In this abiding series, each post will be framed as an email correspondence to a friend who is seeking to get ‘more’ out of his or her faith. My hope is that by exploring this topic as a conversation, you will resonate with the message as deeply as if it were a letter addressed to you.
To: Friend Seeking More from Faith
From: Doug Nuenke
Subject: How is the Power Displayed?
Hello, good friend!
You replied to my last email with a great question: “How does the power of God show up in our lives?” We have talked a lot about the power of Christ, but what can we look for as proof that this power is at work?
That question hints at God’s purpose and destiny for all human beings. His goal is redemptive transformation! He intends for us to be restored to reflect the image of God just as we were designed to do at creation (Genesis 1:26).
Paul tuned in to this redemptive plan and underscored the power of Christ in our weakness often in his letter to the Corinthians. This passage from The Message translation illuminates the point for us:
It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. -2 Corinthians 4:5-7 MSG
Isn’t that beautiful? The powerful light of God fills our lives and is displayed through the cracks of simple clay pots. I suppose you could say that every follower of Christ is just a “cracked pot” with God’s goodness shining through from the inside. But we are not meant to stay broken. Through Jesus, and over time, we are being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
And that’s the answer to your question. The most powerful manifestation of God’s power in our lives is in His transforming work in our lives.
Paul puts it this way:
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
I’ve experienced this transformative process in my own life. As a young adult I was addicted to performing and pleasing others, especially those in authority. It was all driven by a fear that if I didn’t perform I would be cast aside. I have also found that anger can be a vulnerability for me. It especially shows up when I feel as if my goals to perform and please are thwarted.
But over the years, and still today, as I continue to lean into the ever-present Jesus and His love, these old ways of relating and behaving are disappearing. I’m being transformed – with every-increasing glory. I’m not there yet, but I can see Jesus at work in my life, untangling my tendency to chase approval as if it’s an achievement to be earned. For me, abiding in Christ has meant reflecting on his love for me, noticing his presence, and communing with Him throughout my day. As I practice abiding in Christ, I have been and continue to be changed.
This is the destiny for every believer: to become a living testimony of the transformative power of Christ. Our weaknesses are just cracks through which Christ’s light is displayed through us, demonstrating the power and glory of God to a watching world.