28 March 2013

Jesus’ Name Still Has Power

In February of 2010, a store owner in Frisco Texas was about to be robbed at gun-point by a hooded intruder. The owner pointed her finger at him and said; “In the name of Jesus, you get out of my store. I bind you by the power of the holy spirit.”

What moves me about this story is that the owner embraced courage over fear while under pressure of being held-up. She could have reached out to 911 or a shotgun behind the counter, but she invoked Jesus’ name instead. She could have caved to fear and dropped to her knees at the demands of fear personified. But the owner refused to partner with fear and insisted on tapping into the power of God by calling upon her Savior.

Her brave act also served as a witness to the thief. Maybe it will change him, maybe it won’t. But at least he’s been introduced to the power of God.

Most of us probably won’t have to rebuke a would be robber. Our biggest challenge may be just trusting God with our lives in general. Our addictions. Old habits that won’t die. People we just can’t seem to forgive, or the need to forgive ourselves. Whatever we’re dealing with, calling on the name of Christ Jesus still has all the power we need, especially as we call on him in faith. But for me, there remains a mild fear that I may find myself in the wrong convenient store at the wrong time.

A friend is considering getting a permit to carry a weapon. He is a long time Christian but feels compelled to protect himself and his family. We talked about what it means to trust God with every aspect of our lives. I can understand the temptation to want to look to the gun to protect those you love. But doesn’t our faith equip us with something much more powerful? And if we do carry a weapon, will we turn to God or the gun in a crisis?

There is a lively gun debate going on in our country right now, as you know, but this blog is not about that. I’m simply asking the question; Do we trust God completely with everything, including our personal safety?

As believers, our destiny is in Christ. When or how we leave this world may not be in our hands. So, I’m not sure relying on a weapon or any other form of self protection will change our fate ultimately.

At the same time, I feel that protecting those we love is our job and part of our commitment to them. But where do we draw the line? I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

As for the hooded intruder, upon hearing the name of Jesus boldly spoken, the gun-toting assailant appeared stunned and then turned and walked out the door empty-handed, cursing, with his weapon at his side. Love confronted fear, and fear lost.