History testifies of how kings and kingdoms have risen and fallen in pursuit to acquire power to rule the nations of the earth. Man is born with a natural, inescapable and an undeniable desire for power, control and dominance. Observe a baby, he wants to move, so he crawls -- Power. He wants to be heard, so he yells and screams and laughs -- Power. He wants to do things -- run, play, jump, entertain himself. He wants the power -- the ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way -- to do all these things.
When a toddler is put in a stroller, he creates a fuss because he wants to get out and walk -- Control. He doesn’t want to hold his mom’s hand in the store, as he wants to go around by himself -- Control. He wants liberty. He wants some and then more control as he grows.
Now he’s in high school, he races a classmate in a physical education class and wins -- Dominance. He might even make fun of his classmate -- Dominance. He competes with his friends for grades, at sports, etc because he wants to be superior and better than those around him -- Dominance.
POWER. CONTROL. DOMINANCE.
There is no escaping what is present in our corporal (flesh) nature. So then what’s the solution to escape this innate desire to be superior than the other? Our desire to have the power to act upon our will, to be in control of our lives and display dominance over others can either be used for good or misused altogether.
The word of God on several occasions instructs us to be humble. Humility. As defined by the Oxford dictionary, means the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance.
For instance, James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Luke 24:11 says, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
The above mentioned verses also insists us to relinquish our desire for control. And what we can’t control, we can’t display dominance over that. This is completely opposite to our natural self. So then what do we do?
Before Jesus ascended, he asked his disciples to stay in the city until they had been clothed with power from on high. This was none other than the precious Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). So, on one side we have our corporal desire to exercise power, control and dominant nature and on the other side we have the power of the Holy Spirit. And the clincher is that we can only operate under one power -- either our corporal nature or under the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is clearly mentioned in Galatians 5:17 where it says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
When we walk under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, real power is…..
To esteem others better than ourselves. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” - Philippians 2:3
To avoid firing back in anger during a conflict. “Whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire..” - Matthew 5:22
To submit to the will of The Father and to obey His commandments. “...He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” - Philippians 2:8
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” - John 6:38
Real power is to turn your back on the things of the world and set your eyes on the things that are eternal. “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” - Romans 8:5
To forgive and offence and show love. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..” - Matthew 5:44
To overcome evil by good (Romans 12:21). I can go on but I urge you to search the scriptures and ask God to show you how you can live a life of humility and be a light for Jesus in your school, college or workplace.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:16
I would just like to conclude with a rather popular quote that was said by Uncle Ben to Peter Parker aka Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” It simply means, if you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others. More often we try to depend on our ability to do good rather than depending on the Holy Spirit. Any act of kindness done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will originate from a humble heart that is clean before God.