So as I’m writing this Star Wars Episode VII has just been released and it’s all anyone can seem to talk about. Friends, acquaintances, social media, new media, and even TV shows are making it their primary focus this week. Star Wars is literally everywhere around me right now so of course its been on my mind a little bit. One of the most impactful scenes that comes to my mind when I think of Star Wars is where old Ben Kenobi is fighting Darth Vader in episode IV. In it we see the two of them fighting and then Kenobi just lets Vader kill him (sorry spoiler but if you haven’t seen it just shame on you). However right before Vader kills him, Kenobi says these eerie words:
“You can’t win Darth. If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
Those words are just haunting. Powerful…in death? How can that even be possible? The way we understand power it just doesn’t make sense but it isn’t the first time someone said these words. I picture an epic spiritual fight between Satan and Jesus that ends with this quote. Its a sad moment in the story. I mean Jesus had brought a new hope and it just seemed like all Satan did was strike back at that hope and even strike it down. Jesus didn’t stay dead though and became the power to defeat death itself. Talk about a win for the good guys.
Here’s the thing, just like Star Wars didn’t end with episode VI, God’s story didn’t end with the return of Jesus.There was and is still a battle to be fought. We as Christians are the soldiers fighting this battle. The enemy we fight is a scary one. He is ancient beyond days, wiser than any of us, craftier than we could imagine, and literally hellbent on eternally separating us from our God. Basically you could call him a menace. How could we ever think that we could overcome someone like that? Sure Jesus did it but He was God. We are under constant attack by our foe and his clones. How could we hope to stand a chance against such a formidable enemy? The answer: We must die.
“We must die.”
Check out what Paul says in Ephesians
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (5:17 ESV)
That’s our first step to power. For us to be in Christ, to be a Christian, we must become a new person and the old person we were has to die. It isn’t just a partial thing that we do sometimes. We give up everything we were to become a new person; we die to ourselves completely. In that death we receive the Spirit. Romans 8:11 says
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you….” (NLT)
That’s right. God lives in us. We no longer have to do this battle on our own and let me tell you that comes with some perks.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you….” (Acts 1:8 NLT)
Those are Jesus’ own words. The guy who beat death and came back from the dead. He said that we would get power but not only that He also said
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…” (John 14:12 NLT)
We have a power in us to do greater things than the man who conquered death. This isn’t to get us arrogant because we only have that power because of His death. However, it should get us excited. I mean we have a power unlike any other. A power to stop a seemingly undefeatable foe flows through us. Isn’t that great news?
“The power in you so what are you gonna do with it?”
The power of God in the Spirit lives in you. Power in death is no longer a question but exclamation. Now the question becomes, “the power is in you so what are you gonna do with it?”
Another great movie quote comes to mind as this question is raised.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
The power we receive from the Spirit isn’t just given to us to have to protect ourselves in a bunker. We are soldiers who are called to battle. Check out the rest of Acts 1:8
“…And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NLT)
We are called to be witnesses to the entire world about the truth that Jesus conquered sin and death. To tell others that we serve a risen God who loved us enough to bring us back to Him when we were separated from Him. The foe will not run from us, he will fight us so that we aren’t heard. I mean he’s out seeking his revenge for the defeat he suffered at the hands of Jesus so he is going to give it all he’s got.
If you follow Jesus though, you have the power. The problem is many of us let fear and life get in the way and that power just sits on the back burner. This power healed the sick and raised the dead, I’m certain it can help us overcome sin and fear in our lives. I’m also certain its meant for more than that even. Everyday there are people around us lost and we have the power to show them the way. Its up to them if they follow. We are the army of God. We are a force awakened. So the question remains “What are you gonna do with the power?”
Check out this song by Jeremy Camp about the power that we have in us. May it be an anthem to move you to use the power that lives in you.