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The Power is the Presence



"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV)


We decided to spend the money to move the main circuit panel in our new house from the family room to the garage. The previous owners remodeled the original garage into a spacious family room and built on a new garage. They did a beautiful job integrating it all, and you would never know the family room had been the garage except for one thing. The breaker box just seemed out of place in the family room, near the floor because the floor had been raised to meet the level of the rest of the house.


Moving the panel got complicated because it required moving the electric meter outside the home. That triggered replacing the meter with a new one, and running a new main power line underground from the pole at the curb to the new meter. And that meant shutting down the power to the house so the electrician could switch the panel, and then the power company could run the new power line.


So from Friday to Monday, the power was off. No heat. No lights. Shirley couldn't use the vacuum to sweep up plaster dust from the remodeling. Preparing to move in came to a standstill. It was a good thing/God thing that we are living with our son and daughter-in-law while the remodeling is finished.


Then on Monday the power company informed us that they did not have the proper locations completed to dig the trench to lay the new power cable. There was some communications snafu between the electrician, the power company office and the actual crew doing the installing. So we were told to expect the power to be restored on Friday (instead of Monday).


It's too late to make a long story short, but we are thankful the supervisor of the crew did his best to get the power back on sooner than expected. He met me at 7:30 am on Wednesday to sign the paperwork to allow them to dig in the yard, and by noon on Thursday, we had power again! We stopped at the house about 6:30 Thursday evening, and while we were there, two power company trucks appeared in our cul-de-sac, right beside our driveway, followed by a fire truck! (Reference the photo above).


It seems the next door neighbor was now without power, and had smelled smoke, triggering the gathering of electric and fire professionals on our quiet street. The fire fighters confirmed there was no fire, and the electric crew restored the power to our neighbor. We've moved many times in our ministry, but we've never had quite this much "fun" in any move before!


It all got me thinking about how important it is to have power to the house, and power in our lives. Until the trench was dug and the power line was connected, nothing in the house worked and everything got exponentially more difficult. When the power was connected, the lights and heat began to work as they were designed and everything could resume its normal existence.


Jesus told His disciples just before ascending to heaven that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them. Soon after in an upper room in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit ushered in a new connection between God and His people by which He came to dwell in our hearts and lives. God came to live in us, not just come upon us. Here is the crucial connection: The power is in the Presence.


The power of God is not accessed in our lives by a formula of step-by-step actions we take to turn it on. The power of God is in the Presence of God, living in our hearts. Where the Holy Spirit dwells, all the power of God is available. Power to break the chains of the past. Power to snap the chains of addiction. Power to fill our hearts with holy love to make transformation possible from the inside out. Power over the enemy of our souls. Power to forgive and heal. The same power that split the Red Sea. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead. The power is the Presence.


So everything we can do to draw near to the One who spoke the universe into existence means living in the power of God to do miracles in and through our lives. Trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives is very much like the power company digging the trench and connecting the power line from the pole to the meter. He comes to dwell in our hearts by faith, and His power accompanies His Presence. Living for Jesus in faithful, consistent discipleship cultivates His Presence, which accesses His power to transform us and to make us witnesses to others.


"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”


In the face of the storms of life, we can sometimes feel powerless. But if Jesus lives in our hearts, the power of God is present. Jesus is never powerless. Trust Him. Follow Him. Live for Him. His power will be demonstrated in and through your life. And miracles will follow.

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