What Power?

  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV

When Dorothy’s house flew in from Kansas to land on the Wicked Witch of the East in the “Wizard of Oz,” Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, asked Dorothy, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Glinda assumed Dorothy had been the one responsible for killing the evil witch, so she wanted to know whether Dorothy’s motivation for using her house as a weapon was to rid Oz of a bad witch, or simply to replace one bad witch with another. Glinda already assumed Dorothy was powerful and using her power intentionally. She simply wanted to know what kind of power Dorothy was in the business of employing. Whose side was she on? A good thing to know, right? Here’s what I think. When houses are falling where we live, whether political, economic, or health related, the better question is, are we trusting in the power of the Lord?

We’re informed in our world daily of the push and pull of power. All kinds, good, evil, and as yet to be determined. In their personal and professional lives, people are constantly in the news for using or abusing their power. Because this is the world we live in, Christians must somehow square the moral equation of power use with how God would have us live. As we approach the dilemma of power discernment, it’s clear we must constantly seek God for wisdom. Without God’s view on the various powers at work in our lives, we run the risk of being blown about by every twist of influence and doctrine. The best shelter we can run to is the Bible, where God’s intention and ground rules for living are made clear.

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Hebrews 5:14 ESV

“There is a signature of wisdom and power impressed on the works of God, which evidently distinguishes them from the feeble imitations of men.–Not only the splendor of the sun, but the glimmering light of the glowworm, proclaims his glory.”
John Newton

The power
that formed us from dust,
and found remedy
for our rebellion
is the author of countless stories
of impossible-made-possible redemption.
Because the prayer of the pauper
is equal
to that of the king,
because no matter
how many times I give up on myself,
I know He’ll never give up on me,
I know and I trust in the power
of the all powerful God of all,
The One who redeems.

©Joel Tipple 2/1/2020


As we all consider the evil that has once again put itself on display, this time in Boston, at the sight of the yearly marathon, I believe it’s important to remember that God is just. We may think occasionally that the people who perpetrate these kinds of horror go without punishment, but this is not true. While it is our responsibility to deal appropriately with those responsible, ultimately nothing escapes Gods judgement.

You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Loving-kindness and truth go before You. Psalm 89:13-14

Finally, the words of my wife’s mother, Marlene, who passed away in 1976. She wrote this song to express the freedom she had in the Lord. I would like to dedicate it tonight in her memory to the victims and their families in Boston. It is entitled “I Am Free.”

I am Free. In Him do I
abide. Molded, yielding,
a promised bride.
He set my spirit free; on
wings I can ascend, to
light and uncharted places,
to commune with my Friend.
Indwelling Joy floods my soul,
lifting, filling, in His control.
I am free. Jesus set me free,
on wings on high, to melt
in Jesus’ holiness. To praise
Him, extol Him and Glorify.