WillisYou ever wonder where the power to do great things comes from? The simple answer is God, but I’m not talking good things, but great things. All good things aren’t great things, and all good things aren’t Godly things either. It is also true that good things do not automatically become great things.

For the power to do great things, we must have a sound God-centered doctrine, based upon growth-oriented principles, which means daily growing closer to God. We must go where He sends us, come when He calls us and have the courage to do what He bids us to do.

The good news is, when we love as we ought, God’s grace shines through us and His love endows us with the power to do great things. God’s pardoning of our sins is the most wonderful of all His works. Being forgiven and believing we’re forgiven frees us and grants us the power to do great things.

In Mark (1:21-28) Jesus goes to church and spends the day there teaching. He is confident, not quibbling over the details of doctrine or polity like the other Rabbis, Jesus was breaking the Word down!

As He teaches He is interrupted by a demon-possessed man, yelling out, “What business do you have here with us? You’re the Holy One, sent by God.” The Devil knows the Lord’s servants. “Be quiet, said Jesus sternly to the demon. Come out of him!” (Mark 1:25 NIV).

Notice Jesus doesn’t address the man, but the demon within him, saying, “Come out of him.”  The man goes into a spasm and the demon loudly protesting departs him. The people ask – “What’s this new teaching, that sends demons packing”? (Mark 1:28) Jesus must have been doing some powerful teaching, and in the midst of it, He performs a powerful exorcism.

The demon wanted no part of Jesus because he feared being saved, and dreaded being destroyed by Him. The evil one had carnal knowledge of Christ, and he knew Christ was holy. The carnal mind is the enemy of Christ and especially against His holiness. Human logic demands we know things, but holiness demands we trust God in all things.

So what is the new doctrine Christ taught? In every generation, we find new doctrine, and it doesn’t all come from the pulpit either. For instance, Steve Jobs, former CEO and founder of Apple Inc. once shared new doctrine with his staff:

“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs obviously had the power to do great things. I would ask here, “How does your heart and intuition know”? God speaks to our hearts, and when our hearts are pure, the inner voice Steve Jobs speaks of is God’s voice and you can hear no other.

God grants us the power to do great things when we thank Him for everything, our time, talent and treasure. God’s Word gives us power, and a lifetime of study brings even greater power and eternal joy. The power to do great things springs from God’s generosity, which never quits or gives out.

Jesus knew where the power to do great things came from. Jesus never forgot, that God always remembers, and He keeps His promises to us.  God proves to us repeatedly He can do what He says; remembering this gives one the power to do great things.

God hands over to His people, the nations, and the communities of His enemies on a silver platter. He manufactures the truth and He maintains and insures justice. What God creates, (compared to what we create) is guaranteed to last.

In Jesus’ death, God paid a high ransom for us. Our God is a personal God, and He is worthy of respect and praise. Do these things you’ll know the blessings of God forever, and have the power to do great things.  

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door UCC in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or pastor@churchoftheopendoormiami.org.