Without Power

Luke 9:1-6  (NLT)

One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples[a] and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money,[b] or even a change of clothes. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.

All across the state, many of my fellow North Carolinians have been without power as we continue to endure heavy rains and gusty wind from #HurricaneFlorence2018. Even though FLO has been downgraded to a tropical storm, she is slow moving and her circular bands are dumping record numbers of water onto our already saturated land.

without power.jpgWe were without power last night for a few hours. Yes, only a few hours. But lemme just go ahead and confess this to you: I’m a wuss without power. Born and raised in Southern, CA, this city girl, who was transplanted to the country in the late 80’s, is NOT equipped to live like a pioneer. Sure, I can go tent camping. I even enjoy “roughing it” for a few days. But at home? Uh. No. It’s like I forget how to function! Without powerI can’t cook, do dishes, wash clothes, turn on the fan (this is VERY important for hot flashes!!!), use my computer, iPhone…wah, wah, wah. I have become much too dependent on electronics that are useless without power. Electrical power helps me be productive in my role as Home Manager, Homeschool Mom, and with At Home Ministries. The same is true in my relationship with the Lord, and in what He has called me to do. Without His supernatural power, I’m unable to fulfill His plans for my life.

Such is the case with the church in America. She, in many instances, is trying to function without power. She has equipped herself to preach to the multitudes on Sunday mornings by using electrical power to brew fresh coffee, show videos and announcements on the big screen, stream children’s curriculum, share on social media, amplify instruments, and project people’s voices on microphones… But none of these things need supernatural power to perform. Supernatural power doesn’t need to be plugged into a sound system. Supernatural power simply needs disciples who know Jesus. Disciples who know Jesus andhave been given His power and His authority to cast out demons, heal the sick and tell others about the Kingdom of God.

Without power, we, the church, cannot PREACH the Kingdom of God.

Without power, we, the church, cannot PRAY for others to be healed from disease and set free from the demons that torment them; body and soul.

Without power, we, the church, cannot LOVE our neighbors, as we love ourselves.

Without power, we, the church, cannot LOVE God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Jesus didn’t send His disciples out into their community to PREACH & PRAY until they knew Him andHe equipped themwith His Spirit & Authority (Luke 9).

Jesus didn’t send His disciples out into their communities, their nation, or the world to PREACH & PRAY after His death, resurrection & ascension until they knew Him andHe equipped themwith His Spirit & Authority (Acts 2).

Jesus still doesn’t send His disciples out to PREACH & PRAY until they know Him andHe equips themwith His Spirit & Authority (Hebrews 13).

My fellow disciple,

Are you trying to fulfill your calling without power? Are you preaching the Kingdom of God as a spectator of Jesus Christ instead of His friend? Are you praying for others so that they can be healed, or because you want to be their savior & lord? Stop. Confess. Repent. Be still. Know Him. Then….He will equip you with His Spirit & His authority.

My fellow North Carolinians,

I sincerely apologize for my whiny-ness of being without power. I am acutely aware that many of you have been devastated by this storm. You’ve lost loved ones, homes and all your earthly possessions. My heart grieves for you. May the Lord be with you as you endure the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, and may we, the church provide what you need to rebuild.

-Jodie

Go with the FLO

Psalm 46  (TPT)

46 For the Pure and Shining One, by the prophetic singers of Korah’s clan
A poetic song to the melody of “Hidden Things”[a]
God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge!
    You’re a proven help in time of trouble—
    more than enough and always available whenever I need you.
So we will never fear
    even if every structure of support[b] were to crumble away.
    We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes,
    moving mountains and casting them into the sea.
For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves
    cannot erode our faith in you.
Pause in his presence
God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams
    bring joy and delight to his people.
    His river flows right through the city of God Most High,
    into his holy dwelling places.[c]
God is in the midst of his city,[d] secure and never shaken.
    At daybreak his help will be seen with the appearing of the dawn.
When the nations are in uproar with their tottering kingdoms,
    God simply raises his voice
    and the earth begins to disintegrate before him.
Here he comes!
    The Commander!
    The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side.
    The God of Jacob fights for us!
Pause in his presence
8–9 Everyone look!
    Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God.
    For he brings both ruin and revival.
    He’s the one who makes conflicts end
    throughout the earth,
    breaking and burning every weapon of war.
10 Surrender your anxiety![e]
    Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.
    I am the God above all the nations,
    and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
11 Here he stands!
    The Commander!
    The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side!
    The God of Jacob fights for us!
Pause in his presence

 

I admit, my anxiety level began to rise as I joined millions of North Carolinians this week in planning and preparing to meet Hurricane FLOrence. In the Sandhill Region, I stood in long lines at the grocery store for bottled water, non-perishables, and flashlights to survive this monster storm. I joined our family in putting up tarps, securing outdoor furniture, and putting away yard accessories that wouldn’t survive the impending wind gusts. In the hustle and bustle of activity, I also spoke to several people about my regret of not having that leaky spot on the roof fixed!!! How many times have I yelled at no one (or everyone in the house) as I’ve watched a heavy rainfall produce a steady stream of water that would FLOdown the wall, dripping onto my table, threatening to damage or destroy my bible, journal and electronic gadgets? More times than I can count.

FLO.jpgIn the midst of this Category 4…3…2…1? hurricane, the Lord reminded me that I can plan and prepare for FLO, just as I can plan and prepare for “storms” in my life. Yet the earth will still quake, the mountains will still be cast into the sea, the winds will still roar, and the waves will still crash. But if I will go with the FLO of His plans and purposes, I will prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).

Lemme just say right here: I hate the unknown.

Check that.

I fear the unknown.

I fear unpredictable storms of life.

So, in an effort to control the track and category of human hurricane’s, I try to plan and prepare….for everything.

But that’s impossible. Isn’t it? And its, just….well….stupid. Seriously. Who controls the wind and the waves? It certainly wasn’t Job, and it definitely isn’t me.

The truth is: God has not given me a spirit of fear! (2 Timothy 1:7) And He hasn’t promised that my plans or preparations will not be shaken. For if I was able to stand on my own two feet in the midst of a raging storm, I would never run to the safety and shelter of His wings (Psalm 91). God has promised, however, that HE knows the plans He has for me, and HE is never shaken.

My fellow disciple,

I don’t know what size of storm you’re enduring this hurricane season. I don’t know how the wind and waves will impact, or maybe even damage your body & soul. But I do know that God promises to be a safe and powerful place to find refuge. Do not forget: He is with you! He is a proven help in times of trouble. And, remember: the storm will only last for a night. As my adopted Grandma Lillie Mae used to say, “child, ain’t nev-ah seen a storm dat didn’t pass” (thanks for the reminder, dad).

-Jodie