“Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, our God, as You have done before”.
A precedent, if you look it up in the dictionary you’ll probably get a definition of it being something in common law as a principal or a rule in a previous legal case that is either binding on, or persuasive for a court or another tribunal when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. The past precedence bears weight on the present situation. A broader definition would be: a precedent is an established practice or custom.
Do we still believe that God’s power is active today? If so let me ask you this question; Don’t you think there is a shocking absence of power in the church and in Christian lives? It was A.W. Tozer who said: ‘Imagine an angel visiting Moses, the great man of God; Paul, the great apostle; St Augustine; and David Brainerd, the missionary to the American Indians – and then that same angel visited us. He sits with us in our Bible studies, he hears what we claim as our possessions in Jesus Christ, and then he goes home with us and he observes the poverty of our own experience. Is there not a contradiction between what we think we are, and what we really are? Well might the angel conclude that we trifle with words as our souls starve. He might well conclude that we are spiritual liars, claiming possessions but never experiencing them’.
The scriptures tell us the following:
Malachi 3:6, the Lord says: ‘I am the LORD, I do not change’.
Jeremiah 32:27: ‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh.
Is there anything too hard for Me?’.
Hebrews 13:8: ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever’.
God hasn’t changed, so His power cannot change. He can summon His power as He has done before, He can show us His strength as He has done before. We ought to believe this, because there is enough Scripture to encourage such faith. 1 Corinthians 4:20, where Paul says: ‘The kingdom of God is not in word but in power’.
The kingdom of God is meant to be known for its power, for the actuality of the presence of God manifest in the midst – which is manifest in power! God’s vision for evangelism was power.
In fact, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, he says: ‘Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake’.
The kingdom of God is not to be in word only, but in power.
Evangelism is not only to be preaching the word, but demonstrations of God’s power – for, after all, that’s what the new birth and conversion is meant to be: not mental assent, not checking a box, not saying a prayer, but the actual inwrought change that the Holy Spirit brings when God’s power comes into the spirit of a sinner.