Not By Our Power

As Christians, we need to write ourselves the following note and stick it on our bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, or any other prominent place so we can view it every day of our lives: “Not by my power, but God’s power in me.“ We need this note because we have a tendency to sometimes misplace the emphasis in our work for the Lord. We become anxious about souls who do not immediately respond to the gospel. We fret about Christians who are negligent and indifferent — it seems that nothing we teach makes any difference in their lives.

Because of these frustrations, we need something to remind us that: (1) We’re totally dependent on God (John 3:27; Acts 17:24-25); (2) that God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6); (3) the gospel is His power to save and change people (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18) — not by our power. We must be willing to lose our lives in him and let Him rule in us so that His power might be fully exerted. Paul tells us: “Therefore, my beloved as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).

How powerful is that power? What can it do? The same kind of power that raised Christ from the dead can be exercised in us: “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which he worked in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Since God assures us of His available power, some Christians conclude that they can just sit back and let Him do it all. However God cannot work in us unless we are willing and active (2 Corinthians 8:11-12; Gal. 5:5-6; James 2:24). We should never limit God’s power in us by our lack of complete surrender and a failure to use our bodies in His service (Romans 12:1-2). Because God’s power through the gospel exists and is available for us, we should be confident in the fact that the powerful gospel can fulfill more than our greatest imaginations.

Paul tells us we are: “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:19-20). Beloved, we can live with full assurance that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets


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