FIRST OF ALL….apologies for the partial post the other night. I accidentally hit the “publish” button….instead of the “save draft” button….my bad!!! SORRY!!!
Here it is…January 20th, 2017 and a new U.S. President is taking his “Oath of Office”. The new President is the 45th in American history and while many people are excited about the future that might result, many are not at all. In fact, a pretty large number of Americans are down right angry about this new President, even though he was duly elected according to the laws of the land that have been in place for many years. Now, while it is not uncommon for the outgoing party and their supporters to cry foul or predict that the sky will fall, the intensity level of the outcries, this time around, have dwarfed anything I have seen in my lifetime (although there have been numerous hotly contested elections over the years…Bush/Gore (2000), Truman/Dewey (1948) and Hayes/Tilden (1876) come to mind…just to name a few).
However, one thing that Americans at both ends of the political spectrum have always relied on and have been very appreciative of over the years, thanks to the diligence and profound vision of our Founding Fathers who crafted an amazing Constitution that has stood the test of time, is the “peaceful transition of power” from one President to the next. Yes, there were times when the chance for a “peaceful transition” seemed to be on the verge of coming apart at the seams, but in the end, the respect for the Constitution and the Office of the President of the United States prevailed and it appears that will be the case again in 2017 and beyond. If I heard it once over the last year, I must have heard it a hundred times from both Republicans and Democratics, alike, “In spite of our differences, and they are real and many, the peaceful transition of power will win out in the end”..and it apparently has indeed.
But as brilliant and forward-thinking as our Founders were, back when our foundations as a nation were laid and our Constitution was conceived, they did not come up with this concept of a “peaceful transition of power”. No, there was a predecessor who came up with this idea many, many years before the American Revolution was fought and won. You probably know Him as a God Almighty, our Father in Heaven or Lord and Creator of all things. Our forefathers knew this God too, history tells us, so I am sure they also knew this principle quite well.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:16-17 NKJV]
First of all, have you ever noticed how many pivotal events, recorded in the Bible, are told to us in Chapter 3 and Verse 16 of whatever book it happens to be revealed in? I am not kidding. I think there might be a great book waiting to be written just on all the verses followed by the numbers 3:16. One of these days, I am going to sit down and compile a list of all the verses numbered 3:16. There is one in almost every book in the Bible and I am prone to think they would tell an interesting story (note to self….get started on that book).
No, God has never been shy about transferring His mighty power to those whom He has chosen to fulfill His purposes here on Earth, and Jesus Christ certainly was that. Afterall, was He not referred to as the “Prince of Peace” by the prophet Isaiah? So here in this verse from Matthew 3, we see God the Father transferring His power to His Son, with the Holy Spirit “descending like a dove (what could be more peaceful than that) and alighting upon Him.” In Colossians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For in Him, all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form.” I would say that’s a great description of a “peaceful transition of power”, if there ever was one. God delegates all of His power and authority to His Beloved Son, Jesus, peacefully yet fully and completely, leaving Him fully human, but more importantly, fully God as well.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [Acts 2:1-2,4 NKJV]
OK, maybe this one is not quite as peaceful as the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Jesus during His baptism, but it was a smooth transition of God’s power and authority nonetheless. This time, it was not God the Father delegating His power to the Son, but it was God’s power coming upon those who believed in the Son, as Jesus promised it would. So now, God was peacefully transferring His power to a “whole ‘nother level”, to those who came and saw with their own eyes and believed that Jesus was God in the flesh.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. [John 14:26-27 NKJV]
I am very sure our Founders knew all about this Helper, the Holy Spirit, and that the peace that it brought to those who believed was something they wanted to use as a pattern for our way of transferring power, as a nation. And it has worked very well, helping to preserve our Union, for 240 years.
So I think it is only fair to give credit where credit is due. If it were not for the biblical model, by which God peacefully transfers His power to those who choose to follow Him, our Founders would not have attempted to copy it and we might not have a country, today, that just inaugurated it’s 45th President. So, thank you Lord, for showing us the way.
In closing, I’d like to ask a question if I may. If God’s power is so readily available, through a “peaceful transition of power,” to be applied in my life and yours, simply by believing in Jesus Christ, through faith, and asking Him to forgive our sins, fill us with His Holy Spirit and use us to do His work here on Earth, what is holding us back?
As Luke wrote in his Gospel…“how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
The Bible says, “You have not because you ask not.” So ask…God wants us to ask!!!