Summary: Power in the kingdom of God has an entirely different purpose to power in the world… the power that Jesus promised and the power that Jesus provided through the Holy Spirit is not power to intimidate people, nor is it power to impress people… it is power
One day a large male lion decided to make sure that all the other animals knew he was the master of the jungle so he went to the gazelle and roared, ’Who is the king of the jungle?’ Trembling, the gazelle answered, ’Why, you are, mighty lion.’
He went next to the zebra and roared, ’Who is the king of the jungle?’ Fearful, the zebra answered, ’Why, you are, mighty lion.’
Then he went to the monkey and roared, ’Who is the king of the jungle?’ Startled, the monkey answered, ’Why, you are oh mighty king!’
Finally, full of himself, full of his own importance, he went to the elephant and roared, ’Who is the king of the jungle?’ The elephant reached out and grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around in the air, and body slammed him to the ground several times, then threw him against a large boulder.
The beaten, bruised, and battered lion struggled to his feet … he looked up at the elephant said — ’Look … just because you don’t know the answer doesn’t mean you have to take it so personally!’"
Now to that lion … the purpose of his power was to make sure everyone else knew that he was king! The purpose of his power was to ensure that everyone else knew that he was dominant, that he was in control. And in our world, power is often used as a tool of intimidation and subjugation … for many that’s what the perks of power are all about — dominating, dictating and sometimes even destroying!
Acts Chapter 1 verse 8 says – ‘You will receive power…’ And the whole of the book of Acts, the whole foundation of the early church, the whole ethos and lives of those early christians was built on that verse – ‘You will receive power…’
But listen, listen carefully — Power in the kingdom of God has an entirely different purpose to power in the world… the power that Jesus promised and the power that Jesus provided through the Holy Spirit is not power to intimidate people, nor is not power to impress people… it is power to impact people!
Aaron last week was talking about the Unstoppable Church in Acts Chapter 2. And that church was unstoppable because it was filled with power – power to impact people, power to change lives, power to set the captives free – And it says, ‘the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved’.
This was an infant church, this was a baby church, it was only hours old yet already it was making an incredible impact and people were being saved and lives were being changed. You know I would love to see this church filled to overflowing. I would love to see the seats stretched right out to the back of the church. I would love for us to have to talk about the need of having to build on so that we can fit everybody in.
And the growth I want to see is new growth – I’m not interested in attracting Colchester’s nomadic congregation. I’m not interested in stealing people from other churches – and there’s an awful lot of that goes in Colchester – there are a number of ministers out there who are only interested in building their kingdom rather than the kingdom. But I want Acts 2:47 to be true of us here at Orchard – ‘The Lord added to their number daily, (who? Not those from other churches, not those from the Nomadic congregation – the wanderers from church to church, not those who look for the ‘in’ church of the month) but – he added to their number daily - those who were being saved’.
And I want to see this church being filled with ‘those who are being saved’ - because we are a church and a people that have been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and we are impacting lives, we are changing lives, we are setting captives free. I want this church to be an unstoppable church because we’ve been filled with the power of God Almighty, and his presence dwells amongst us.
Jesus said, ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. You know often when we think about that verse we somehow envisage the church being under attack and that it is floundering against the gates of hell. But actually the opposite is true – gates are a means of defence - not attack! And Jesus says that the gates of hell will not prevail – they will not hold out against an advancing church. A church that is filled with power to impact people and to change lives.
Commentator Lloyd Olgivie puts it like this - "The power of Pentecost is for people. What happened at Pentecost is for the paralysis of the world. The Holy Spirit, is Christ in the present tense, and it is for the healing of people in the present age. The excitement and enthusiasm of the infilling of the Spirit was to create a people through whom the Lord could continue his ministry of restoration and healing. A new age was born, Christ was alive in his people, and they were now equipped to do what he had done and the greater things he promised — communicating his love and bringing people to him."