And The Power

Why do we say God has the power? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Something I found interesting when I went through the first part of Aquinas’s Summa Theologica was that questions were being answered that are really just now becoming major issues. Before the new atheism had hit, most of the arguments were already answered by Aquinas and other medieval theologians. Augustine has a wonderful paragraph on Christians and scientific issues that could have looked like it was written today.

One such question asked is if there is power in God. Then, it was asked if He was omnipotent or not. Aquinas answered the questions and answered all the objections to them. Note that I said objections. The medievals were thinking about these things long before we were.

So what about power? That shows up in the Lord’s prayer. God’s is the Kingdom and the power. Why do we say that?

Because if you’re going to rule a Kingdom, you have to have the power to bring about that Kingdom if it isn’t already there, and you have to have the power to rule it. Only God, and specifically God in Christ, can be the true king because only He is omnipotent and only He is without beginning and without end. He has the power to make what He wants happen and the power to sustain it when it does.

Which should really make us all think seriously about things. If you know the king has the power over everything in your life, how are you going to respond? Are you going to treat Him in a nonchalant way? Are you going to act regularly against His authority and power? If so, then you are a fool.

And by that, we are all fools.

The Lord’s prayer is meant at this point to remind us not to do that. Everything is about God. We ask God to supply our needs because we realize we are dependent on Him. We ask God to forgive us our debts, because we know that He alone can forgive us and we know that He is the one we have wronged. It’s His Kingdom and we are all traitors to the King.

Serious stuff. Do we really think about this when we pray this prayer? Do we consider that He has the power?

If you do something wrong at your job and know that the boss knows about it, you can be in fear since he holds your livelihood. If you have an affair and cheat on your spouse, you can live in fear because if they find out, they can leave. If you are guilty of a crime, you can live in fear of the police lest you be arrested.

Should we not live with an appropriate fear of God? Should we not want to do the same with Him? Should we not want to make it our goal to avoid wronging Him?

It is always tempting to take God lightly and to take prayer lightly. We should do neither. We should realize that we are entering into the presence of the King. Dare we make requests when we have not considered His power and holiness (The prayer reminded us that hallowed be God’s Name)? Yet we do.

Let’s not take the Lord’s Prayer lightly either. God has the power. We need to respect that.

In Christ,
Nick Peters