When I was a little boy, I dreamed of being a superhero. For me any superhero would do, but my favorite was Ultraman. Ultraman was the star of the coolest show aired on television between 1966 and 1967. I was just five years old at the time.
For Halloween my parents purchased an Ultraman costume for me at the local Kmart. When I put on the outfit, I became Ultraman. This suit of steel (actually polyester) not only helped me to bag some amazing candy that October 31, but also empowered me to save the world from space monsters a million times over and even rescue a few damsels in distress. Why has a space monster never come after you? Because I took him out before he got to you. You’re welcome.
Then I grew up and put away such childish thoughts. Time to face reality. I am just an average ole’ guy trying to make it through the day. There are bills to pay, work to do, schedules to keep, lawns to mow, kids to chauffer, meals to prepare, dishes to clean up. Time to take off the cape of an imaginary superhero and get on with real life.
Let me ask you, where would you place yourself on the Empowerment scale below?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I Am I Am Somewhere I Am
Powerless In Between Empowered
Actually, for most of the adult years of my life, I would have ranked myself pretty high – somewhere around seven or an eight. Then I got blindsided by an act of betrayal and I experienced a free-fall to a two or maybe a three. When the psychiatrist said, “Randy, you are clinical depressed”, I just gave her a blank stare, turned and looked at my wife who was sitting right by my side, and let the tears flow. It was official. I am in a dark hole and feel powerless to do anything about it.
If you ranked yourself in the lower half of the scale, it may be the result of a mental health issue like mine. You are certainly not alone. Mental health struggles were already on the rise before a global pandemic decided to visit our planet earth and overstay it’s welcome. We are now seeing the highest levels of anxiety and depression since the Great Recession of 2008. Maybe your struggles are not that intense, but you struggle, nonetheless. You are overwhelmed with all the duties laid on you that have to be repeated ad nauseam. Maybe you feel stuck in a dead-end job or can’t get your boss’ attention. Maybe you feel you were born on the wrong side of the tracks, or just can’t catch a break.
Is this it? Is this all there is… or is there hope?
For followers of Jesus, there is amazing hope! Tucked away in the ancient scriptures there is a passage that one should not rush over too quickly. It is found in a prayer that Paul offered up to the believers in the city of Ephesus. He prayed that they would grasp a truth that would alter their lives right into eternity.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms. — Ephesians 1:18-20
Do you see it? Paul is praying that the eyes of our hearts may see that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us who believe. Talk about empowerment! This kind of power is certainly sufficient to overcome any issue I face in my life. How about yours?
The pragmatic’s question immediately becomes, “How might I tap into such power?” It’s okay to ask such a question. Paul bated us to do so. We should ask it.
In pursuit of the answer, my question is this – “Why didn’t Jesus raise Himself from the dead?” If Jesus is God, and He is, why did He need any help? You can leave it in the realm of mysteries, (most do) or you can search the scriptures for clues.
Here is what I discovered. When Jesus, “being in the very nature God”, left the heavens to wrap Himself in flesh and move into our world, “He did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage”. (Philippians 2:6) Jesus came to earth to become one of us and show us the way to God by the way He lived his life. If He used what was available to Him as God, that would be an overwhelming advantage. No kidding!
So, I believe that Jesus temporarily left behind these advantages. Three in particular –
- Omnipresence – the ability to be in all place at all times
- Omniscience – all knowledge
- Omnipotence – all power
For the thirty-three years Jesus walked the earth, He restricted His access to these three sources of power. So how did He pull off all the miracles, healings and even a resurrection? He relied on the first and third person of the Trinity – the Father and the Holy Spirit. In doing so, He is showing us the way to tap into this power.
Here are the three steps that Jesus took that gave Him access to this amazing power source. If, as believers, we will follow in the footsteps of Jesus we too will have access to this power. That’s the promise.
- Empty – Jesus emptied Himself of control. We need to empty ourselves of the illusion of control. Not an easy thing to do, but very liberating. Pretending you are in control is exhausting.
- Align – Jesus aligned His life to the will of the Father. Why, because the power of God is reserved for the will of God. We need to align our lives to the will of the Father if we want access to His mighty strength.
- Empower – Jesus yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit that came upon Him at His baptism and remained with Him throughout His time on earth. (John 1:32). We don’t need to try harder to live an empowered life, we need to yield harder to the presence and power of the Spirit of God to accomplish the will of the Father in and through us.
There is not much within us as flawed humans that wants much to do with these three steps. It explains why so many of us as Christians live such normal, defeated, lack luster lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.
How am I doing today? Well, I did write a book on how to walk daily in the same power that raised Jesus from the dead… Just saying. I discovered that same power is absolutely available to all believers today if we will follow the pattern of Jesus. So maybe it’s time to strap on those superhero capes once again!
Written for Devotionals Daily by Randy Frazee, author of His Mighty Strength.
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Do you feel empowered today? Or are you asking ‘Is there hope’? As a believer you have access to amazing, divine power every day! Grab your superhero cape! ~ Devotionals Daily