Glory and Power, Ours to Enjoy
by Lonnie Lane
When Sid’s guests talk about the power of God descending upon a meeting, isn’t that the same “energy” that New Age meetings often experience? One man wrote with this concern, being wary that some supernatural experiences or teachings may be more of the devil than God, more New Age than Christian. The devil at best is only an imitator of the things of God. Whatever his “energy” is, it is surely not the glorious power of God!
That some power or energy exists in demonic experiences does not diminish in any way the reality that God’s power exists and it exists in far greater measure. Christians have long been afraid of many of God’s attributes for fear of it being of the devil and we have, therefore, been weak and ineffective in areas where God has given us much more “power” than we are accustomed to using for His glory. It would seem that the church has often had more faith in what the devil can do than what God can keep us from. Didn’t Yeshua pray for us, saying to the Father, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15)? Do we really believe the Father honored Yeshua’s prayer? How we live our Christian lives answers that question. We do obtain what we do from God by faith after all, don’t we? But if we fear stepping out in things that are legitimately of the Spirit because we think the devil’s ways will overtake us, we are believing a lie and don’t know the power of God’s commitment to protect and keep us.
The issue of Tongues is a perfect example of that fear of the devil. I was told that speaking in Tongues was from the devil in my first church. I was also told that God doesn’t speak any more since the Bible was put together which presented a dilemma for me because I got saved when God spoke audibly to me. I heard His voice. I know He speaks today. It’s like no other voice. There’s power in His voice – and love. Tender love coupled with Sovereign Authority, neither of which the devil can imitate. But my church at that time could not accept the voice I heard as God’s; to them it had to be the devil. Now I ask you – does the devil get people saved? Does he get people filled with the Spirit of God? Perhaps this fear of the devil is behind what causes concern that experiencing the power of God is more demonic or of more New Age “energy” than Christian anointing.
I personally know of the “energy” of demonic activity from my B.C. (Before Christ) days when I was searching for the truth of God’s existence. It was that energy that took me from being an atheist to believing that the spiritual realm does exist. I know that energy. But I also know the power of God from being in His presence and there is NOTHING similar, I can tell you. There is no peace or reverence that brings true humility before God in demonic activity. It does not evoke awe and worship of the one true God who is far beyond what we can even imagine. Demonic ‘energy’ or presence leaves you feeling that if you just get to the next place you might get to some experience that will satisfy you or answer some question or give you some power of your own. But it never gets there. It can never give you peace, because real peace comes from God, for only by “having been justified by faith, (can) we have peace with God through our Lord Messiah Yeshua” (Romans 5:1). There is no rest in anything that doesn’t rely on Yeshua by faith. In the devil’s ways there is always the drive toward the next experience. But that’s all you get is experiences. Not relationship with God that brings a security and acceptance and sense of well-being that nothing else in the universe can bring but Him.
Do we, as believers in Yeshua, also have a longing (as opposed to being driven) inside to experience more than we have now? Absolutely. What we want more of is Yeshua. We want more revelation of HIM, to truly know HIM as HE is. It’s not an experience we are looking for. We want more of His love to be resident within us, we want more of His patience, His joy, His compassion… and yes, His joy and His power. When we want His power it is not for our own benefit (if we have a godly attitude) but we want His power to use to benefit others. We’re not just looking for an experience (or shouldn’t be), but we want to know the Lover of our souls more deeply, and to love Him completely. The more we know and love Him, the more He can love others through us and we share in His redemptive work as His co-workers. What a privilege.
It’s not energy we’re looking for, but Jesus, Yeshua, the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16), the One in whom all power originates, and Who “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3 my emphasis here and forward) – “for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16, 17). Whoooeeey! We’re talkin’ power here. Holy power. Dominion power. We can get so used to living with God that we have tamed Him, or at least our idea of Him, thinking that His power is just a nice quiet way of His being there for us and making us nicer people. But those who have been in His presence – I mean really in His presence – they will tell you they have experienced His power. They felt an energy that is beyond “nice.” Sometimes the intensity of His power is unsustainable in these bodies unless He extends His Hand to allow us to endure the presence of His overarching power and energy, such as what happened to Ezekiel: “Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD And when I saw it, I fell on my face.” Later he again has a similar experience: “ … behold, the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face. The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, (Ezek 1:28; 3:23, 24). A grown man doesn’t fall on his face unless he is confronted with a power far greater than himself.
We’re talking about power, about energy from God. I want to tell you, that if you’ve never felt the electricity of the Spirit of God go through you, you have yet to experience some of what those first century Jewish believers knew of and what numerous others in the Old Testament experienced of God’s power in His presence. In other words, it’s Biblical! This same power is experienced by many believers in these days as well. Not that we’re seeking just an experience, I want to emphasize that again. We’re seeking an experience with the One who alone is our Redeemer, our Healer, our Deliverer and our strength; the Lover of our souls. The manifestations of these experiences in God do not always happen just quietly and unobtrusively or without much awareness of His “otherness.” He makes Himself known quite often, that He is there with us in a powerful way, especially if we make way for Him to do so.
I have felt that a word for this season is that God would have us “take the limits off.” Take the limits off of your thinking and let God move in your life according to what His limitlessness is, not your limitations, based on what you think you are capable of. He will equip us to do far more than we are capable of on our own, if we will let Him. He doesn’t generally move into our lives and force us into something we have no concepts of or desire for. However,“…it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight” (Phil 2:13 Amplified version). In other words, God will work in us to have a desire to do what will please Him. He never forces or drives us. It is satan that will do that. There is always freedom of choice in what God does; compulsion is of the devil. Let God prepare you for what He can do in your life, rather than have your faith reach only as far as your own limitations so that you don’t even consider what He might want to do in your life. There are vistas in the spirit available to you.
I actually began to pray recently, for myself, and for my own congregation, beginning with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, that God would take the self-imposed limits off of our thinking and expectations in our faith in Him. I’m already beginning to see God do things that in the natural I would not have thought to do. Big things that my natural vision would not have allowed for. We cannot, (read, CAN NOT) do the things of God ourselves. We are incapable. Only God can do the things of God in and through us. We’ve been thinking it was all up to us. But we get in His way when we do things our way in our own strength and ingenuity apart from total reliance upon God. We have many good ideas that are not really God ideas and so they don’t really accomplish what we hope they will. What He does works! No wonder we’re so limited and wimpy in the way the church on the whole functions. If we’re relying on our own “energy” and ability, we’re of course limited. But rely on God’s power and ability – and watch what He can do. It may not even seem big to you, but it could be greatly meaningful to others who are affected down the line. Don’t limit how God can use little you to touch others in ways you may or may not even know about. Just expect big from our BIG GOD! Consider the faith and expectations of our first brothers and sisters in the Lord, most of whom are not known to us, thousands of them. Yet they changed the world.
If we superimpose the book of Acts over our own acts, is there much of a difference in our effectiveness to touch the world around us? You bet there is. We’ve talked a lot on this website about how the removal of things Hebrew and the Old Testament resulted in a loss of power in the church. Well, I’m here to tell you that with the restoration of the church’s growing awareness of the validity of the Old Testament writings as a part of our worship and walk with God that are meant to be lived by faith under grace, there’s a restoration going on that includes the power of the Lord manifesting in our midst. But to be sure it’s God who is behind what’s going on in this “power,” let’s try and peek into the Scriptures a little to see if what was happening at other times gives us more insight into this issue.
Very often in Scripture power and glory are linked, 21 times to be exact. The word in Hebrew for “glory” carries with it the sense of weight, or weightiness. I’m not alone, many will tell you that when the power of God is upon you, you can feel the weight of His glory upon you. God’s presence is not just a New Testament experience. King David seems to have lived a great deal in God’s presence. One day he virtually exploded with awe at Who God is: Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all” (1 Chron. 29:11).
Do you remember when Solomon was dedicating the Temple? At that time the priests put Moses’ tablets in the Holy of Holies. The presence of the Lord was so great, there was so much energy in the place that the priests could no longer stand. “It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD” (1 Kings 8:10,11). The glory cloud comes with felt power. A few of Sid’s guests talk about being in the glory cloud and of the power (energy) of God that is felt. This wasn’t New Age power in the Temple then, nor is a glory cloud today either.
When Solomon began praying he was standing on his feet. “And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven….” (1 Kings 8:22). But by the time he finished his anointed prayer, he was on his knees, having buckled in the glorious presence of God. “…And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.” (:54). That’s what happens when you ‘feel’ the power of God’s presence to the extent that Solomon and the priests did that day.
Now let’s go to the New Testament. It appears that the people in Luke 6:19 were aware that it was power that was coming from Yeshua and healing them: “And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all” (Luke 6:19). Luke could have just said that touching Him brought healing without mentioning the power. It was the power that brought the healing. The power comes from God through the Holy Spirit’s presence which is why Yeshua could do the miracles that He did. He didn’t do them because He was the Son of God. God had to anoint Him with power to do them: “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). This means that as He commissioned His disciples (Are you one of them?) to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matthew 10:8), He gave them the power to do it, the same power He needed to do the miracles. If He couldn’t do them without the power of the Holy Spirit, certainly neither can we. We must rely upon the Spirit of God to anoint us with the same power He had if we are to do the same works that He did. That’s why He made this clear: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Are we less effective in being His witnesses because we are not looking to the Holy Spirit for His power – the kind of power Yeshua received from the Spirit?
Yeshua knew He had this power operating within Him. We know that because the Bible tells us He knew when the power was “tapped” by someone with faith: “Yeshua said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me" (Luke 8:46). It takes power to heal, whether it’s made evident or not, whether someone “feels the energy” or not. Somehow the woman felt something in her own body of energy and power because she knew that she had been “instantly healed” (Luke 8:47). How would she know that? She didn’t have time to look to see if the blood had stopped and you don’t actually feel bleeding. She felt the power go out of Him into her own body. To me, that makes a pretty good case for experiencing an impartation of the “energy” of God when the Holy Spirit is present.
Now that we’ve established that there was power that could be felt coming from Jesus…..The culminating “power and glory” verse is found when John witnesses the reign of King Yeshua in His Temple when: “…the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power and no one was able to enter the temple….” (Rev. 15:8). Again, power! Energy! Coming from God.
You can see why satan would try and imitate God’s power because power is innate in God and emanates from Him. If satan wants to be God, he better come up with power. The best he can do is some “energy” but it’s never the goodness of God that is manifested, or His saving, redeeming, life-transforming power. And while we’re talking about the devil, guess what it is that he and his demons (or those in rebellion against God) are ultimately barred from: “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:9). Selah. No, we certainly don’t want to miss out on or be kept from the glory of God’s power!
What did Yeshua give to His followers when He prayed, "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them…” (John 17:22). There’s more to that verse, of course, but the point here is that – amazing as this is to contemplate – His glory is now ours, and, as we saw, Scripture makes it clear that His glory is linked with His power. They are inseparable. How that power manifests is manifold, but we cannot discount the felt-evidence of that power as is revealed so many times in Scripture. Paul, a man in the know about the things of God prayed fervently, “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man so that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph 3:!6, 17). Where Yeshua is, His power is. His mercy and goodness is, His redemptive power is. And sometimes we can feel it!
In these last days, with all the devil is doing as his last ditch effort to overtake the world, do you think God would leave His church as wimpy as we have been for the past centuries? Do you think that if Peter or John or Paul came to town and saw the ineffectiveness of most of us to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God to those around us they wouldn’t be shocked, perhaps bewildered at how we can have access to so much power and love and do not use it as Yeshua intended for us to? Do you think they might not have some very electrifying messages to preach, and power to impart that would turn us into believers who really believe what Jesus said? Y’know, like "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matthew 10:8). I don’t know about you, but I’m counting on God restoring these things to us. I believe that we as the people of God have yet to see our finest hour!! And then, as John witnessed, here’s the ultimate destiny of the great multitude of us, after all is said and all has been done and the full revelation of God is finally and fully ours: “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (Rev. 19:1). Amen to that!
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2010.
Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships, one in Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked” and numerous articles on this website. She has been the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click Here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked."
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.