The Lord's Prayer, Part 3True Power
Leslie Basham: Hold onto your head and then listen to Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If you stop and think for a while about the power of God, your mind may short-circuit. The power of God—it's incomprehensible. It's incomparable. It's irresistible. The power of God—there is no power like it in all the universe.
Leslie: Happy Thanksgiving! This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
I hope you’re enjoying a meaningful holiday and spending time thanking God for the things He’s provided this year. Nancy’s continuing in a series called, The Lord’s Prayer Part 3.
Nancy: Some of you may wonder why we would take a whole week of programs to talk about one sentence in the Bible. We're on the last sentence of The Lord's Prayer, the epilogue, benediction, the doxology—“Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, amen” (Matt. 6:13 paraphrase). Let me tell you one reason that we would take so much airtime to expand on this sentence. I think we have a desperate need as women today, as believers today, to get our hearts grounded in who God is.
Theology tends to bore people today. Now, how it could, I can't imagine. Theology is the study of God, and how we could ever be bored with God means there's something wrong with how we think about theology and how we think about God.
When it comes to choosing topics for Revive Our Hearts programs, I know that if we teach a series on felt needs—modesty, sexual issues in marriage, moral purity, eating disorders, depression—we're going to get a lot of response on those issues, and people are going to say, “Thank you so much.”
We do talk about those things because those are ways where we need to think biblically and think Christianly. But I really believe that a lot of the issues we deal with as women in our lives, our workplace, our homes, our churches, would not be quite as complex and quite as troubling if we were more grounded in who God is.
I've found that when we do series on just the nature and the character of God, we don't get as many emails. We don't get as many letters. People don't necessarily order as many copies of whatever resource we may be offering at that point. That doesn't really bother me because I know that that kind of teaching is laying a foundation in people's lives that will help them deal with every other issue and area of their lives. So really, nothing could be more practical, more helpful, than just getting to know who God is.
“Those who know you will put their trust in you” Psalm 9, verse 10 says (paraphrase). If you know God, you will be able to trust Him. I know that I'm speaking today to women in every season and situation of life, and some are hanging on by a thread. You're saying, “If God doesn't intervene in my situation”—maybe your health, maybe your finances, maybe your marriage, maybe your relationship with a son or daughter or a friend that's in disarray—something.
Something's broken. Something's messed up. Something's troubling. We all have things that are burdens, concerns. I know that what you really need, no matter what your circumstance, what your season, what your situation of life, is to know God. And if you know Him, not just know about Him, but if you know Him, if you know Him personally, if you are intimately acquainted with His character, His heart, His ways; then you will have what you need to face the storms of life, the troubles, the trials, the sorrows.
Maybe you're not in any of that right now, but you will be, probably sooner than later. You have friends who are in those situations. What do you need to minister to them? How can you help your daughter whose marriage is on the rocks, and she's calling you and saying, “Mom, what do I do?”
You can pull out a marriage manual. You can give her something that's ten steps to this or four steps to that, but I'll tell you what you really need to do most—before and foundational to everything else—is help her get to know God. So we're taking this time to expand our vision of God as we open up this phrase, unpack this phrase, shed light on this phrase, “Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever” (Matt. 6:13 paraphrase).
We talked in the last session about the fact that His is the kingdom. Today, we want to look at that phrase, “Yours is the power,” and that says to me that as we take our requests and our petitions before the Lord. “Lord, we need daily bread. We need provision. We need pardon for our sins. We need protection from the evil one.” As we bring those requests before the Lord, we're not bringing them to an impoverished Father who wishes He could help but who doesn't have the resources to help us.
There's some things that when you were a kid, if you would ask your dad, he would maybe want to give it to you, but he'd say, “You know, we can't afford that.” There's nothing that you could ever ask your Heavenly Father for that He will say, “I can't afford that.”
Now, He may say, “That's not best for you. That's not really what you want. You think you want that, but you don't know that would really harm you rather than help you.” He may not give it to you for a variety of reasons, but if He doesn't give it to you, it won't be because He doesn't have the ability.
He is not poor. All power belongs to Him. He is able to do all that we ask and beyond, and the greatness of His power emboldens us to bring our needs before Him. We recognize He's able to meet those needs, and by implication, we also recognize that there is no other source we can turn to to find the grace that we need to help us in our time of need.
“Thine is . . . the power” (Matt. 6:13 KJV). Who do you look to first to help you solve life's troubling issues? Do you turn first to your mate? Do you turn first to a book? Do you turn first to Revive Our Hearts?
You say, “What does Nancy think about this?” I hope you do go check out our website, ReviveOurHearts.com, and see if there's any help there, but I hope you don't go there first.
Do you go to a counselor? Do you go to a therapist? Do you go to your pastor? Those may be some sources where you can get some help, but I hope the first Source you look to is the One who has all grace, the One who has all power.
Psalm 62:11 tells us, “Power belongs to God.” If you stop and think for a while about the power of God, your mind may short-circuit. The power of God—it's incomprehensible. It's incomparable. It's irresistible. The power of God—there is no power like it in all the universe.
Now, you've undoubtedly heard it said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's an axiom that is appropriately applied to human powers, human authorities. That is true of sinful men.
That's why our founding fathers had the wisdom to limit the powers of government and to balance them out so there were checks and balances because they knew that among earthly, fallen people; power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
We've seen that in our generation with some terrible dictators in different countries of the world, but that is not true of God. God is a holy God. Absolute power is His, and there is no corruption in Him.
There is no limit to His power. His power is infinite. He is omnipotent. He is all-powerful.
Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 28, “All authority,” all power, “in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (v. 18). Jeremiah 32, “The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 'Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?'” (v. 26).
It's a rhetorical question, implying in its very asking, NO, nothing is too hard for You! Ephesians three tells us that He “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (v. 20). So when you come to God, and you ask Him for your daily bread, you ask Him to meet your practical, daily needs, you ask Him for pardon for your past sins, you ask Him for protection from evil; don't think that you are taxing the almighty-ness of God.
Don't think you're asking for something that's too big. “O God, I know You're a forgiving God, but that sin I committed, it was SO bad. It was SO big.” We kind of cower and think, “I don't know if God could do that or if God can protect me in this situation,” not a situation where I intentionally walked into evil, but a situation where I may be surrounded by evil.
Some of our listeners write and talk about a workplace environment where they have to be surrounded by evil. Now, God may lead you to get out of that situation, but God may keep you there. You say, “Does God have the power to protect me in this situation?” Yes, He does.
Something that you moms think about even more—does God have the power to protect your children from evil? “Deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13 NKJV emphasis added). We said that's a prayer not just for ourselves, but for those we love.
Does God have the power to protect your husband from evil? Yes, He does. Pray it. Believe that His, God's, is the power, infinite power.
He has creating power. It is He who made the earth by His power Jeremiah ten tells us, and then again, Jeremiah 32, “'“Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm!” (v. 17). The implication? He goes on to say, “Nothing is too hard for you.”
When you look around and you see the creation, doesn't that strengthen your faith in the power of God? You see the stars, the sky, the mountains, the rivers, the oceans. God, You made it all by your great power and your outstretched arm, and then you say, “Nothing is too hard for You.” Nothing is too hard for Him. “Yours is the power.”
He has power over nature, power over storms. Psalm 107 tells us, “For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea” (v. 25). He creates storms, and then verse 29 tells us He calms storms. “He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Listen, God is not absent in the storms of your life. Now, some of those storms may have been created as a result of wrong choices that you made. Some of them may have been created as a result of wrong choices that other people made, but ultimately the Lord sits as king over the storm. His is the power.
It's the power over nations. He sets up and puts down kings and rulers. Second Chronicles chapter 20, “'O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you” (v. 6). By the way, this was a prayer that was prayed when Israel was being faced by a huge army coming against them.
They looked at God and said, “Lord, we are helpless. We have no idea what to do. We cannot succeed against this army,” and then they lifted up praise, and they said, “'O God . . . You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that,” no one, not even this massive army, “is able to withstand you.”
God has power over the nations. Psalm 66, “Say to God, 'How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you'” (v. 3) They are no match for God. Isaiah 23, “He has stretched out his hand over the sea; he has shaken the kingdoms” (v. 11).
He just picks them up and shakes them, dusts them off, tosses them away if He wants. These kingdoms of the world that think they are so great, He has power over all those powers.
His is resurrection power. Ephesians talks to us about the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. Do you need a miracle that's any greater than that? Do you need more power than that for your life situation?
God's power is sustaining power. In Him, all things hold together Colossians 1:17 tells us. He holds all the atoms and particles and pieces and parts of this world together. They hold together in Him.
If God let this world go for a moment, it would all fall apart. He sustains it by His power. Hebrews one tells us, “He upholds the universe”—He upholds the universe—“by the word of his power” (v. 3).
Then I love this. Jude 24 says that He, “Is able to keep you from falling” (KJV). He holds us together. He sustains us.
First Peter chapter 1 tells us, “By God's power (you) are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (v. 5). God is holding you together.
You think you fail and sin against God and don't know how you could stay saved? The reason you stay saved is because God holds you together.
He holds your soul together. He keeps His eternal covenant toward you. It's His power that is keeping you and guarding you and preserving you and will until the end.
Not only sustaining power, but delivering power—“Yours is the power.” Remember that speech that the three, Hebrew, young men made in Daniel chapter 3 when the king said, “If you don't bow, if you don't worship, I've got power. I'm going to toss you in the fiery furnace”?
These young men, I think calmly, coolly, collectedly said, “O King,” “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand,” (v. 17). Remember that when you pray, “Lord, deliver us from the evil one. Deliver us from evil,” and then remember, “Yours is the power.” O God, You are able.
Now, they went into the fire. We talked about that earlier in this series, and God may take you into the fire. He may let you be thrown into the fire, but He will deliver you from the fire. Sooner or later, God will rescue you—His delivering power.
Then His strengthening power—“Yours is the power,”—strengthening power. Colossians 1, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (v. 11).
We have any women here who need strength? You need strength for your day in the work place? You need strength for your day homeschooling your children?
You need strength—maybe you're older, and your body's just kind of barely holding together. You're saying, “Lord, I'm ready to go to heaven,” but God's not ready for you to go yet. You say, “I need strength.”
Young, old, middle-aged—every season of life we need strength. We are weak, but He is strong. We are strengthened with power according to His glorious might so that we can endure, so we can have patience, and so we can do it with joy.
I don't think God intends us to go just barely eking out our existence in His kingdom. He wants us to do it with joy, to endure with joy, and we do it as we're strengthened by His power.
Isaiah 40, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength,” (v. 29). It's His power, His strength, and I cannot tell you how many, many times over the years, as I think back on years of ministry, years of serving the Lord in different capacities, how many times I've said, “Lord, I'm weak. I'm faint. I don't have the energy to do this back-to-back schedule at times. I can't do this. I am tired. I'm empty. I'm depleted.”
And each time I'd go before Him, and I'd lift up to Him my weakness, my powerlessness, my need, my exhaustion at times, and He says, “That's just what I was wanting. I want to give you My strength.”
He infuses His strength, His power, His grace into this weak body, into this weak heart. I've seen Him do it over and over and over again. Mom, He can do it for you. Single woman, He can do it for you. Tired woman, He can do it for you.
Then it's transforming power. His is the power, transforming power. One of the things I love about being a part of this ministry is how God uses the truth of His Word to transform lives. We could spend, oh, many more weeks on this phrase if I would just stop and tell you stories of how God's power is transforming lives.
Let me tell you about one that I've come across recently. I received an email a week or so ago from a woman who told me something of her background. I'll just read to you parts of the email.
I was abused physically and sexually as a child numerous times. My mother was a battered wife, which made my environment while growing up a place of strictly survival.
She went on to say how she developed a hatred for men and ultimately ended up in a lesbian lifestyle, and then she said,
I've gone through a lot of healing and restoration with God regarding homosexuality.
She's now been married for twelve years, and she explained in this email how she has struggled to love her husband because of this hatred she has toward men.
Many, many times I wanted to run for a divorce. Many times I cried out to Jesus, for eleven years exactly, to give me a love for my husband, but I never understood how I could have a great love for Jesus but still despise my man.
Then she wrote, “But God!!!” exclamation points. She goes on to talk about how she attended a recent Revive Our Hearts conference.
God spoke to my heart about forgiveness and the willingness to set my captives free. I surrendered, and my sweet Lord Jesus touched my heart and has changed my life, my husband's and my children's as well. I feel like I'm alive.
This past week with my husband has been my dream and prayer come true. God is giving me a restored love for my husband. All glory to Him.
I am a captive that has been set free. I longed to love my husband with God's love. It is now being released from me because my heart has been revived. I now know why I feel so alive.
You think that woman's being transformed? I'll tell you, I couldn't do that. I couldn't transform her thinking that was so damaged, so twisted, so warped, so skewed, so affected by other people who had sinned against her and then further by her own wrong choices and sins.
I couldn't transform that woman, and I don't know that a gifted counselor or a therapist or a pastor could have done it in months of counseling. It's the power of God that transforms lives. “Yours is the power,”—the transforming power of God. I could go on and on and tell stories of lives and homes and marriages, thinking, patterns, relationships that have been transformed by the power of God.
"Yours is the power, O Lord." That means my life can be transformed by You. That means my marriage, my children, my cold, hard heart can be revived. There's hope because His is transforming power.
He created you by His power, and His power will sustain you. It will strengthen you. It will deliver you, and yes, it will transform you. "Yours is the power, O Lord, forever. Amen."
Leslie: I think we all know what it’s like to think, “I just don’t have the power I need to get done what I need to get done.”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been showing you the true source of power. That message is part of the series, The Lord’s Prayer, Part 3.
The whole study, beginning with, “Our Father in heaven,” has been rich and meaningful. If you missed any of the teaching sessions, I hope you'll listen to the entire series. You can do that online at ReviveOurHearts.com.
I hope you’re having a very meaningful Thanksgiving Day, and I’m glad Revive Our Hearts can be part of it.
As we reflect on thankfulness today, how are you grateful for what God has done in 2012? What has He taught you? How has He worked in your life?
As we near the end of the year, we’re asking listeners, “What’s your story?” Would you share about God’s goodness to you in 2012?
When you visit ReviveOurHearts.com, we’ll give you an opportunity to share that story. You can write to a special email address to send us your story. You can also read instructions on how to upload a video. We’re collecting these and would like to share some of them with our listeners next month. Again, get all the details at ReviveOurHearts.com.
Or call our listener comment line. Here’s the number: 269-697-6123. We look forward to hearing your story.
Do you ever try to share the glory of God? It’s a common temptation.
Nancy: We may be trying to share the glory of God. Have you ever tried to do that? It may not be intentionally, but taking credit for something that really belongs to God. So if someone sees you in a restaurant with your kids and it's one of those rare times when your kids are just model kids. They are just perfectly behaved. Someone comes up and says, "You have such great kids. I'm so impressed." You can handle that graciously, and I assume you would.
But in your heart, do you take any credit for that? "Yeah, we sure have been doing well with these kids." Of course, the last three days they've been killing each other. Are you quick to give God glory for what He's doing in your kids' lives? Or is there any part of you that wants to share the credit?
Leslie: I hope you can be with us again tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.