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The Intoxicating Truth About Power Print E-mail
Written by Ray Fairman   

You have heard me say in the past that "Leadership is power, but, power is not always leadership." Yet we live in a world where power is often viewed as the ultimate aphrodisiac. It is constantly sought after and when it comes to achieving it there appears to be nothing man will not do, including compromise his character and integrity. Nothing is to great to place on the sacrificial altar in front of this god. Men will offer up their families, their honor, their careers and even their health in search of this so sought after prize. When I view the ways power is so often used in this world, it scares me. To see what I mean Click on "Read More".

Unbrideled power soon controls it's master

Freedom is never free
Liberty is Always Costly
I have spent my entire adult life (and a number of my youthful years ) in some type of uniform and in a military or para-military career. This environment functions on varying levels of power. Over those years I have learned that the scent of power is an intoxicating aroma and draws many devotes that are like dogs chasing cars. I have yet to meet a dog that can drive, but that fact never stops them from chasing the car. Well, in my humble opinion, not everyone seeking power knows how to deal with it's acquisition.

Most folks would correlate the acquisition of power with the acquisition of wealth, either of which should make the person acquiring it very happy. Yet I have seen those who reach such lofty heights spiral into the depths of depression and self-destruction.

I guess this was true in ancient times too. You see Elijah was the most respected of God's prophets; a most valiant and in context most powerful man if ever there was one. Still, even he reached a point in his life when the clouds of depression rolled over him in waves. He prayed for death in 1 Kings Chapter 19. Admittedly, there were many factors that contributed to that sense of depression. Some of these seemed to have been things like unrealistic expectations, physical exhaustion, mental and emotional exhaustion, years of isolation and even his relationship with God, which appears to have been based on power, rather than intimacy, or performance rather than substance.

I have seen many such situations during my time as a cop and they were not limited to the citizens I served and protected either. Officers I worked with, supervisors and commanders I worked for could be counted among the casualties I am speaking of as well.

God restored Elijah to an intimate relationship without the thundering, dynamic and "ipso facto" powerful miracle that many would think appropriate for such a Prophet of God, but with a "still small voice" on the wind. Why a whispering wind rather than a roaring wind? You see God is wise above all men and realizes that when a man comes to the end of his rope, so to speak, the last thing he needs to inherit is power, power at that time would be an all consuming force which could very likely destroy him. Instead God provided a small voice to whisper in Elijah's ear, to whisper the message he needed to hear. A message of love and concern, a message telling him of his great value and assurance that a continuing and strong relationship between them still existed and would never be forsaken.

Some of the most powerful prayers I have ever heard were barely whispers, whispers to God to restore relationships, restore family relationships, business relationships, fellowship relationships or marital relationships. Rarely have I heard whispered, God put me back in power so I can fix their wagons. Though I am not foolish enough to think those words have never been uttered. Usually the prayers I heard were the prayers of broken men or women who were finally releasing control of their lives to Christ after controlling themselves for much too long and steering the ships of their lives almost to the brink of disaster. It has been said that anyone can steer a ship, but it takes a navigator to chart a course. This is especially true when the storms are raging in your life. When you are alone on the inside, when you are discouraged, when your heart is heavy with sin and you can't bear another thing, whisper to Jesus and he will take the wheel frome you and rechart your course. for you see He knows the plans he has for you, plans to benefit you and not to harm you. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (NKJV) At times like those, God doesn't have to yell like a roaring lion to be heard, He can simply use His still small voice to reassure you He is right there with you. When you hear that voice so soft and tenderly falling on your ear, you can hardly face Him, but that moment is what you live for , the binding of yourself and God in a face-to-face relationship. A moment so tender, it seems to be embarrassing. In this moment of pure vulnerability, God can assure you of His strength, love and closeness and then reach out and begin to work on the root cause of your spiritual crisis. Just as he did in Chapter 19 of 1 Kings with Elijah.

In this moment of truth He will ask you, What brought you to this crisis? Why are you calling on Me? Who are you? What kind of a person are you? What decisions did you make that brought you to this point? Before you answer any of these questions, let me remind you God teaches law school and we all know the first thing lawyers learn is "Never ask a question you don't know the answer to." Get my point? Don't try to rationalize your answers, God was there when you made the choices you made that brought you to the precipice upon which you now stand. Remember God is only asking these questions so you will finally face the answers yourself. do you have the courage to face them honestly in order to return your house to its proper order? Or are you still going to edit the truth in order to make it more palatable. When many people began their quest for power, prominence, prosperity, popularity and profit, they did so with the highest of aspirations and the best of intent. They saw clearly the goals they sought after, but along the way their own editing of the truth about themselves stopped being merely editing and became a charade and an outright lie. They can not in any be described as only a change of perception. When that occurs, you have become a master of deception and a victim of your own demise.

What kind of power will save you now? Only God's power! When He brings you to a moment of such utter depression and humiliation, it is not done out of a vindictive nature, but out of true love and concern for the kind of human being you are becoming. God wants to set you free from the web of deception you have created before it destroys you and every relationship around. You have reached a point where you have become a prisoner of the lie you have authored and are bound for destruction without God's intervention. Are you so full of yourself and pride that you are willing to spend eternity exiled from God rather than reach out to grasp His outstretched hand offering reconcilliation and restoration? I will admit it is difficult to have to see ourselves as God sees us, we don't have the stomach to look at ourselves honestly. Not when we are cloaked in our worldly ambition, selfishness and carnality. However, by standing hand in hand with God and willingly examining our lives, motivations and acknowledging them right there in God's presence, We take a giant step toward that necessary repentance and God's unconditional love and affirmation. When we find the courage to face our inner demons and give God our secret fears, we can truly receive that "Amazing Grace" that will lead us home. Home to true valor. God needs men of valor to lead the fight against evil in the days to come. Will you respond and be one of those men of valor unhampered by the intoxication of power and the baggage it brings? If you are willing God will indeed invest you with the uncorruptible Power if His word. The power that it will take to live the witness all Christian men are called to display.

I want you to think about this as I close this session. Spiritual growth is comprable to the growth of our children. Day by day it is rarely noticed because of our familiarity, close proximity and expectations. Continuous imperceptible growth is only obvious when we take periodic note of how far we have come by looking back on where we have come from, or by paying heed to the observations of those we upon whom we have an impact.

Take a moment to read Psalm 139 and reflect on it.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. (NKJV)

Gotta go 10-8 now so I'll Sign Off with a word of Prayer

Lord, let us see ourselves as you see us. Reveal to us the selfishness we cannot or will not see. Show us the materialism we so frequently desire to overlook and the personal pride we have acquired from the world as we have striven for power and position. Help us find the shortcomings we are unaware of and Begin to show us the men and women we can and should be striving to become. Make me a man or woman of valor. In Jesus dear and precious name I Pray without shame or guilt.
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