Friday, March 9, 2018

Devotion #7 - The Omnipotence of God

This is a seventh and last in a series of devotional readings written in preparation for the "Waiting 2018" gathering  this weekend, which many of us are planning to attend.   To read Devotion #6, click here.  To read from the beginning of the series, click here.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
 for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
(Psalm 139:13 – 16)

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, 
as the sound of many waters 
and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 
(Rev 19:6 NKJV)

God is our all-powerful Creator. He, being The Uncreated One, has all power in heaven and in earth. This is the meaning of “Omnipotence.” Literally, it means “one who has all potency.” There is no power in the universe that does not ultimately derive from God. King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon was made to exclaim this when he prayed:

I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
(Daniel 4:34b – 35 KJV)

In truth, to say God is God is to acknowledge that He has all power. If he is the One True God, he of necessity is the originator of power. Yet men from the beginning in our fallenness have constantly tried to evade this fact. He as our all-powerful creator made us and can do with us as He pleases.

We’ve been learning from A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy this week, and he has much to say about the subject of God’s Omnipotence:

God has delegated power to His creatures, but being self-sufficient, He cannot relinquish anything of His perfections and, power being one of them, He has never surrendered the least iota of His power. He gives but He does not give away. All that He gives remains His own and returns to Him again. Forever He must remain what He has forever been, the Lord God omnipotent.

One cannot long read the Scriptures sympathetically without noticing the radical disparity between the outlook of men of the Bible and that of modern men. We are today suffering from a secularized mentality. Where the sacred writers saw God, we see the laws of nature. Their world was fully populated; ours is all but empty. Their world was alive and personal; ours is impersonal and dead. God ruled their world; ours is ruled by the laws of nature and we are always once removed from the presence of God.

Our scripture reference from Psalm 139 sees men not as beings who have evolved but men who were created by an all-powerful God of the who is deeply involved not only in our creation but in the whole of our lives.

Revelation 1:6 says of God in wonder and awe “to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.” To have “dominion” means “the power or right of governing and controlling sovereign authority.” In other words, God as our Creator has “the right to rule” over our lives! Yet, rather than this being a source of distress, for the Christian who knows this omnipotent God it is a source of great comfort. The reason for this is that the Word of God boldly declares to us that this all-powerful God loves us! Look at the next two verses in Psalm 139…

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

David is saying here that God’s thoughts toward us are vast...In other words, He thinks about us all the time! What great consolation I get from the twin truths that God is all-powerful and that He loves me dearly! So, that being true for me and for you...what do we ever have to fear!

More from Tozer here:

Omnipotence is not a name given to the sum of all power, but an attribute of a personal God we Christians believe to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of all who believe on Him to life eternal. The worshipping man finds this knowledge a source of wonderful strength for his inner life. His faith rises to take the great leap upward into the fellowship of Him who can do whatever He wills to do, for whom nothing is hard or difficult because He possesses power absolute.

This idea of the greatness and goodness of God brings to my mind a children’s song that my wife Kathy and I taught the kids in our Kingdom Kids class years ago. The song was entitled, “God is Big!” One of the verses went this way:

If God was really big
And He was very bad
I think the whole wide world
Would be very, very sad
And if God was really good
But He was very small
Just possibly there might not be
Any miracles at all

God is big...very big!

So praise God for the “bigness” AND the “goodness” of God. This gives us, as the author of Hebrews says, “strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.” (Hebrews 6:18b)


I’d like to close this series of blog posts with the last two verses of Psalm 139:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
(Psalm 139:23 – 24)

As I write this, my family and I will be leaving for Parker City, Indiana in just a few hours to attend
and participate in Waiting 2018, which is a gathering of like-minded folks who want to just come together and wait upon God, without any agenda, program, or plan...but just to seek the mind of Christ. (If you are within driving distance of Parker City (near Muncie, IN) and want to know more about coming, you can call or text me at 812-622-0342 and I’ll be glad to give you details.)

It seems appropriate that we would end with this heartfelt and piercing words from David’s pen. It might be interesting to you to know that the word “hurtful” in this verse comes from the Hebrew word that means “idol.” So David is actually say “show me Lord any idols in my heart.” Is there anything in my heart that exalts itself above God? If there is, I must take this thing or these things to Him and ask Him sincerely to remove that I can be led in “the everlasting way.”

As we will in a few hours enter into the presence of God, my hope is that all of us would come with this prayer on our hearts and on our our Infinite, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent God all of our anxious thoughts and all of our idolotrous ways, so that He can truly rule in our lives…

Therefore humble yourselves
under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time,
casting all your care upon Him,
for He cares for you!”
(1 Peter 5:6 – 7 NKJV)

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