God’s Supernatural Power, Part 1
Last month we explored what I believe is the most important thing we can do as believers. And that’s to learn to love Him. Only if we love Him can we then love those God has put in our lives.
We examined the First Commandment and what it means to “love” Him. We found that the verb “to love” used in Matthew 22:23 is the verb agapao, which means “what we are totally given over to,” what we relinquish our lives to and what we put first in our lives. When we learn to love God like this, not only will God’s Love come forth from our hearts, but also His wisdom and His power will be shown in our lives. This is what it means to “exchange lives” with Him. We give Him ours (our own thought, emotions and desires); He then gives us His (His Love, wisdom and power). In other words, we give Him our hurts, our anger, our insecurities, our resentments, our doubts, our guilt, and so forth; and in exchange, He gives us His Life.
God’s supernatural power is a part of that Life. It’s what enables us to be sanctified, to become partakers of Christ’s Life, and what empowers us to overcome the world, the ﬂesh, and the devil. Let’s delve into the empowering aspect of God’s Life (His dunamis power). Let’s explore what it is; how we get it; and, how we learn to depend upon it.
God Is the Source of All Power
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that God upholds all things by the Word of His power. Think about what this is really saying. God sustains everything in the universe by His hand of power. In other words, all He has to do is speak His will and His power will then accomplish it (Psalm 33:9). For example, He formed the mountains by His power. He divided the seas by His power. He divided the light from the darkness by His power (Genesis 1:4). He created man by His power (Genesis 1:26). And He will quicken the dead and call them to life by His power (Romans 4:17).
The source of all power, therefore, is God. It’s His saving power, His pardoning power (Matthew 9:6), His inﬁnite power (Matthew 28:18), His power over nature (Luke 8:24), and His life-giving power (John 17:2; John 10:10). Romans 13:1 tells us, “For there is no power but of God.” He is the One who places rulers in positions of power, and He is the One who controls our lives and our destinies by His power.
Remember Abraham and Sarah? God promised them a son (Genesis 17:16– 19). According to the laws of nature, it was completely impossible for them to conceive. Yet the Lord said to them, “Is anything too hard for Me? At the time appointed I will return unto thee and Sarah shall have a son” (Genesis 18:14). Something totally impossible was about to be made possible by the power of God (Luke 1:37). And of course, Sara ended up conceiving and bringing forth a son who would play a major role in God’s plan for mankind.
Scripturally there are hundreds of examples of God’s power in action. We immediately think of His mighty acts such as the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21–23), the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:16–18), and the ten plagues of Egypt. These are fabulous examples of God’s power that shape and fashion history. This type of divine power is true all the way through the Scriptures and it’s true in our lives as well.
What is amazing is that if we believe in Him, He promises to instill a small portion of that same immense power in our hearts (Deuteronomy 8:18). And through that power, He gives us the ability to execute the impossible. Christianity is simply the manifestation of divine power in the presence of human weakness.
What Is God’s Supernatural Power?
What exactly is God’s supernatural power and how does it manifest itself in our lives?
God’s divine power was manifested in the Old Testament by miraculous deeds. A special and sometimes temporary anointing often accompanied these miracles, for example, as with Moses, Samson, Elijah, Elisha, and so on. Today we read about the incredible outpouring of the Spirit and the miracles that are happening in China, Africa, and other countries.
The second aspect of God’s divine power is called “the power of Christ’s resurrection”: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:10). This power is given to every believer by the Holy Spirit at his new birth—it is part of the Life of God that He has instilled and sealed in our hearts. Consequently this supernatural power resides in every Christian, but it requires a submitted and sanctified life in order to partake of it. Just like God’s Love, it can be quenched and blocked by emotional and “fleshly” choices.
Paul prayed for the saints at Ephesus to know this kind of resurrection power: “That the eyes of your understanding [may] be enlightened; that ye may know  what is the hope of His calling, and  what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and  what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18–19).
The “hope of His calling” (our inheritance in Christ) and “the riches of His inheritance” (our future blessings in the kingdom) are linked here with the “exceeding greatness of His power.” God’s challenge to all of us is that we must learn to partake of, rely upon, and be controlled by the exceeding greatness of His power. And, by so doing, we’ll not only apprehend the hope of His calling, but also the riches of His future inheritance.
The Purpose of God’s Supernatural Power
The purpose of God’s power in our lives is to come alongside us and help us learn three things: 1) how to be sanctified, 2) how to partake of Christ’s Life, and 3) how to become those overcomers (faithful ones) who bear righteous fruit. Sanctification leads to partaking, partaking to overcoming, and overcoming to inheriting. God’s resurrection power accomplishes all three of these things. His power not only gives us a new spirit when we are born again, His power also produces a transformed life through the sanctification process (1 Peter 1:5).
God not only teaches us how to live through His Word, He also gives us the power to live through His Spirit. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of who the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:14–16).
What good is knowing God’s will, if we don’t have the power to perform it? His power enables us to do what His Word demands.
The Holy Spirit is the enabler, the executor, and the implementer of God’s will being accomplished in our lives. Our responsibility is simply to make the choice to let Him do so! It’s really a partnership. We offer our bodies as a “living sacriﬁce,” God then ﬁlls us with His Spirit and accomplishes His will through us (Romans 12:1–2).
Christ is the perfect example of the manifestation of God’s power. He lived His entire life depending upon this power. The Holy Spirit empowered Him to do all His miraculous acts and, of course, the Resurrection was the supreme manifestation of that power (Acts 2:24). The purpose of Christ’s incarnation was to nullify the power of the devil and to free those held in bondage (Hebrews 2:14).
The Lord ﬁrst passed along this resurrection power to His disciples in order that they might accomplish the work He called them to do. “He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases… Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 9:1; 10:19). The power the disciples received is, again, called “the resurrection power of Christ.”
Christ then passed this same life-giving power on to us. This endowment took place at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon thousands of believers and bestowed upon them a new and divine power (Acts 2:1–4).
God Equips Believers with His Power
Personal union with Christ gives believers this same divine power (Hebrews 6:5). “According as His divine Power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). He imparts His resurrection power to each of us the moment we believe so that we, too, can overcome the enemy, proclaim the message of the gospel, produce the “fruit of the Spirit” and persevere to the end.
This saving power will deliver us from the power of sin, from the draw of the world, and from demonic attacks. It will protect us, preserve us, guard us, and keep us from falling. “God strengthens our soul with His strength” (Psalm 138:3). Our responsibility is to simply learn to walk by His Spirit of power, not by our ﬂesh. A true disciple can only minister in the power of the Spirit, just as Jesus did (Luke 4:14).
The outworking of that power—the fruit that is produced—is the hallmark of a true disciple.
An Example: Christine
Let me give you a wonderful example. On one of our trips to Israel, there was a woman named Christine. She suffers from a debilitating disease that has stunted her growth. It’s a form of juvenile osteoporosis where the skeletal bones are unable to sustain weight. They constantly fracture and break. So, Christine is very small—she’s only about three feet tall—and she is permanently conﬁned to a wheelchair. But, no matter. This incredible woman has been married for twenty-ﬁve years. She has been a missionary in India and has won several scholarships for her artwork, including one to the Louvre in Paris. She scuba dives, parasails, and is a gymnast who works out daily on the trampoline. No self-pity here. Just a striving to be all God wants her to be by His power!
When you talk to Christine, the light of Jesus absolutely exudes from her face, the joy of the Lord radiates from her eyes, and her enthusiasm about everything is contagious. She truly is a living example of Christ and His empowering. Others are not only drawn to her, they also want what she has. Here is a beautiful woman who not only has been born of the Spirit, but who is also depending upon God’s power for everything. Metaphorically speaking, she is “walking in the Spirit.”
A disciple is not just someone who has been born again, but someone who is a participant, a partaker, and a sharer of God’s resurrection power, like Christine. (1 Corinthians 9:12)
May the eyes of your understanding be enlightened so that you may know, what is the hope of His calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance and what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)