Summary: Spiritual Powerlessness: symptoms, cause, and cure

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Power Failure

How do you feel about coming to church? Does this describe you:

I like meeting my friends and talking with them

I like the music, I like the beat


When we pray or talk about the Bible, it’s



I don’t connect,

Puts me to sleep.

Why is this? We can try to blame:

Tough day at school



Brothers and sisters

The teacher/preacher in church is a turkey.

HOWEVER, before blaming others Jesus says, look at yourself first. First take the beam out of your own eye (Mt. 7:3-5)

AND if you can’t connect with prayer or the Bible in Sunday church OR at Youth Meeting OR by yourself with just you and the Lord, then the problem is YOU – guaranteed.

So what’s wrong? Do you just need to push yourself harder? Do you need more self-discipline? Do you need to make commitments and promises to God to pray and read the Bible every day? Although some Christians may recommend this, this is NOT the answer. The power to live the Christian life comes from God, NOT from my self-effort (2 Peter 1:3, 2 Tim. 1:7, Col. 1:10-11, Phil. 3:10, Eph. 1:19-20, 3:20-21, 2 Cor. 4:7, Romans 15:13). If your power outlet is dead, you can’t make your T.V. work by pushing the plug in harder! You need to find out why the power is off, and figure out how to get it turned back on.

So the problem is power failure. What causes power failure? The Bible gives many examples: I will talk about three.

(A) The first example involves Joshua. Everyone knows “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho” – it was a tremendous victory, the Israelites completely demolished the enemy. But after Jericho came Ai, a speck of a town compared to the great city Jericho. At Ai, the Israelites got their pants beat off. Why? Because at Jericho JUST ONE soldier (Achan) in an army of 600,000+ took something he wasn’t supposed to. He saw something someone else had, he wanted it, and he took it.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting things like other people have. We all tend to value things that others value. However, in Achan’s case, this was something which God had forbidden. From this example we can learn

(1) Just one offender out of that whole huge army was enough to totally cut off God’s power. It didn’t take a ‘big’ thing;

(2) Achan went wrong because he was more concerned with what others had than with what God wanted.

(B) The second example is Goliath versus the Saul and the Israelites. The Israelites were powerless against Goliath (at least, until David came along). Why?

King Saul was not God’s idea, but the Israelites. They wanted aking because other nations had one. They got what they want – but the eventual results was, they lost the power of God. Since the Israelites wanted to do things the way other people did, they got a king who, like them, was a people-pleaser rather than a God- pleaser. For this reason, the power of God departed from Saul. From this example we can learn:

(1) “Others have it, why can’t I?” is a dangerous way of thinking, and easily leads to error.

(2) You cannot live your life by the way others live their lives. You can’t spend your life looking from side to side. If you want to live a godly life, you need to look up to Him, rather than to those around you.

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