God's power is not just greater than ours in value, but it's conceptually different. In order to understand this, we must first grasp our own view of power. In our world, we view power as more money or success. It means that I can do whatever I want. I can boss other people around. That's power! It means that I have riches and entitlements that most others don't have. It means you have to respect me because my bank statement has a few more numbers than yours. That's power, worldly power. "Look at what I can do! I'm building my own mansion! In fact, I'm buying my own island and designing it exactly like I want. I'm putting waterfalls in the bedrooms and jumbotrons in the living rooms. I'm hiring servants and workers and personal assistants. I can do whatever I want, because I'M ALL POWERFUL!" This is the world's view of power. It's selfish, mostly sinful and very human.
Some religions even take this to the next level. They say after you leave this planet that you will gain amazing power. You can even have your own planet or kingdom. You can have 21 virgins that you lord over. Some even teach that if you handle things right you can become a god. A god that is equal to the I AM, God. That's real power.
These are all great for daydreaming. It's fun to think about designing a castle or a company or pretty much anything just the way you want. And, that would be alot of power. But does that compare to the power of God.
No it doesn't. His ways are different than ours.
I've summed up how God's power is different in three words. I'm warning you, it will seem a little odd at first, but keep reading. Eventually it will sink in. Here comes the three words . . .
God made yellow.
Kinda odd right? How is making yellow power? Well, here's the thing, He didn't find a rainbow and pull yellow out of it. Nor did He pick up a banana and say, "We will call this, yellow." Nope, He made yellow from scratch. It didn't exist and then suddenly it was there. Then he probably made red then blue. He created the very concept of visual attributes. That is power! Creating the idea of colors! Who can do that? Do you have that sort of power? What color is your planet going to be? Green and Blue? Can't have those, God made those colors. If you're going to be all powerful, go make your own colors.
God also made the distance between two actions. The space between two moments. We call this time. God created time. It didn't exist and then it did. God lived outside of time. Like existing in a time machine that is stuck in one moment, God just was. Then, He kickstarted some universal clock and everything changed. Now we have minutes and hours and days and decades. Who else can create time? Can you do that? When you design your universe, will there be day and night and stars and moons and suns? Don't plagiarize God. If you are going to be just as powerful, make up your own . . . whatevers.
God also gave us feeling. He made things like laughter and love. He gave us compassion and desires. Let me give you a quick story.
This week, my wife and my boys came up to Connections to help us build a few things (we're currently in expansion mode). While we were working my three year old got 5 cups, filled them each with water and put a straw in every one of them. Then he put them all in a nice row on a table away from the ladders and pieces of broken drop ceiling. Then, he called us over to take a break from our laboring. I was so impressed! The cups were organized in a row and after I finished mine, he took it from my hand and asked if I wanted more! I stood staring at my curly haired young man and a mixture of emotions overcame me. I was proud of this little Taylor. There was a feeling of respect and love and excitement and probably a dozen other things in me. These are feelings that God made up for us. He designed us to feel all these things! Amazing!
Our power on the other hand is so limited. I consider myself a creative. I love to write music, paint pictures, edit videos and type blogs. But even on my brightest, most creative days; even with an unlimited budget and dozens of people to boss around; even with unparalleled inspiration, grandiose visions and detailed followthrough, I'm not really doing anything new. I'm just reorganizing what God has given us. I'm stealing his colors and notes and his words. I'm robbing the shapes and textures that He himself spoke into being. I'm simply putting them in a different order. It may be a new order for us, but rest assured, I'm just playing in the sandbox that God constructed. In the words of Carl Sagan, "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."
I'm no where close to being a god, much less God. And I never will be. His power is not only greater, but fundamentally different than mine. His simple concepts dwarf my greatest creativity (like South America dwarfs a gnat). His ways are higher than my ways. And now, it makes all the more sense why the angels spend all their time hovering around God saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty."
God made yellow. It's pretty amazing. It has changed my view of God. Before I used to tell God what to do. I had all the answers and He just needed to answer my requests. Now, I'm changing. Now I'm doing my best to answer His. And it's all because He made yellow. Honestly, I'm not really fond of the color, but I do like green and you can't get there without yellow.
postscript: this was written to go with the sermon. Just some more rearranging.