Are You Powered Up?

I bought a sweet new Kobalt hedge trimmer this week. It was on sale at Lowe’s so I “saved” big money buying it now. I love it! It has 24-inch dual action blades that move at a speed of up to 2,800 strokes a minute. Can you imagine?

With 40 volts of power this amazing tool can cut branches up to 3/4 of an inch thick. How cool is that? And with a 5-year hassle free warranty, I’m sure I’m going to enjoy using this trimmer for many years to come, literally slashing through the bushes in my yard and keeping them trim and tidy.

There’s just one problem. Without a battery, the trimmer won’t do a thing. Those 24 inch blades? Nada. If I don’t insert the battery, do you know how many strokes a minute I get? You got it. Zero. And cutting power? It won’t cut a leaf, much less a branch.

When it comes to spiritual matters, Paul the apostle says something very similar about us human beings. Without our “battery” we have no power at all to understand God, grasp God’s love and mercy, be in tune with God’s purpose and plan for our lives, or find the path that God has laid out for us to join him in heaven.

What is the “battery”? The battery is the Holy Spirit. Who “installs” the Holy Spirit so that we have power to grasp spiritual matters and have a faith relationship to Jesus? God does. The Holy Spirit comes from the Father and the Son.

And this process of installation is not nearly as mystical as it is practical. The Holy Spirit is “installed” in our hearts when we read the Bible, and when we make use of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

At the end of the day, when we are “plugged into” the word and sacraments, that’s how we get the power to trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, discover grace and forgiveness, lead a changed life, and inherit eternal life.

It’s vitally important for us to be “powered up.” So open the “box” for the battery (remember, you call it the Bible, or the sacraments). God will install the Holy Spirit from there. And the good news is, when the Holy Spirit is installed in our hearts and minds, all of us become spiritually powerful. Let’s just say I’m talking way more than 40 volts of spiritual power here.

Paul puts it this way: “But we have the mind of Christ.” How’s that for being powered up?

“However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Thursday, August 6, is 1 Chronicles 22:2 – 23:32, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and Psalm 91:9-16.

Lord, thank you for your Holy Spirit. Keep me strong — not in my own power — but in his! I know that I am spiritually dead without your Spirit. I want to be alive in the Spirit, and strong to live out your purpose in my life.

Header image based on "Battery" by Quinn Andy Armstrong, CC By-SA 2.0