Perhaps one of the least understood qualities of God that we as humans also share is the Quality of POWER. In our society, there is a lot of misunderstanding what power is and what it isn’t and also who has it or doesn’t as well as what it means to be powerful. In spiritual circles, we often hear people say I gave away my power. I’ve even heard myself say to people, who are you giving your power to. But, this power isn’t the Power we are speaking of when we speak of POWER as a Quality of God. If it’s a God quality, it is unchanging; it cannot be given away!
You probably all heard as children that God is OMNIPRESENT – meaning Present everywhere; and OMNISCENT – meaning – all knowing; and OMNIPOTENT – meaning all powerful. The images these conjure up is one of a Santa Claus – who is pointing a finger saying, YOU BETTER WATCH OUT…
That’s still not the Power we are addressing today.. The definition we are using today is: Power is the possession of control, authority or influence…the physical, mental or spiritual ability to act or produce an effect. It is my hope that we’ll all have a deeper understanding of the true meaning of God’s power before we leave here today.
Before I get too serious, I’d like to share a joke:– It’s about The Power of Women!
There were 11 people hanging on to a rope that came down from a helicopter. Ten were men and one woman.
They all decided that one person should get off because if they didn’t, the rope would break and everyone would die. No one could decide who should go. Finally the woman gave a really touching speech on how she would give up her life to save the others, because women were used to giving up things for their husbands and children and giving in to men. (HMMM)
SUDDENLY, All of the men started clapping.
Let’s try for a moment to understand the power of God and then look at the implications that might have for our understanding of our own power. This is more a theological reflection on power, rather than on the kinds of power we would study about in a sociology or management class.
The nature of God’s power is consistently ambivalent. And I mean that in the literal, root sense of the term: ambi-valent.
There are two values or two senses of the power of God coexisting. One is what we can think of as “Power Over: the power to control other people or things and direct them to do one’s will.”
The other we can refer to as “Power With”. the power in working with others – or the co-creative process.
I’d like to spend more time today on POWER OVER – because at first, it might sound negative – because most of us have had some negative experience with feeling controlled –
David Hawkins refers to this by using the word FORCE – whenever we are trying to get someone else to do what we want – or even attempting to MAKE the Universe work in a certain way by our efforts or by our prayers, we are using FORCE rather than true POWER. True power takes into account RESPONSIBILITY – we GET that we are not victims and that no one or nothing can control us… As we said a few weeks ago, Taking Responsibility is the Ultimate in knowing we are FREE… When we GET that – we also get to experience the true Power OVER – the power of God over the world, and our POWER to direct our world and the conditions of our lives.
The first definition of Power, then, Power Over. is the It is the ability to direct the world around us – and that sometimes does mean to control the forces of nature, other people, or; in a real sense, ourselves- our emotions, our thinking and therefore our experience..
So, Power Over when viewed as a Quality of God is a very good thing.- There is no greater power than aligning with my divine intention and my Divine Self. Have you seen the latest PBS series with Wayne Dyer as he speaks on the POWER OF INTENTION – It’s a great show. He never talks about DOING anything, or taking anything from anyone or making anything work. Intention is an inside job. We’ve heard it said, “God can only work for us by working through us. To know that “I Am Cause to my creation”, is the Ultimate POWER.
People often speak of miracles by saying that they experience the power of God as if the power of God was beyond anything we can readily imagine or experience. But, the truth is, as we develop the receptivity to OWNING God’s power as our OWN and start to realize that it is within each and every one of us, we begin to develop what has been called the mental equivalent of that which we want to create. We get the KNOWING that it is already ours. We come to see the miraculous as the ordinary in our experience.
When we think that there is a God out there who has a will and desire for our lives that is separate from what we want – or as Wayne Dyer so eloquently put it, “what will make me happy”, we begin to experience a sense of Powerlessness.
I’ll give you an extreme example.
I once read about a man that starved to death in his pickup in the mountains of Oregon. He got stuck in a snow drift in a mountain pass and sat in that truck for nine weeks waiting for someone to rescue him – as he prayed -”if it was the Lord’s will.”
Throughout that time he kept a diary and wrote letters to loved ones. It is clear from those diaries that this man believed God caused Him to get stuck in that snow and that he would get out only if it was God’s will. For more than two months He sat there wondering whether or not it was God’s will for Him to live. Finally, he died of starvation.
When someone finally found Him, he was only a 100-yard walk away from clear road he could have used to find help. One hundred yards of snow and a wrong idea about God stood between this man and life.
Starvation didn’t kill that man. His theology did.
We get to the root of really understanding POWER OVER when we start to reflect on the Power of our own WORD.
The first and foundational manifestation of God’s Power Over is Creation, particularly as formulated in the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. – CREATED out of NOTHING.. God speaks, and all that is comes into being. God’s power here is absolute. Creation for God is effortless. There are no challenges, threats, or obstacles to God’s power. The word of God is law everywhere. As Greg so beautifully sang today, THERE IS ONE POWER…and as we come to realize that God makes human creatures in the image and likeness of Itself, then we share this Power Over:
In the book of Genesis, we read, “Then God said, ‘Let us make (humans) in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air; and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth”
In creating humans, God empowers us by giving us life and by sharing dominion with us. This is the power we have to transform our lives.
I’m learning a lot lately about RELAXING and ALLOWING – and I’m coming to see that Transformation is NOT ABOUT WORKING on ourselves- with the emphasis on WORK. It is not about DOING things the RIGHT way… (How many of you are still trying to figure out what way is the RIGHT way..) I recently heard about a Jewish woman who was attending both Temple and a New Thought Church. Her reasoning – she wanted to make sure she got it RIGHT…
There’s a song I’ve been listening to each morning and a line in it says – And we do not have to work for it – and we do not have to pray for it – And we do not have to struggle – for we are Joy and we sing because we’re JOY… I love that song…
Most of you know that I’m writing a book on the Qualities of God and my chief EXCUSE for not REALLY getting the message out there in the past has been – I don’t have the ENERGY to do all the work it takes to do this. And, you know what, I’m finding that AS I allow God to do this work through me, I have more energy than I have had in years. The Key here is to ALLOW what IS ALREADY WITHIN us to come forth. That ‘s POWER – the other way of MAKING everything in life work is FORCE.
As we come to realize that this POWER OVER is our inheritance – We come to see that we exercise Power OVER the way God showed us in Genesis… By the WORD. The key to transforming ANY experience in life is through the spoken word. Watch your words. Our words reflect our belief in both POWER OVER and POWER WITH… Recognizing that our spoken words – our every word is PRAYER – that what we speak into the Universe, we see manifested continually, is POWER OVER. Recognizing that we can speak words that are uplifting and healing for others is part of the POWER WITH.
A while ago, there was a story in the Creative Thought Magazine, written by Rev. Judith Churchman that illustrates this. She tells the story of years ago when she first found the Science of Mind teaching and philosophy. She had a small child, named Derik who had a lot of illness. He was a hyperactive 2 yr old with allergies and who had endured numerous hospitalizations. She was hyper-vigilant and constantly worried about his health.
As her study progressed in Science of Mind classes, she saw how well-meaning parents through their constant worrying often help create poor health in their children, the very thing they are trying to avoid. She said that idea hit her like a ton of bricks. “We worried about Derik’s health all the time” she said. She and her husband decided to quit doing and saying things that added to Derik’s self image as a sickly child. For example, he would say things like, “Mommy can I drink milk today or will it make me sick?” We decided to treat him like a healthy child and do our best to stop worrying about him.
“I told him every night when I tucked him in what a strong, healthy boy he was. When he did get sick, I assured him he was a fast healer and could send the “disease” away. He believed me, unquestioningly as young children do.”
Within one year of consciously speaking differently, Derik was a different child. In fact, he did not see a doctor for two years until he had to have a check up to start kindergarten.
Derik is now a 6’3 healthy, handsome young man of 30.
In the first chapter of John’s Gospel we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”
Do I speak the words that reflect the divine pattern.
· What is it that my words are empowering?
· Am I empowering sickness and disease?
· Am I empowering lack and limitation by talking about it and claiming it.
The Psalmist, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”
NEVER SAY A THING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE REALIZED IN YOUR LIFE.
Imagine that a Dictaphone was strapped on your shoulders the first thing tomorrow morning and you carried it with you all day until the last thing tomorrow night and it recorded every word you said and then was repeated to you. You might be a little embarrassed and more than that those words are what are creating your life. Never forget that the circumstances of your life tomorrow are molded by your mental conduct of today.
Using this power is about Speaking the Word for your desires. Talking about what you want, not what you don’t want.
Ernest Holmes, founder of the Religious Science movement once said, THE WORD HAS POWER ONLY AS IT IS ONE WITH POWER. The word gives form to the unformed. The greater the consciousness behind the word, the more power it will have. Just words, without conviction, have no power and just conviction without words, will never stir up latent energy. We unify with the spiritual consciousness, as we become aware of it we speak it into form, as we believe in the power of our own word.
Our words are also a vehicle of our Power With: Let me give you another illustration:
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.
The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die.
He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
This story teaches two lessons:
1. There is power of life and death in the tongue.
An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.
2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill him or her. Speak life to those who cross your path. The power of words…An encouraging word can go such a long way.
I’d like to close today with an excerpt from a book called, Mine to Take, by Dara Joy.
There are those who say that of all the mysteries in the universe, it is power which is the most curious.
Is it force or is it ability? Is it illusion or is it a reflection of
nature? Is it seized or is it bestowed? Birthright or destiny?
Or perhaps its elusive essence rises from other sources, nebulous and arcane.
Over time, numerous sages have inquired into the esoteric nature of power, for by its essence it is a catalyst of forces, nations and
beings. It can enslave and it can liberate.
It can come from darkness and from light.
And by either its presence or absence, it rules us all.
There are those who spend their entire existence seeking it; while there are others to whom it simply comes. Those few who understand and respect its nature, never questioning its presence, become its source. For what is known positively about power is that it writes history
FORCE – whenever we are trying to get someone else to do what we want – or even attempting to MAKE the Universe work in a certain way by our efforts or by our prayers, we are using FORCE rather than true POWER