Awhile back I wrote a piece on what kind of wisdom I saw as the most effective kind of wisdom, because of how often we’re trained to see our experiences as our greatest teacher. Writing this piece tonight, after an extended period of not publishing new writings, I want to revisit this in a different way.
Since we tend to value wisdom by experience over the wisdom of instruction, we also have this unspoken tendency of valuing the testimony of someone who’s had an intense life before God saved them, over someone who grew up in the faith with more consistency. Our minds aren’t trained to see the supernatural power of God at work in someone who remained consistent in their faith through childhood, while we stand in awe of the power of God when we see someone’s former lifestyle completely transformed.
I have friends personally who’ve went through the latter, and it truly does amaze me to see how God changed them, and there is no doubt that God has done an incredible work in their lives. I also have friends who are like me, having become Christians at a very young age, and grew up maintaining their faith very strongly. My personal experience of growing up as a Christian and having a strong and intense relationship with Jesus has had a profound effect on how I see the power of God in my life.
The supernatural power of God in the life of a believer is not only expressed through intense physical manifestations of power that transform in a specific moment. It is also expressed in God’s ability to produce His character in us, because we couldn’t do it in our own strength. Even as I write this, I vividly remember a word the Lord spoke to me years ago in college, this is what He said:
“My Power is not in my manifestation. It is in who I am, and why you believe in Me.”
What God was saying is that we mainly look for the power of God in visible demonstrations of power, but what we see visibly comes as a result of who He is because of His character, and that we shouldn’t elevate visible power over the power of consistency. Whenever you see a consistent devotion to God’s commandments, and a simple childlike faith in the Father with growth, you are witnessing the power of God. Similar to how the motion of the planets and the consistent patterns of nature demonstrate how God upholds creation by the power of His word, even though we’re used to the consistency.
This connects to my other piece from awhile back, because when we grow wise by following God’s way, we avoid experiences that God never intended for us to experience. But the reality is that a lot of people in the world do experience what God never intended; whether through sexual sin, committing crime in the streets in gangs, selfish ambition, manipulative relationships, etc. Through these experiences, we often develop ways of thinking that are harder to break later on in life when we surrender our lives to God. We even deal with the shame of our former conduct later on in life.
Now, to state the obvious, everyone of us has thinking patterns that need changing that are hard for us. I’m always confronted with my sinful mindsets. There’s a reason the name of the blog is Thoughts Of Redemption! That said, there is a tremendous blessing to living life for Christ from young, and not having to deal with the way life can harden you when you resist God earlier in life. There is also the tremendous power of God at work when you witness men and women live for Jesus in the midst of a world that doesn’t celebrate this way of living.
I hope that more of us value and cherish the keeping power of God in a consistent believer as much as we cherish the transforming power of God in someone who opposed Him. The power of God is multifaceted, and I pray that we learn the depths of His power in all of the ways He expresses it.