Summary: You and I are limited in space but God is omnipresent. Our knowledge is limited but God is omniscient. We are more aware of our weakness, than our power and God is omnipotent, or all-powerful.
Our Omnipotent God
I heard recently about a 747 jetliner that was halfway across the Atlantic when the captain got on the loudspeaker and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have lost one of our engines, but we can still reach London with the three we have left. Unfortunately, this will make us one hour late.”
An hour later the captain made another announcement, “Sorry, but we lost another engine. No need to worry because we can still make it on two. However, this will make us two hours late.”
A short while later, the passengers heard the captain’s voice again, “Guess what folks? We just lost our third engine, but rest assured -- we can fly with only one. We will now arrive in London three hours late.”
At this point, one passenger became furious and shouted out, “For Pete’s sake, if we lose another engine we’ll be up here all night!”
Like a plane losing power, many of us are running on only one engine as well. While we desire power in our lives, if we’re honest, we’d have to admit that we’re losing altitude and experiencing a power failure.
We’re more than halfway through our series called, “Getting to Know God.” I trust that you’ve gotten to know Him better as we’ve shined the spotlight on various aspects of His glorious character these past weeks.
This is the third and final message on the “omni” attributes of God. These attributes are a bit difficult of us to grasp because we have nothing to compare them with in our minds. You and I are limited in space but God is omnipresent. Our knowledge is limited but God is omniscient. We are more aware of our weakness, than our power and God is omnipotent, or all-powerful.
The word omnipotent is derived from Latin and refers to the fact that God’s power is infinite and unlimited He never loses an engine or runs out of gas. The word omnipotent is defined by the biblical word, “Almighty,” which occurs 345 times in the Bible, and is never used of anyone but God. He alone is Almighty as Psalm 89:8 says, “O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.”
God can do with power anything that power can do because He has the strength to do all He wills to do. He has all the resources and the ability to work His will in every circumstance in the universe. I love how A.W. Tozer puts it: “God possesses what no creature can: an incomprehensible plenitude of power, a potency that is absolute.”
Here’s an easier definition to remember: “Nothing is too difficult for God.” As we sang earlier, God is able to do everything he needs to do or wants to do.
As a passing note, it may be helpful to know that there are at least four things the Bible says that God cannot do:
-He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13)
-He cannot lie (Titus 1:2)
-He cannot be tempted to evil (James 1:13)
-He cannot change His basic nature (Numbers 23:19)
The doctrine of God’s omnipotence is assumed everywhere in the Bible. Although the word is not used in our modern translations, it is found in the King James Version of Revelation 19:6. The Apostle John heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and loud peals of thunder shouting out: “For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Handel composed his majestic Hallelujah Chorus around this verse.
In 1983 I had the opportunity to serve as a summer missionary in Zimbabwe, Africa. At the end of the summer, our team took a sightseeing tour to Victoria Falls. If you’ve ever been to the Niagara Falls, you’ll have an idea of what I experienced. When I got out of the bus, I heard a loud, thunderous noise that seemed to be coming from the sky and the earth at the same time. As I walked closer to the falls, I could barely think. My heart was racing within me, my head was pounding, and my ears were ringing. It was deafening and breathtaking.
What John experienced was so much greater than that. Job writes of a similar incident in Job 26:12-14: “By His power He churned up the sea…by His breath the skies became fair; His hand pierced the gliding serpent. And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him! Who then can understand the thunder of His power?”
That’s our challenge this morning to attempt to understand and experience the thunder of His power! Psalm 68:28 reflects my prayer for this message: “Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before.”