Spiritual Power Outage


Electricity is one of those things we take for granted until we no longer have it. I live in an area that experiences more than its share of power outages. Since basically everything in our home runs on electricity, a recent 15-hour power outage proved annoying and frustrating to say the least. Prolonged power loss can even be costly in terms of food spoilage and/or hotel expenses. We once lost power for a solid week! Fortunately, we now have a gas-powered generator that runs all our necessary circuits.

But there is another source of power that we often take for granted or even completely ignore. I refer to the indwelling Holy Spirit who equips and enables us to live the Christian life. The Bible clearly teaches that believers are to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), be led of the Spirit (Romans 8:14), pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:16), be controlled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), and be transformed by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). We cannot live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh since it cannot please God (Romans 8:8).

How many Christians are walking power outages? How much of our frustrations, fears, discouragements, and defeats are really reflections of living in the energy of the flesh and not in daily dependence on the Holy Spirit?

In his book, Meditation and Communion with God: Contemplating Scripture in an Age of Distraction, John Jefferson Davis writes: “All too often the church today is being run on the natural energies of this age, rather than the supernatural energy loosed by the resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Spirit!…If we have lost our heavenly imagination, we will be disinclined to access, by faith and prayer, the heavenly energy from above.”

While my generator made up for the loss of electrical power at my home, the Christian life has no backup up for the loss of spiritual power. The reason for this is that when the Spirit works in and through us, it’s something only God can do. Absolutely nothing can be accomplished for God or any spiritual progress made apart from the Holy Spirit. The old hymn says it well, “All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One come down.”

When we lose power at home, we are utterly powerless to get it back and are forced to wait on the electric company to come to our rescue. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Spirit’s power. Thankfully, the moment we yield to him in humble reliance and obedient submission the power is back on!

Maybe those annoyances and frustrations that have been dogging your steps are really promptings from the Holy Spirit that you’ve had a spiritual power outage. Perhaps it’s time to confess some sin, die to self, surrender to and rely on the Spirit so that, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)

The frustrations of this life may be due to a spiritual power outage.