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The Power of One
Does anyone remember the cult classic movie Highlander? The main focus was on an individual named Conner McLeod who, along with a select few across the planet, was an immortal and all immortals throughout the ages would fight each other in hopes of a final few to become part of 'the gathering'. Every time you claimed another immortals life you would attain their life-force, their strength and intelligence becoming stronger and smarter so that you could know what that leader of the world was thinking, the immortals fought to gain what they called the prize. The goal of the immortals was one of two choices depending on whether your heart was good or evil. If the immortal was evil, they would plan on taking over the world and place the world in a realm of darkness, if the immortal was good, their destiny was to teach each other immortals how to fight and stop the evil immortals from taking control. The savior of the world was Connor. Throughout the movie the catch phrase was: There Can Be Only One.
The key is that one person can make a difference; one person can make a stand for the right cause and stop the influence of evil—change can happen. If one person stands up and says—no, this is not right—change can happen. However, the problem usually lies with the fact that we Christians lie down our arms and say, oh well, this must be God’s will, while the wicked stand strong and gain momentum destroying what God has given us. Those that are evil usually, in my experience have the loudest voice in this world. Sure, there are those that can and do make a difference, but truthfully in the end very few will be saved, very few will find salvation.
Jesus in the gospel of Luke gave us the example of the ten lepers: At that time, as Jesus entered a village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. When He saw them He said to them, Go and show yourselves to the priests. And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus: Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? And He said to him: Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.
Only one returned to Jesus and praised His name, but it was that one leper that Jesus praised—in the power of one Jesus saw the wonderment of His creation.
We, as Christians, have power and strength in the church, the community and the believers, the army of the faithful, but each army is made up individuals that choose to follow a victorious God, and, of course, we Christians are really never alone having Christ in our midst strengthening us through the power and the glory of the Holy Spirit that is within us all. But, the key is staying on the path of righteousness, taking the narrow road and going through the narrow door. We must choose to don the armor of God and draw the sword of the Spirit—with heavenly aid we Christians are a force to be reckoned with!
If only one Christian stands up for Christ—the power of one can instill change!
If one Christian stands up for what he or she believes and fights for it—the power of one can instill change! We must be an example to the world in all parts of our lives and share our love with all mankind. Paul tells us in second Corinthians: Brethren, it is the God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I believed, and so I spoke, we too believed, and so we speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
The opposite is the Christian who acts foolishly that can be a force of evil. How many people have been turned away from Christianity because of how believers who profess their faith but do the opposite by how they act or by what they say? How many profess that Jesus is Lord with their lips, yet cheat on their wives or husbands, they scream at the person over the phone in customer service or behind the counter at a store. Some steal, lie and cheat—commit murders or commit suicide—then the non-believers stand up and say if that is a Christian, then why should I be one? Non-believers stand up and say if God is so merciful and holy why does He allow such atrocities to happen?
The power of one is a great responsibility, especially in the realm of the Christian. We, the ones who have had our God come and place Himself in the line of fire to save us, we who had our God come and lay down His life to rescue us from the power of Satan—still complain, still do evil, are still untrusting and we still sin. We Christians are not perfect by any means, but we have a higher calling in our lives to become the best people we can be. We can never be sinless, but we are to strive for perfection and in striving for perfection we are an example of He who died for us.
Jesus, too, was just one man, of course with the power and the glory of His Father and Spirit within Him, but still only one flesh and blood man. He took on the weakness of flesh and stood against the tide of Satan’s fury who had a firm grip on mankind since the fall of man in the Garden in Eden. Death was final, death was permanent and evil was the immortal that fought for the prize of the souls of mankind.
But, it was Jesus, the power of one, that God sent to defeat Satan and took his hold of us away from him forever.
With that knowledge, with that prize one would believe that we Christians would face adversity and this world with our heads held up high. With the power of a God who can defeat the power of death, who then could withstand us? But still, we are like the Israelites that Moses liberated from Egypt. They asked for a deliverer, God answered and sent them Moses. They were freed from their bondage. But, as soon as they found d themselves at the Red Sea, with the perception they were trapped, they began to complain and wish they were back with the pharaoh. And again, God saved them. Over and over again those that had been liberated, complained about the God who had freed them, then again they were freed, then they were given the commandments—a vicious cycle—complaint—sin—failure—then God’s unending mercy.
The people of God, the Jews, wanted to be freed from Rome; they wanted a warrior to come and save them and liberate them from the power of evil. Once again God heeded the call of His people and sent His only Son to rescue them. But, once again, when Jesus came and preached the good news and threatened the authority of the leaders of His people with His love, they began to complain and plot. He then began to raise those from the dead, restore the blind, heal the crippled—but, when He did those things on the Sabbath they became jealous and enraged and began to seek His life and finally they went to their enemies and killed the Messiah. They were rescued in a way that was beyond their understanding and in a way they were not expecting. The followers and examples of the law put to death the same man that they had prayed to God for!
We Christians do the same today. We pray and pray for God to bless us, and when He does not answer in the way that we believe He should answer we doubt, we get angry and we place the blame on the God who answered the prayer. When evil strikes, we say that God does not hear. When natural disasters strike, we say God is not with us! But again, it is the power of one being that causes all the evil in this world, the power of one being inflicts all mankind with darkness and still tries to destroy what God has created—Satan is real! And, it is the power of ultimate being that defeated him on the cross—Jesus! But, just as history keeps on repeating itself, we complain and return to the muck and evil of the world. The key is trusting God fully and allowing Him to bless us in ways that He knows best. He will bless us, and comfort us if we allow His glory to shine through in His timing and understanding.
One of my favorite passages is in Isaiah from the service of the blessing of holy water which tells us that God’s ways are not our way, His thoughts are not our thoughts. God showed us the way, the truth and gave us the prize it is just up to us to keep on that path even in the midst of adversity. We must keep the course even when tragedy strikes or when evil rears its evil head. The end result is something glorious; the prize is ours for the taking. We are the immortals here among an unbelieving world. The end result is glorious—the gathering is here and the war is real!
Currently, I am employed at a call center answering phones for customer service. Truthfully, I fought the fact of working there, I hated it! It was a struggle to get up in the morning and go to work, but I did it because I have a family that depends on me and my happiness needed to be set aside to provide—God provided the job I prayed for, but, yet I complained. Then I remembered the words that mother told me: Son, go and glorify God and be the example of Christ. Let God use for His glory. You are there for a reason and you don’t know whose life you will bless by your presence.
And, of course, and I hate to admit it, she was right. Every job I have hated I have had the opportunity to be Christ to someone and reflect His love. I have had the opportunity to minister to people across our nation that I would have never have been able to if it was not for answering phones at a call center. And, truly, God placed some of those people on the other side of the phone to show me His glory also. Those hurting people brought me a new revelation and understanding for the love of God.
One person in particular had been in an abusive marriage, she had had her back broke and her neck broke and she now is confined to a wheel chair. The last thing she told me before she hung up was—I am so thankful God is in my life—I know that someone else out there is worse off than me! With faith and love of that woman for God in her circumstances I have no room to complain, I have so much that God has provided and most of all I have the prize, the gift of salvation! Who am I to wonder if God is listening to my prayers when I know that He has a plan for my life that I must have the courage to press toward.
There can be only one—I will be that one who will make the difference. Only I can instill change in me. I cannot force my will on others, but I can change lives with my example. If I am Christ when others see me, His glory will spill over to others. There can only be one change at a time. We need to let God’s wisdom and understanding flow over us and allow Him to guide our lives during this time of the gathering.
Until the end of our lives—there can be only one.