How Much for a Some of that Power?
August 20, 2017
Twain's point was whatever it was, but he was on to something. To the extent that God, or our view of God, or even our retelling of God's story is useful to our personal ambitions, we are all in.
We want the power that comes from having God on our side.
If that is not readily available, we will find a God that will be or we will create one.
We've been resisting the same sucking vacuum since the first century. It is shaping the gospel of the kingdom into the framework of our old thinking and commercial/political/cultural (whatever) interests rather than allowing it to shape us into a new way of thinking, living, and relating.
We are predisposed through our old nature to accumulate and celebrate our own power and wield it over others. It may be the power of position, money, influence, or control. It may be spiritual power that we want for our own purposes.
But power exists as an outflow of God's nature and for His purposes and He entrusts it to us freely to serve Him and to serve people.
Simeon's money was doomed to perish with his thinking and his very life if not transformed. He needed and, after rebuke, sought a new way of thinking that started with humility.
We are not safe people with power short of humility and an understanding that the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity are wicked and signs of a heart condition.
Gall poisons us. Iniquity binds us. When we want, want, want what we want and lust for power over people, we poison and enslave ourselves.
Like so many bad examples, Simeon provides a very useful mirror to our own souls about what we need to ask God to forgive and to change in us.
"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, 'Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.'"
(Acts 8:14-24 ESV)