The most powerful position in the universe is receptive powerlessness. Because the greatest power source is not in the universe, but outside it.[Read more] for the vital complement to yesterday’s rhapsody on power.
During worship today, we sang a chorus that I didn’t quite understand, but nonetheless struck me as true: So we lay down our cause, that our cross may be found in you.I must admit, I’m still not sure how to parse that, but the unmistakable point is that the ‘end-game’ of any human effort is to lay down everything we are striving for, and die on the cross of our own shame and powerlessness so that God may resurrect us to His glory (at a time of His choosing). Which of course becomes the beginning of a whole new ‘game’.This doesn’t invalidate anything I said yesterday (I hope), but it does complete (and perhaps redeem) it. Power is not intrinsically bad, but it is intrinsically dangerous. Being a man, though, requires taming danger, not avoiding it. We need to wield power in order to do what we must to bless this world, but ultimately we need to lay down our power in order to let God do that which only He can do.I’ve been amazed lately by the number of people who’ve been seeking — and taking! — my advice:
* a female sysadmin pursuing career change took my advice to get a Nordstrom makeover
* a Harvard researcher adopted my chromatic triploid to characterize his personal mission
* an Engineering group enthusiastically adopted one of my long-neglected Marketing proposals
* someone debating me on the Internet had a dream which convinced him that my position was correctIn virtually all these cases, I didn’t do much to push my vision. Or if I did, it was in a slightly different direction than what actually happened, often with considerable latency. The lesson, I suspect, is that “Man plants the seed, but God gives the increase.” On the flip-side, we’ve had several minor “problems” in the last few days (a tire blowout, a chipped tooth). Nothing serious, but enough to remind me that this is a war. “Great miracles always come at a great price.” And I am largely inadequate to protect myself from any serious (or spiritual) attempts to harm me or my family. Which is why I need to keep running to God, and sheltering in His house. As well as continuing to link arms with my brothers in Christ, so I neither walk nor stand alone.PrayerFather, I come before you, and prostrate myself before — or perhaps on — your altar. I confess my own limitations, my humanness, and my folly. I acknowledge that you and you alone have the power to create lasting transformational change; that without you, I can’t even safeguard myself, much less transform myself or protect my family. Help me to be wise and powerful and loving enough to do everything I can and must, but most of all keep me humble enough to receive from you everything I am not. In Jesus name, and by His blood, I pray. Amen.
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This article has been mirrored on the South Asian Connection in Singapore.