Moving toward Powerful Living
“For the kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)
Some days I feel like I’m really good at talking and writing about God and His Word but not very good at living it out. I know the right words to say and write and all the Christian lingo, but those do me – or anyone else – no good if my words fail to produce powerful action.
I’m not even necessarily talking about actions that contradict my words, although those are certainly damaging. What I’m most troubled by in my own life is lack of action. In other words, I often feel like I have a lot of fancy talk but not much – if any – powerful living.
Sources of God’s Power
If I want to move from fancy talk to powerful living, it makes sense to increase my awareness of how God’s power comes into my life.
- The Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) Gives words and presents opportunity to preach the Gospel.
- The Bible (Hebrews 4:12) Reveals complete truth.
- Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-4) Our example for putting words into action.
- Prayer (James 5:16) Prayer plus righteousness gets results.
- Other Christians (1 John 5:4-5) Living victory through faith in Christ.
Knowing the sources of God’s power and even making sure they exist in my daily living still mean nothing should I fail to produce meaningful action. To do that, I need to become strong in God’s power.
Becoming Strong in God’s Power
Being strong in God’s power means standing firm, which involves our words being illustrated by our actions. The armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), a familiar passage of scripture, gives valuable insight into how we can turn our fancy talk into powerful living.
- Use all the tools available to you. Think of all the tools great warriors carried with them. To help you visualize, pick a movie with good battle scenes, like Lord of the Rings, and watch how the warriors not only had a variety of tools on them at all times, but they used all of those tools when the battle got especially tough and lengthy.
- Let righteousness (i.e., goodness, honesty, fairness, rightness) strengthen your core. Any exercise specialist knows that a strong core is essential for the whole body to be strong. No matter the activity, core strength will increase chances for success.
- Use peace as your firm foundation. Peace gives a firm foundation by guarding our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). Having a foundation of peace means emotions don’t control you.
- Hold up your faith to prevent injury. A strong faith, like a good shield, keeps evil from harming you.
- Protect your mind with your salvation. Salvation protects your mind because no one can take it from you. You can only lose it by choice.
- Know how to use your one offensive weapon. Watching good battle scenes helps understand the importance of a sword, which seems to be a natural extension of the user. A good swordsman puts in hours of practice and always has his sword with him, ready for use.
- Stay persistent in prayer. Constantly be praying, and let the Holy Spirit guide your prayers.
As I look at what the armor of God does for a Christian’s ability to stand strong, to put words into action, I realize that it’s really a principle for successful living — for powerful living — in any area of life. From relationships, education, and career to running a marathon, writing a book, and building a house, the above steps really provide a path for significance that comes only through being used by God.