“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20, NIV2)
We humans are quite adept at the excessive use of the spoken word. We love to talk about ourselves and anything that is of interest to us. Especially if someone out there is listening.
And this has become so much easier in our world today. Through texting, we can now talk with more people than ever before, and believe me, texting has most certainly caught on! Especially with the younger generation! In addition, the most successful networks online are the social networks, such as Facebook, etc. I find it quite interesting, however, that all of these “friends” from Facebook are mostly people we’ve never even met! This way we can talk about whatever is on our hearts with total strangers!
One truly has to wonder, what with all this hype about communication, how can a religion based on talk make a difference? After all, many congregations spend more time preaching than on worshipping God. Talk is at the center of such services. But does such a talk make a difference?
While wondering about all of this, I was enduring a terrible cold. Then, on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 my cold took a significant downward turn, resulting in a heretofore never experienced quantity of outpour, requiring more than a dozen handkerchiefs to come to my rescue (I am from the old country where handkerchiefs are more popular than Kleenex.) As I looked at the current handkerchief in my hand, I had to wonder how I would ever be able to sleep between the incessant nose blowing. It would be absolutely impossible, through and through. As I was beginning to prepare for what I knew would be a very long night, I suddenly heard a word from my Heavenly Father: “Am I limited in what I can do?”
This took me by surprise. I began to ponder this question, and during my worship time that evening, God revealed Himself further: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20, NIV2)
I was being brought face to face with the key question: Do I believe in a kingdom of talk or in a kingdom of power?
Right there and then I declared I would trust in God and not in my own experience where colds always keep me from sleeping. I had no idea how God was going to bring it all about, but deep in my heart, I knew that God would provide. I would trust in Him!
As I made this resolve, my soul filled with inner peace. My Father had confirmed that He would come through!
But my nose thought otherwise. It decided that the idea of running was far more attractive than sleeping. I decided to ignore it, but as I renewed my pile of handkerchiefs, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for my poor wife! Laundry would predominantly consist of handkerchiefs!
As I crawled into bed that night, I heard God’s voice in my head: “Red Sea, part!” Instantly my nose dried up! I laid my head on my pillow and slept like a baby all night long. The outpour was over. I have never slept better that I did that week. God came through, as truly his Word is not “a matter of talk but of power”!
When we focus more on talk than on who God truly is, we limit God’s Kingdom. Talk can be effective if we let ourselves be influenced by God’s Holy Spirit (See John 14:16-17), but only He can make our words come alive.
God’s Kingdom is not one of talk, but of power. The emphasis is on power. He is, after all, our Creator, as well as our Saviour! If God were not a God of power, we wouldn’t even be alive! He will make a difference in our lives, only if we focus on who He truly is.
Do you believe?
The next time you face a bad cold with a relentless runny nose, please consider: Do I trust more in my Kleenex, or do I trust in my God?
(To access the entire “Kingdom of Power” devotional series, please click here.)