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Essentials for Power Living

f-16-j-98821f16wwf-s.jpgRemember power lunches and power ties? Or power diets, power walks and power talks?   America , and Americans, revel in “superpower” status. We want anything that gives us the upper hand, the decided advantage, the authoritative voice, the prerogatives of will. The word “power” symbolizes anything that delivers a high impact. Forces such as war power, knowledge power, dollar power and personality power have fueled human history from time immemorial. We all want power.

Some want power because of raging egos and lust for control, but the majority of us simply want to live meaningful lives. We yearn to escape from hype and fluff. We want something that really works, something that makes a definite, measurable difference. Moreover, God wants people who venture beyond comfortable routines and superficial formalities. He wants Noahs who find grace in evil times, Abrahams whose faith does not stagger, Josephs whose dreams never die and Daniels whose allegiance is to God and not man. He wants people who mean what they say, live like they talk and never deviate from their goals.

The problem, though, is that too many who wallow in weak living still want a grip on power. They want diplomas without scholarship, expert status without the necessary accumulation of knowledge, privilege without responsibility and respect without respectability. But the reality of life, especially in a spiritual sense, consistently yields this stubborn fact: weak, flaccid, spasmodic living never leads to truly significant accomplishments. Only those who deliberately choose to do so will find the path to power living. Look at this list of essentials:

Embrace truth. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. Know and love true doctrine. Seek out truth in the inner sanctum of the heart. Practice truth in interpersonal relationships. Anyone who lives a lie forfeits the power that truth alone can deliver. Power living builds its entire existence upon a transparently truthful foundation. Dishonesty, deception, disingenuous dealings and hypocrisy fail every time they’re tried. Those who shade truth in hopes of gaining an advantage eventually lose. Cheaters always cheat themselves. Only truthful living generates true power.

Possess God’s Spirit. Utter dependence upon God supplies the mainstay for power living. This ingredient indwells the humble, not the haughty. When God is the driving force in a person’s life, powerful things happen. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Zechariah 4:6. Human pride and confidence in the flesh always crumbles in the end. No wonder Jesus commanded the disciples to “Tarry…until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49.

Dedication of the highest order. Dedication means to give something solely to the purpose for which it was created. “Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him.” 2 Chronicles 2:4. Power living grows out of total dedication of one’s life to the will of God. Dedication ensures that momentary lapses, disappointments in people, challenging circumstances or even bitter defeat will not cause one to renege or switch purposes to something less demanding.

Discipline . Spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, studying and denial of the flesh comprise indispensable building blocks for power living. Decades ago, a book entitled “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” made its rounds, but the provocative title served only to allure buyers. While there may be an occasional fluke in the business world, significance in God’s kingdom goes to those who dare to impose discipline upon themselves. Jesus said to his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.

Backbone . Perhaps the greatest characteristic of truly powerful persons may be seen in their steadfast commitment to a righteous cause. They do not waver. They fend off every source of intimidation and threat. They stand true, strong and faithful. “…and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…” Ephesians 6:13-14. While it may seem that merely standing for something implies intransigence and lack of progress, those with backbone actually inspire others to strength. Backbone demonstrates strength, not weakness.

There are no shortcuts to power living. Mail order degrees in this field do not exist. It takes embracing truth, reliance upon God’s Spirit, dedication, discipline and backbone. When a person genuinely exemplifies these traits, righteous influence will follow.

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