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REAL POWER…

(About a 5 min read… but reading is good for you, right?!)


I was 19 and wanted to celebrate mine and my girlfriend’s 2 year dating anniversary… i wanted to make it special….


I lived at home with my parents and we had an exposed basement in our southern Wisconsin house… I decorated the room… dimmed the lights… bought candles, made the food myself… flowers in a vase… everything was just so….


My parents were aware of the event and my mother helped me with a few cooking tips and tricks… my dad hated my girlfriend… he would always say in the most public places “so, have you two had sex yet?!”… it always embarrassed me… he used these moments as a form of dominance and control…


The day was good, my girlfriend was on her way over and I was excited to bless her and make her feel special… I was always the sentimental one…


15 mins before my girlfriend showed up, I was down stairs and my dad came down… he said he had something very important to talk to me about… my mother came running behind him urgently telling him to stop… he turned around and shoved her back up onto the stairs and started yelling at her…


I had always been intimidated by my dad… until today…


My dad was a 6’ 4” man at about 450lbs… he was gruff and unkind on his best days… I was 6’ 2” and 170lbs wet… I felt something deep rise up in me and yelled “what’s your problem, you coward!” And I ran at him with all of my emotions… threw my shoulder into him… and sacked him…. sending him to the floor in a thundering thud… knocking my anniversary presentation all over the basement floor… petals, wax and beef Wellington everywhere…

I found power that day… in the form of courage…


My late wife and I were married at 21… we moved to a small town and rented a big house that needed work… so I exchanged work for rent… we spent many days working in that house to bring it up to code and off of the condemned list... My wife had been dealing with anger and control issues… it wasn’t so bad in the beginning… however, it got worse quickly…


Once, her brother had come over to visit which escalated to an argument and ended with her punching him across the face and her going to jail… these outbursts were becoming more and more common and I began to feel trapped again… like I did with my dad…

We were painting the living room… it had high Victorian ceilings… she was on the couch watching tv and asked me to go make her something to eat… I politely told her that I was indisposed at the moment… so…she came to the ladder and pushed it over… paint went everywhere and I fell 6 feet and landed on my arm… I stood up in pain and said “what the hell?! Why did you do that?!” She replied “ I told you to make me something to eat!” I was a bit shocked… I looked deep into her cool angry eyes and said “no… never again… “… she started to turn away from me and swung around giving me a right hook across my jaw… I saw stars for a moment and could taste blood in my mouth… I felt that anger rise up from all of the years of my dads abuse… I remembered my mom… and how she was treated… so instead of retaliating… I slowly turned away… went upstairs, packed a suitcase, grabbed my guitar and headed to my car…


I found power that day… in the form of self-control…


I was always the gullible one… and many people knew it… an easy target of sorts… maybe it was my church roots… maybe it was my gentle heart… but always the encourager and believer… and always at my expense…


It was a series of seemingly well-intended groups of people that said they had the answers… I was looking for answers… so I believed them… it was a Catholic Church… they said money was the way to God… it was a Pentecostal church… they said I had to prove myself to God… it was a Baptist church… they said I had to earn my salvation… it was a Seventh Day Adventist church… they said I had to honor the sabbath… it was the Buddhist Mosque… they said I needed to find God inside myself… it was a Pagan gathering… they said make the best life for you… that you are God… it was the pantheists… they said that I am God and I have control…


One by one… I tried them… like diligently shopping for that perfect pair of shoes… and each direction failed… each direction pointed me to… to myself…


It was a series of rude awakenings… a clear realization that power isn’t earned, achieved, bought, sold, controlled, condemned, connived… power is only given… but it’s given through only one source…


Jesus said “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the powers of the enemy.” The power Jesus gives us is power by authority… authority over the power of the enemy. This is real power… the power of the Holy Spirit alive inside us… leading us in all truth…


If you’re seeking power… remember that all authority has been given to Jesus and He has given that authority to those who believe and trust in Him.


Thanks for listening,


Michael




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