Washington Evening Journal
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If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
For example, if you belonged to the Incredible family, would you want the strength of Mr. Incredible, the flexibility of his wife, or the speed of Dash? And don’t forget older sister Violet’s force shield or baby Jack-Jack’s shape shifting!
What if your superpower is that you are actually … powerless!
At least for me, my superpower is that I am powerless.
I am powerless over sin.
Let me rephrase that, without God in my life, I am powerless over sin. But with God he helps me with every trial and temptation.
The Apostle Paul writes of the Lord’s strength in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “ … my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness …”
This devotional will not delve into Paul’s thorn in the flesh. But we can ask ourselves, what do we struggle with in this world?
The Apostle John said it this way in 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Paul aptly describes the Christian struggle in Romans 6 and 7 when he admits that what he wants to do, he fails at. And what he despises, he does. Who will save him from this wretched body of death? Thanks be to God — Jesus Christ our Lord rescues us!
The Apostle Peter’s life is a similar experience. Early in his life of fishing on the Sea of Galilee, Peter follows Jesus of Nazareth. Then he declares at Caesarea Philippi that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One of God.
But in Jerusalem during Messiah’s passion he denies ever knowing Jesus. Back on the shores of Lake Galilee, Jesus restores Peter. On the Day of Pentecost Peter preaches at the giving of the Holy Spirit and 3,000 are saved that day.
Yet, after all of these life experiences, Peter struggles with people pleasing at Antioch when he won’t eat with the Gentiles.
Does that sound familiar to you? I am a people pleaser. I struggle with pride and making an idol out of knowledge.
My only hope is to claim that I am powerless and surrender to Jesus’ help. Surrender for me included my initial conversion when I prayed for forgiveness. Surrender for me has included various spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading and memorization.
Powerless surrender has also included admitting and apologizing for my failures, my moral defects. Attendance at groups of all kinds have helped me access God’s power. Among these groups are Sunday morning attendance, small group Bible studies, prayer groups, and support groups that address the specific issues in our lives.
I have grown in faith through following God’s call to preach and teach His Word. A closer walk with Christ has come for me from the advice of my wife, parents, children, Christian mentors, counselors, friends and extended family. I am quicker to phone or text a friend for help than in my younger days.
A friend of mine says, “The problem is not the problem.” Many of our struggles with the world have underlying issues such as pride, perfectionism, and acceptance.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He also will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
I think of sanctification like many pieces in a lifetime jigsaw puzzle. My incredible family, my church and my friends have helped me immensely to learn how God provides the many ways of escape when I follow Him.
If you find that you are powerless over sin, surrender to God and His power will be sufficient.