The Fullness of His Power
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While reading a few passages from the book of Philippians recently, my eyes were fixed on the seventh verse of chapter two (). I’ve read many Bible translations of this passage, but this one included the words, “emptied Himself” when referring to Jesus taking on human form. At first glance, it appears that He emptied Himself of all that is God in order to become man. But that would conflict with the truth about Him being fully God and fully man. I’m not a theologian, but what I’ve come to understand it to mean is, He set aside the fullness of His power.
Undoubtedly, the thought of “God” contained inside a tiny and helpless infant is stunning! After all, He could have harnessed the power He retained inside a subatomic particle or in a distant star. But He chose an infant! Power through weakness (also displayed at the cross) is clearly demonstrated and the desire for a relationship with us is beautifully conveyed.
His immeasurable integrity and authority to harness His power was frequently tested. He remained infinitely patient and slow to anger! Compassionate even in the face of sin all around Him. He stayed the pure and humble servant, the lamb for the slaughter. Without ever giving in to His power to change everything in an instant! Only God can do this.
And although Jesus defeated evil forever on the cross, He is passionately committed to convincing us to stop loving sin. He wants to drive it out of our midst forever, but lets it run its course. He rarely interferes with the process and allows it to groom us for our eternal destiny. God is faithful to endure our hardships alongside of us. And He experiences our pain with us.
That was clearly demonstrated when He hung on the cross. He didn’t use some sort of supernatural means, even on a subliminal level, to douse the pain during His crucifixion. And when He cried out to the Father to fulfill prophecy (Psalm 22) – as the suffering Messiah, He continued to teach the people even while dying. And His plea to the Father marked the moment He would bare all the sins of humanity onto Himself.
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning." (, NASB)
It’s tough love beyond measure! How can we begin to thank Him?
The job is finished on the cross. Done! Finished! And Salvation is ours – Praise the Lord! God empowered us to defeat evil in our hearts by seeking Him with all of our hearts. That is, surrender to His will completely. If we don’t believe we have the victory, it will control us. If we choose to be complacent, it will continue to possess our power of dominion (a gift given to us long ago). God promised us that someday evil will be gone completely – all evil, even the mere mention of it.
And so, it is my prayer that from this point forward, you and I can take a proactive stand against it in our lives. Know that there isn’t a thing we can give to Him that He doesn’t already have but our obedience. Love him back with how we live our lives. And do it with great confidence knowing that no problem we could have in this lifetime would even come close to the one that had been solved on the cross. And be freed by that truth today!
Heavenly Father, thank you for proclaiming your Son, Jesus Christ as the One and only power that saves us! And with that, we have been justified by Him. We now seek your guidance during the sanctification process and ask that you reveal everything in us that offends you. Take us to the next step in recognizing that evil has been conquered. No longer does it have dominion over us. And knowing that should empower us each time we are tempted. We can boldly say, "I have dominion over that temptation!" We can depend on Jesus to grant us the ability to win the battle waged against us. Turn our lives around as a tribute to Him and honor Him not only for what He has given us, but for Who He is. Amen!
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (, NASB)
Copyright © 2010 Terri L. Kilroy. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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