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Even though the Lord said, “Not by might or by power, but by My Spirit,”[1] He first introduced Himself to Abraham as, I am God Almighty (El-Shaddai); walk before Me and be blameless.”[2]

As such, it behoves us well to understand what is meant by might from God’s point of view and why, even though it is declared many times that His Name is Lord Almighty.[3] The elders and angels declare Him, “the Lord God Almighty,”[4] and John said of New Jerusalem, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple,[5] yet the Lord said, “Not by might or by power, but by My Spirit.”

Though, at this point in time your education in the power of God begins in earnest, your training started six years ago when it was activated in us. The lack of result, which we have observed, can only be put down to our need for more practice and not because God’s power is not available. As an observation, I hope you have noticed in your readings that God never calls Himself “powerful”, even though He is full of power, power that is not matched by anyone else. He who can create a billion stars and control them has no fear of spears or a few nuclear warheads.

Yet, despite all of His power, He does not credit Himself with it, but rather, it is might that He attaches to His Name, God Almighty. Power, might and strength appear to be three words that speak of the same thing, to a man that is. But what do power, might and strength mean to God?

Using the three mighty men of David,[6] Josheb-Basshebeth, Eleazar and Shammah, as a comparison with Samson,[7] you can see that there is a difference between might and power. The first is that Samson was powerful when the power of the Lord was upon him, but the power could be lost as when he had his hair shaved. It was only when the power was with Samson that he would do his great deeds, yet when his power was gone, he only asked for its return for revenge. See his prayer: “O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”[8] Whereas the mighty men of David fought for their lives in situations without the guarantee of power from God, but each took their stand against incredible odds and won a victory.

Might is what comes from within and power is what comes from without. Thus, the five powers you are acquainted with, miraculous power and the world powers of financial, political, intellectual and military are all sourced externally. As such, as we received power from the Holy Spirit as Jesus said, “You will receive power when He comes upon you,”[9] so in the world men receive the other four powers externally – financial through trading, political through persuading, intellectual through learning, and military through training and acquisition. None of these powers come from within a man. No man is born financially, intellectually, politically or militarily powerful, it has to be given to him by inheritance or by gift or he has to acquire it himself.

However, who gave God His power, which really is only a part of His makeup of being God Almighty? Indeed, what makes God Almighty when He could not have received it from anyone else? Might is that quality of power and strength that comes from within and it is the quality that produces the nobility of character.

Men like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Mao Tze Tung were powerful men of their times, but you could not call them noble, and indeed not mighty. Hitler never took a stand against the Russian Army to fight them off himself, rather he suicided. Stalin never led a single charge against the Germans; he only made up false charges against his own people and he murdered sixty million of them.

As much as we would love the church to be at full power, being powerful without being mighty would be a travesty. And the history of the church has shown how it has abused the financial, political, intellectual and military power it acquired. No wonder miraculous power has been withheld from the institution that the world recognises as the church.

No, the Lord God Almighty deserves a powerful and mighty church. Learning what it takes to be a mighty man of Jesus, male or female, is going the extra mile. The false prophet is only interested in power, not in being mighty. Men of God who were powerful still ran away from their enemies, even men like Elijah, but mighty men like David’s three, never ran. Include in your study men like Jonathan and his armour bearer, and Gideon and his three hundred.

The power of the Holy Spirit was given to us that we might learn to be mighty as God is Almighty. Indeed, if we are to be imitators of God, we need to be as mighty as we are powerful, for He is the Lord God Almighty in whom resides all power, yet He makes no mention of His power in His Name. Indeed, the word is not used.

Some of you may remember, six years ago you were told that if we were to be imitators of God as Paul encouraged the Ephesian Church,[10] you would need power, miraculous power. God restored that power to us to a certain measure and then watched us to see what we would do with it. Would we prostitute it? Would we honour and value it? Would we judge it and cast it aside? Would we practise it? Would we use it to oppress others? And some of you may remember that when the power, even the power of the age to come was installed in you, a safety catch was placed there. That safety catch is whether you would develop the character to be a mighty person.

Jesus wasn’t just powerful; He was mighty, all mighty, for He is the exact representation in the flesh of God Almighty. As such, to do the things that Jesus has been doing and even to do the greater things,[11] goes beyond just driving out demons, prophesying and doing miracles with His power in His Name. It comes with knowing Him and knowing Him as God Almighty. It comes in knowing Him in the nobility of His heart.

When Jesus quoted Moses, the KJV, AMP, NASB render it as, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,”[12] and the NIV renders, “and with all your strength.” Jesus expanded it, saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”[13] in all four translations, giving us a clue as to what might is. Apart from strength, it includes something of the mind, which the AMP expands for us as, “with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding.” Thus might is not just power, but power with understanding, with morality well thought out in both the heart and mind, for we know that there are the thoughts of the heart and the thoughts of the mind.

When they were going through the Samaritan village,[14] the disciples wanted to display their power, for the twelve had already experienced what the power and authority that Jesus gave them in Luke 9:1 could do. They asked the Lord, “Do you want us to call fire down from Heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus… rebuked them. [And He said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”][15] They were ready to display their power, but there was no nobility of heart about what they were about to do. It is also interesting to note that the antichrist (the false prophet) would perform great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from Heaven to Earth in the full view of men.[16]

The chapter of Luke 9 is in fact an interesting study of power and authority. They, the twelve, were given the power and authority at the beginning of the chapter to drive out demons, and they did so. Then three were taken up the Mount of Transfiguration where they were witness to even more display of power. However, the nine left at the bottom couldn’t drive out the demon and they were rebuked by Jesus. In Luke 9:46–54, you see a pattern of behaviour common to all who have received the power but not learned to be mighty. David’s three mighty men were powerful men as far as fighting skills were concerned and indeed, they might have used these skills to further their careers before they joined David. Remember, they were the discontented, indebted and distressed men who joined David. It was only when with David that they turned their prowess to become mighty men.

Having been rebuked by Jesus for failing to drive out the demon, the disciples then got themselves involved in an argument as to who was the greatest,[17] and then when they saw another man doing what they couldn’t do, they said to the Lord, “Master, we saw a man driving out demons in Your Name and we tried to stop him because he is not one of us.”[18] This is a pattern of behaviour common to all who have received power, but have not learnt to have the nobility of heart to be mighty. It is almost laughable if it were not so tragic.

The men who ordered Joan of Arc to be burnt at the stake were indeed powerful men, the King of England and Bishops of the church no less, but they were not at all mighty, for they killed someone who did what none of them would do; lead a charge into battle from the front and hear and obey the voice of God. That is the sad indictment of powerful but not mighty men, even those who claim to be disciples of Jesus.

And finally the third offence, calling down fire to destroy those whom the Lord would be dying to save. No wonder the rebuke is hidden in the footnotes. It is too shameful to be included in the main text. In history, those who claim to follow Christ have unleashed fire out of cannons to kill and destroy those Christ died for in order to steal their gold to adorn their altars and idols. That is the shame we must eradicate.

Just as Eleazar and Shammah through their stand eradicated the shame of the army of Israel; for the enemy might at least have thought the army did not retreat but only retired to allow Eleazar and Shammah to display their prowess. Indeed, you can imagine the fear of Israel that Eleazar and Shammah put into the ranks of the Philistine army. If one man could stop them, what would the whole army do to them? However, Shammah and Eleazar really did serve their king who was greater than they, for David took down Goliath when the army of Israel was in fear.

So now, you must develop mightiness in you to do justice to the power given you. And just like Shammah and Eleazar, eradicate the shame that has been perpetrated in the Lord’s Name and bring glory back, glory to all the martyrs and the justice due to them. That is why your training is first based on you taking your stand alone with Jesus just as Eleazar, son of Dodai, took his stand with David at Pas Dammim, and then to stand alone like Shammah did in a field of lentils. That is, stand alone without the Holy Spirit even, and still defend the fields of the Lord.

And then perhaps some of you will be able to break through the lines of the enemies just like the three mighty men did and give our King a drink when He says, “I thirst.” In 2 Samuel it is written: During harvest time… David longed for water and said, “Oh that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. “Far be it from me, O Lord, to do this! Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.[19] Yet when our King said, “I am thirsty,”[20] no one gave Him a drink of water. He was offered only wine vinegar on a sponge. No mighty men were there to break through the lines of the enemy to quench our Saviour’s thirst.

Indeed, our King can only ask, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth?”[21] It takes not power but might that comes from strength of mind and will, strength of morality and understanding, to break through and give to Jesus more than just faith. Jesus said, “For I tell you, I will not drink it again until it finds fulfilment in the Kingdom of God.”[22] The fulfilment in the Kingdom of God that Jesus is waiting for is that the Kingdom of God has its power resurrected in men and women who are mighty, men and women who will take their stands like Shammah and Eleazar and not die in fulfilment of John 11:26.

Only after we are filled with power and might will we be able to understand that specialness of the Holy Spirit that God would discount even power and might for His Holy Spirit, saying, “Not by power or by might but by My Spirit.” When you understand what it takes to be mighty, you are ready to come to know the power of the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. AMEN


 

[1] Zechariah 4:6

[2] Genesis 17:1

[3] Isaiah 47:4; 48:2; 51:14; Jeremiah 31:35; 32:18; 46:18; 48:15; 50:34; 51:19,57

[4] Revelation 4:8

[5] Revelation 21:22

[6] 2 Samuel 23:8-12

[7] Judges 13-16

[8] Judges 16:28

[9] Acts 1:8

[10] Ephesians 5:1

[11] John 14:12

[12] Deuteronomy 6:4-5

[13] Mark 12:30

[14] Luke 9:52-55

[15] Luke 9:55 [sub-text]

[16] Revelation 13:13

[17] Luke 9:46

[18] Luke 9:49

[19] 2 Samuel 23:13-17

[20] John 19:28

[21] Luke 18:8

[22] Luke 22:16

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