The Mother of All Power Struggles
Version 4 of the WAW (Who Are We?) story
In this version we see ourselves in Christ as walking evidence of God's power at work
Draft by Stan Nussbaum
Rephrase or rewrite as needed for your situation
The first human beings had God-given power to rule their beautiful world, but they lost it to a liar. He got their power to rule, and they fell under a curse. The rest of the story of the world is the power struggle to get that oppressive, manipulative, divisive enemy off their backs.
God has a strategy for that, but it doesn’t seem powerful at all. He starts by choosing an elderly couple, Abraham and Sarah, who have never had the power to have children. Through them he creates a whole nation of twelve tribes. Its homeland is right in between the ancient super-powers of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon, like a Chihuahua living between three Rottweilers.
But God keeps sending his messengers to tell his powerless nation about a coming king, a descendant of their great King David. Everything will change when he arrives. He will rescue humanity from evil control and rule the entire world with justice and peace forever.
Centuries pass. Greece takes the nation over, then Rome. Finally a man born in King David’s home town declares to this little nation: “God’s ancient promise is coming true in our time! God himself is taking power now. Follow me and see what I mean.”
He shows God’s power by healing sick people, driving out demons, multiplying food, and doing many things that human power cannot do. Everything he teaches is about God’s power arriving on earth. He even empowers his followers to do the same good things he is doing.
The powers of darkness see Jesus as a dangerous man who has to be stopped before he breaks their power entirely. The Jewish religious establishment and the Roman political establishment combine forces to get him executed. They are sure that will absolutely prove to everybody that they are the power holders, not him.
But they have no idea what power they are up against. God does not fight fair! He raises the executed “criminal” back to life, vindicating Jesus and proving where the power really lies.
For forty days Jesus shows his followers that he is alive again, but he does not appear to anyone else. He does not strike his enemies dead. He does not strong-arm anyone into believing he is the Rescuer, the Messiah, the rightful heir to David’s throne. Then, without dying again, he returns to heaven to take power.
His first act from his throne as King of the Universe is to send his Spirit down into his followers, putting his power for good into them and authorizing them to be his ambassadors on earth. Their message is that the power of evil is broken because Jesus is alive and well. They get to show his power to heal the sick, and they point people to him and his mercy.
Some people welcome Jesus’ powerful representatives; others fight them, especially power holders who feel threatened by them. But the messengers keep working courageously anyway. They know who they are and they know what their mission is. It is not to take over and rule. It is not even to defend themselves. Their mission is only to point everyone to the new era, the new regime of King Jesus, using his power to do good and to bless.
They also know that at the set time the King will come back himself to break the power of his enemies once and for all. He will publicly assert his power, and no one will get away with anything ever again.
Who are we? We are the walking evidence that Jesus is more alive than ever and his power keeps on working. Our job is to show that Jesus is giving power back to humanity, that is, he has broken the ancient curse on the human race and authorized us to go on defeating evil in his name until he returns to finish the work in person. And that’s why we don’t grab for earthly power or abuse it if we have it. If we did that, we would not be convincing evidence of his power to transform people inside.
That’s our story. That’s why we live the way we live and tell this story to anybody who will listen.
Reflections on the meaning of the story, "The Mother of All Power Struggles"
If you have already said, “I’m in! SYNC me!” Jesus Christ has put his Holy Spirit into you, giving you all the power and authority you need to make the difference he wants you to make in the world. (2 Pt. 1.3) So let’s get the party started, celebrating with a huge “Yes” to all five of these things:
Yes, God is the ultimate power holder and he has everything under his control and on schedule. All other power holders are temporary until he decides their time is up.
Yes, God’s whole plan revolves around Jesus, who willingly laid aside his power and sacrificed himself in order to carry out his mission. He warned his followers they would have to do the same.
Yes, Jesus has put his Spirit, life, and power for good into me, making me a citizen of his kingdom and a member of his team of ambassadors on earth.
Yes, I keep doing the most basic thing the Spirit empowers me to do—forgiving others for everything like Jesus has forgiven me. I will not allow vengeance to block the power flow through me.
Yes, I will trust Jesus and his Spirit to give me power to endure whatever I may have to suffer as an ambassador of the King.
If you have not yet said, “I’m in! SYNC me!” what else would you like to discuss before you would say “yes” to these things?
Jesus won’t force you in, but once you say yes, he brings you in. He moves into your life, and you be-come part of the God-powered restoration plan that started with Abraham. That is what the rest of your life will be about—finding out what Jesus meant when he said, “God himself is taking power now!”
You won’t get to build your own kingdom anymore or brag about any position of power that God assigns you to, but you will live with the power of the Holy Spirit in and around you, connecting you with his plan and his people. It doesn’t get any better than that.