The pain, loneliness, anxiety and depression that this world throws at us on a daily basis can frequently seem overwhelming. As this happens you and I must be fully persuaded that, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he (and she) who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (I John 5:4,5). The fact that Jesus took our sins upon Himself and, on the cross conquered death through His physical resurrection, is what equips us to not only overcome the world, but let the love and power of God flow through us.
As I get older it becomes increasingly critical that I am fully persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised. Moses had to learn this as he was called forth at the age of eighty to deliver the children of Israel from captivity. Abraham had to accept the fact that God was able to make him the father of a great nation when he was over ninety years of age. Romans 4:21 says that Abraham was “being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.”
If I am going to accomplish that which God has called me to do I must be fully persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised. I must accept and act upon what Paul declared in Eph. 3:20 when he stated, “now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
In order to do this I must allow myself to be a channel through which God’s power can flow. An example of this took place in the 1930’s when King George VI of England made an important speech at the opening of a disarmament conference. This speech was to be broadcast by radio to millions of waiting listeners. In the middle of his speech someone tripped over the wires stretched across the floor, tearing them loose and interrupting the signal. When the chief engineer saw what had happened he quickly grabbed the broken wires in his bare hands, providing a channel through which the signal could flow. For twenty minutes the current passed through him while the King finished his speech. The engineer’s hands were burned but through them the words of the King flowed. Without the engineer’s willingness to be a channel for the King, the message would not have gotten through.
Like that engineer, you and I have been called to let God’s power and love flow through us. Sin has broken the lines of communication of the King of Kings, the creator of Heaven and Earth.
Now God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13).
By letting the love of Christ flow through you, as you continue to live in Him, you will be like the engineer who picked up the broken wires and strengthened in the faith you will overflow with thankfulness as God’s power flows in you. This involves trusting God even when you don’t fully understand what He is doing. It means rising above the circumstances and placing your faith in God’s word and not limiting your faith to what you can see. As you do this you will discover the peace, power and purpose only Christ can give.
In the book of Colossians, Paul clearly points out that the longing within us can only be filled when we let the love of Jesus flow through us. He is not only equal to God, but He is God. “He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:15-17).
Martin Luther explained what being a channel of God’s power and love is in the following way. “Behold from faith… flow forth love and joy in the Lord and from love a joyful, willing, and free mind that serves one’s neighbor willingly and takes no account of gratitude or ingratitude, of praise or blame, of gain or loss. For a man does not serve that he may put men under obligations. He does not distinguish between friends and enemies or anticipate their thankfulness or unthankfulness, but he most freely and most willingly spends himself and all that he has.”
I must admit that sometimes I feel disconnected without joy and the willingness to be the channel of God’s love that is so needed at this time. At moments like that I must turn in prayer to Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. For that reason Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Here Paul tells me that I should “devote” myself to prayer and be “watchful” in prayer. My persistence in prayer is an expression of my belief that God does answer prayer. David is a man who prayed. In 2 Samuel 2:1 we read, “David inquired of the Lord ‘Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?’ he asked. The Lord said, ‘Go up.’ David asked, “where shall I go?’ ‘To Hebron,’ the Lord answered.” David was a man who devoted himself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. He would ask God for direction. Then he would follow God’s direction and give God the glory. As a result, God did great and mighty things in David’s life as He allowed Himself to be a channel for the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Stop and reflect on what a privilege it is to let God’s power and love flow through us. This privilege includes praying to the creator, sustainer, redeemer of the earth. He declares, “I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged Me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the Lord do all these things. You heavens above rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it” (Is. 45:5-8).
What a great God He is! Don’t you think it is time to start “devoting yourself to praying, being watchful and thankful?” That’s what it means to take God by the hand and let His love and power flow through us. The Longing within can only be filled as we let the power and love of our redeemer flow through us and provide the direction for our lives. “This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (Is. 48:17, 18). In Jesus we experience true peace and righteousness by being a channel for the King. Jesus has told us, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31). “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 11:27, 28).
Now let us share in word and deed the good news that the longing within may be filled by the presence of the Living God as we are the transmission lines through which His love can flow. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “your God reigns!” (Is. 52:7). Letting his love and power flows also means taking God by one hand and with the other hand holding the hand of a hurting brother or sister.
Henri Nouwen in his works Longing of the Soul states, “In the story of Exodus, God is revealed as a God-for-us, guiding us out of our slavery with a pillar of cloud by day, and with a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:21). Later, in the story of Jesus of Nazareth, God is revealed as God-with-us (Matt. 1:24) accompanying us in solidarity and compassion. Finally, in the story of Pentecost, God is revealed as a God-within-us, who enables us to breathe the divine life ourselves. Thus, Pentecost completes the mystery of God’s revelation as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and invites us to become fully part of the inner life of God. By becoming not only a God-for-us and a God-with-us, but also a God-within-us, God offers us the full knowledge of the divine life according to the promise of Jesus.”
When we are born again, we experience the full knowledge of the divine life of Jesus living within us. Our desire is to please Him and pursue His purpose for our lives here on earth. Jesus said, “Whoever finds his (self-centered) life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). As I grow older I am learning that as I yield more and more each day to God’s will for my life, then and only then will I find true satisfaction.
This satisfaction resulting in deep inner peace is possible only as I learn to live in the now and be channels of His love. Regrets over the past and fears and anxieties of the future will rob me of the joy, peace and satisfaction that God desires to pour out upon me in the present. I must realize that He desires for me to learn how to be satisfied and develop an attitude of gratitude for each blessing that He is sending my way now.
Helping the hurting connect with God’s love requires me to quiet the many voices and the multitude of emotions that rage within. To do this I must go on regular prayer walks where I tune my ears to the sounds of creation and purposely notice the trees, flowers, blue skies, birds and other living creations. Not only do I attempt to lose myself in the midst of God’s creation that He is unfolding around me at the moment, but I also find myself praying for others who are in need. When my prayer walk takes me down a busy street or into the NLEC lobby filled with hurting people, I begin to see each one as a special child of God. These hurting disconnected individuals have been placed before me as a part of God’s glorious creation that He wants to channel His love to, through me.
It is only as I receive Christ’s forgiveness for my sins of the past and trust Him to provide my needs for the future that I am free to find the strength in the present to be an effective and productive channel of His love and power. This comes from letting God’s divine purpose flow through me as I experience His peace that passes all understanding and reach out to others who are in need.
But what about those moments when I am trying to let His power and love flow and everything starts to go wrong? To be honest, at times like that it is hard to experience any kind of effectiveness unless I am willing to be honest with God and completely depend upon Him. In Psalm 142 we see David doing just that while he is hiding in a cave and Saul is trying to kill him. David shows me in this Psalm that in those moments of difficulty I need to be honest with God, telling Him exactly how I feel and declaring my dependence on His goodness and mercy. “I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who know my way. In the path where I walk, men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to You, O Lord; I say, ‘you are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison that I may praise Your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.”
At the moment David didn’t feel very effective or productive, but he hung on, trusting God, and God turned the situation upside down to the extent that David became king! In Psalm 30:5 David proclaimed, “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” The believer can be a channel for the power and love of the King of Kings even in the times of difficulty, knowing “that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
How satisfying it is to read the Word (the Bible) and the works (creation) of God daily. In the promises of Scripture and the wonders of creation we see God’s goodness and how we can be effective channels of God’s power and love. Look at the directives given to us in I Peter 1:3-8. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God will meet every need as we take into one hand a broken sin stricken world and in the other, the hand of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then as we let His love and power flow through us, we can as ambassadors for Christ, be instruments of healing and hope. After all “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You” (Ps.9:9, 10).
We have the assurance that we can be channels of God’s love by
knowing that, “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph.2:10). Each day He gives us so many opportunities to fulfill our God-given purpose, as channels of His power and love. This is demonstrated by our acts of kindness, caring and sharing with those in need. We will see God do the miraculous through us if we will give Him our lives and not our excuses. This means surrendering and letting the Life and Love of Jesus flow through us. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
In conclusion let’s think about the life of one man who took serious these words of Jesus and let the love of God be channeled through him and then compare him to another who concerned himself with only having his needs met. The first man, Paul, spent much of his time in prison, praying and letting the love of God flow in his letters and preaching. The other man, Caesar, lived in a palace for himself and his own glory. Today almost 2000 years later people recognize which of these two men, by being a channel for the King, made an eternally important contribution. Their realization causes them to name their children after the prisoner Paul, and their salads after the emperor Caesar.
As you let his love and power flow through you reach out in word and deed daily to a hurting world.