly standards of dress, character, reverence to God, and in general our conduct in the house of God. But recently, I have attended a few Assembles of God churches and was shocked to see how far they have drifted from God. The music was loud rock and roll, so loud you cannot hear yourself think. Everything was a big show outward driving your inward emotions. And of greatest shock to me the older ladies were dressed like the younger ladies; short dresses, rings on every finger, heavy make up, no modesty, and no honor. The service was unruly and so disjointed, no flow of the Spirit of God, and the word of God was powerless.  The pastor who talked about his Harley Davidson Motorcycle kept saying, “can you dig it?”  There was no Spirit of God nor was the power of God present, only the spirit and power of the world. And why the change, because the Assembles of God Church, for years, has been losing young people so they went to a contemporary worldly style of service hoping to lure in young people, when all they are doing are deceiving the older people to let their flesh run wild while teaching the young people how to disrespect and be disobedient to God.  Please understand I am not saying these things to speak bad about the Assembles of God Church, oh no I am saying these things to warn the Assembles of God Church and any church that would follow after their ungodly, worldly example. When we lose our ability in God to control our flesh we too lose the Spirit of God.  Where is the power of God! Now please understand most of the other denominational churches we attend are just as bad as the Assembles of God Churches. We must have God’s power if we are going to make it through this wilderness of education and learning God has picked out for us.

My friend did you know the power of God is not seen in what we do, but is seen greater in what we do not do. We see this example of great power in the Scriptures when Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit for a time of temptation and education. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:1-4)  Now a man with no real inward power (who has supernatural power) would have turned the stones into bread. I wonder why we always seem to go after supernatural signs and wonders in our lives? Here Jesus could have used His supernatural powers to satisfy His flesh, but chose not to.  Please notice his choice was made after fasting 40 days and 40 nights unlike the Muslim faith who fasts only 40 days and eat at night.  I will be honest, I think I would have made some good dark pumpernickel or Jewish rye, but not so with Jesus, He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  There was a reason he made this statement, believe it or not He Himself had no power to turn the stones into bread.  Okay David you have gone to far to say Jesus had no power, well let’s read it from Jesus’ own words, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”  (John 5:19)  John had a lot to say about the power of Jesus.  Yes, Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords who did mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, healed the sick and set the captives free had no power to do things unless the Father gave Him the power.  Further on in John we read Jesus saying, I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”  (John 5:30) and “ . . . I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)  How strange to read from the Scriptures Jesus saying He has no power and we run around the world saying we have the power.  I’ve got the power!  Do you have the power?  Here brother, let me give you the power when Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. I really believe Jesus learned this great truth in the wilderness (the place of learning all great truths in God) and any power He had came from His Father in heaven. Amazingly Jesus only did and said the things His Father told Him to say and do.  He was limited and restricted to only His Father’s words, this is why He was so powerful and could say as He overcame the devil, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” What a great truth the church of today must learn.  We must again learn we can do nothing of ourselves unless the Father gives us the strength to move, we must solely again depend on God as Jesus depended on the Father.  Yet we seem fractured and independent of God out there on our own in ministry and in our personal lives.  We must get back to this central truth, it is one of the major pillars that all other truths are built on, “I do nothing of myself.”  Jesus knew this personally and then shared this truth with the disciples, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)  Without the Father Jesus could do nothing and us without Jesus, well, like with Jesus we can do nothing. Oh to God we (I include myself here) would get back to being more dependant on God in areas of our lives.  Jesus was solely dependant on the Father for all things in His life, I wonder what would happen today in the world if we in the Body of Christ took Jesus’ words in John 15:5 serious?

Another show of Jesus’ great power is when He blessed the loaves and fishes and fed first 5,000 people (Luke 9:12-17, five loaves, two fishes, 12 baskets) and later another 4,000. “And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.”  (Mark 8:4-9) What great power in all three miracles, but please notice Jesus did not use His supernatural power to feed Himself, but always used His power to touch the lives of others as we also are to do. Jesus was never selfish or looking for self gain, oh no He was always doing things so that His Heavenly Father would be glorified. Now that is powerful, to do things so that others may get the credit.  I wonder what this world would look like if the Body of Christ did things so that the Father and others would get the credit for the good works that they do.  To be able to do and say only those things the Father tells us to say and do and to do things on earth (as they are done in heaven) so that others will receive the glory will require us to be totally dependant on God; not worrying about who gets the reward, God alone is enough for a reward is he not?  For this answer to be yes, we must have no power of ourselves, no strength within us, no nothing of ourselves, except for what the Father gives us.  Now that my friend is real power, a power that never comes to an end unless the Father wants it to.