Saturday, March 26, 2016

I've Got That "Car Show" Feeling

I grew up around powerful cars. Project cars always in the garage, car shows innumerable, exciting, shining and displayed and the occasional joy ride with my dad "clearing out the engine" on a secluded straight-away.  The deep rumble of a idle power is embedded deep into my psyche. I still get excited when I hear that sound.

The sad thing about those car shows is that they just have to sit there. They look great, fenced off so my little candied fingers wouldn't ruin the 10 layers of wax applied, lights, open hoods and fancy signage proclaiming the power held inside that engine. Once in a while, an owner would show off that power with a stationary revving. Grown men would giggle and give each other that look. I love men.Unless that car in led out onto a street and allowed to let r'rip, challenged and tried, no one will ever see the power it has. Before that, it is just potential energy, not actual power. Anyone could masquerade a car and get away with it. It could look great, look real but until it unleashes the horsepower, you'll never really know.  

Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 3, that the world is full of people who have "an appearance of godliness, but deny the power". Religion looks something like godliness, but it is just stationary show. It doesn't create anything but deception. It doesn't change broken lives. Lately I have had conversations with leaders of the church who actually do not give authority to the Word of God. They say all the right things, quote scripture and do good deeds. They are kind and helpful, but they admittedly disobey and disregard His teachings for fear of man, uneasiness of life and plain old pride. I get that same car-show feeling after talking with them. Without the power to take me from point A to point B in under 6 seconds, I am not impressed. In fact, I am more than unimpressed, I am very concerned and in mourning. Verse 9 says, "they will not get very far".

Anyone can act loving, but only those with a true, desire changing, total surrendered soul can display the power of God. I mean, the power to resist temptation, to obey by faith, not sight and to sacrifice their whole life for the sake of the gospel. That is power. Believing in the power of God is not enough, we have to live that power...take that hot rod onto the street and demonstrate that power.

Those days between the crucifixion and the resurrection must have been long days. Faithless days. I can't think of one person in the Biblical account that was waiting like a little child waits for Daddy to come home. No one clued in to Jesus' foretelling of His victory. No one sat at the tomb waiting for the power to be unleashed. A dear high school friend of mine, more like a sister, prayed with me the other day a most powerful prayer. Her words were full of belief, anticipation and hope for a dead situation. She had just returned from a mission trip that reminded her of this power available to us. Her demonstrated faith leaked into mine and revived my sputtering heart. I want to have the childlike faith to look toward the cold, lifeless tomb, and expect power matter how many days pass by, no matter who mocks me or tempts me to give up and no matter how many sit with me.

There is power under that hood and in the tomb. Wait for it....with joy. This is faith.
The same power is in the true believer. Have the courage to take it out onto the street and demonstrate His glory.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"  Ephesians 3:20