From Jim O'Brien
May 13, 2016

Hi Friend,

The Invisible Power

The enormous power of God may be seen most clearly in the enormous power of nature. Camping next to the Snake River beneath the Grand Tetons once, I witnessed a colossal yet magnificent thunderstorm. Separated from nature by only a thin sheet of canvas, electric streaks shooting across the sky, the percussions of thunder shaking the earth beneath me, I never questioned the existence of God. I just wanted to be on His team.

One lightning bolt, if only for a split second, can reach a temperature more than double the surface of the sun. A leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 60,000 miles per second.

A single lightning strike can carry enough electricity to power 10 million homes for one month. The Atlanta Journal reported that one lightning storm can discharge enough energy to supply the entire nation with electricity for 20 minutes. And there are over 16 million lightning storms every year.

A fascinating characteristic of nature's power is its invisibility. Only the effects are seen. In fact, Jesus uses wind as a metaphor to explain the invisible power of God to Nicodemus, "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes." (John 3:8 NKJ)

There was a magician during the 1st Century, Simon the Sorcerer, who saw the great miracles of healing and speaking in tongues performed by the Apostles through the laying on of hands. The recognition that such incredible power was available to man incited a vain desire to possess it rather than to worship of the One who gave it. So he did something reflective of his pagan background. "He offered money, saying 'Give me this power also...'" (Acts 8:18-19 NKV).

A magician has no desire to worship God-he wants to manipulate Him. It's a trap for many religious people, who, like the magicians at the court of Pharaoh, could mimic the miracles of Moses. But, Simon, like all religious pretenders, was overwhelmed by the real power of God.

Simon didn't understand that God can't be bought-He isn't a politician running for office-He is seated at the throne of the universe in the 3rd Heaven. He doesn't need a political party to endorse Him-He sets up nations and destroys them. He owns the universe so Simon's money was worthless.

Simon personifies one of man's greatest weaknesses-we are accustomed to plastic gods. We want "things" we can see that can be bought and used. When we come in contact with the authentic, we are shocked that He is invisible.

On the Day of Pentecost, nearly 2,000 years ago, God offered one of the greatest gifts man could have. He "gave" His Spirit to mankind!

What a delicious irony that the power of the universe is beyond the wealth of the rich to purchase yet is abundantly poured out on the poor in spirit.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien