Freedom from the Power Myth

Freedom from the Power Myth

 

Real Hurts, Real Freedom-Joseph’s Story (Genesis 37-50)

Message #8, ; Rev. Scott Parker
Genesis 37: 2-9; 45: 8; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

There once was a man who knew he was about to die,

….Oh, I see plenty of it (points down at the …) we use it as pavement

God does not see things the way we humans typically do.

What we believe to be necessary for our success is

often  small in the eyes of God,

And what God does value is often the last thing we would pick.

 

For the past several weeks, we have been talking about our hurts, failures, weaknesses, sins and disappointments.  Looking at our broken places is a vulnerable thing, because many of us have been taught that this is not the side of ourselves that we show to others—especially at church.    Yet we know that ALL of us have hurts/ troubles/ flaws, but we usually keep quiet about them.

 

As a result, there are many of us walking around the church thinking:

I’m the only one!   What is wrong with me?  What do I have to offer? 

How can God use a mess like me?

 

This is because we have been influenced by The POWER myth. 

The POWERmyth says:

*My usefulness to God and others is limited to when I am at my best

*Hurts, failures & weaknesses is a BAD thing I must hide & compensate for

*The measure of success & value is Size, Achievement, Polish and Impressiveness

*What I need to make it in life is Talent, Position, Resources and admirers

–This is what our culture holds to

This myth has infiltrated the church

This myth is addressed in the story of Joseph

Genesis 37:  Joseph,  enjoyed holding a  position of privilege and power over his brothers.  Dad likes him best and he  uses it to his advantage (1st time we meet Joseph, he’s tattling on them).  Joseph is given a dream which predicts a future of great power-where his entire family will bow before him—you can just picture his daydreams;  Never in a million years would never have guessed (or wished) that the road to this future power would be a road of weakness

 

-Victimized by those he trusted;                     -Holding the status of a slave

-Imprisoned for doing the right thing;            -Forgotten by the cupbearer

-His enemies are blessed/forgiven

 

This is a PATTERN seen time and time again in Scripture:  God always sidesteps the obvious course of outward power and strength, choosing instead to do the greatest things with the least likely people in the least likely ways. 

 

1 Samuel 16:  Samuel picks out the tallest, best-looking of Jesse’s sons to be the next king

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

 

Why does God choose to work primarily through the least likely?

It is only when we are free from the binds of human power that we are able to receive God’s power. 

David was the least likely, to be picked from Jesse’s 8 sons, but “from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” 1 Samuel 16:13

Joseph learns this.  After God uses Joseph’s slavery to save millions of lives during the famine

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. HE made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.” Genesis 45:8

 

Our POWERLESSNESS and weakness is where we find God

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:6

We call this GRACE-unconditional love and salvation

This is how we BEGIN our Christian life, but it’s also how God wants us to LIVE EACH DAY.

The Apostle Paul speaking about his “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Cor. 12: 9-10

“ But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. [10] That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I cannot preach this message enough.  We are at our strongest when we stop pretending that we have it all together, when we acknowledge our broken places, and begin to trust in the strength of God.

 

This means looking at life in a completely different way

Looking at Weakness / Power Through God’s Eyes

 

*Do not underestimate what God can do through

someone who knows how much they need God

    “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”  [16] The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” Judges 6:15-16

Treat weakness as your HOMING BEACON

*Do not despise the Small

Too many churches today have bought into the myth

“if it’s not large, God’s not in charge.”  –that’s not biblical

ABC’s:  Attendance, Buildings, Cash

-God looks at: 

mature disciples, health, reaching new people for Christ

 

*Do not be surprised by what God can do through your broken places

–from your places of weakness come the resources that the world needs most.

          *Leadership Team:  Scott, You’re so vulnerable

Mistakes-blessings

 

Tolstoy story:

 

“The men and women who are truly filled with light

have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect existence.”

Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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