False Assumptions About Power


Psa. 2:1        Why do the nations conspire,
        and the peoples plot in vain?
2     The kings of the earth set themselves,
        and the rulers take counsel together,
        against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3     “Let us burst their bonds asunder,
        and cast their cords from us.”


This Messianic Psalm has been quoted numerous times in the New Testament. It really expresses a misunderstanding about power and kingdom which is transformed by the coming of the Messiah. The people simply do not understand the power of God’s kingdom. Therefore the nations and the people try to plot ways in which they can take on the kingdom of God. The rulers and authorities of this world establish themselves in places and ways in which they believe they have control. Eventually they come to believe that they are more powerful than God and in their egocentrism they refuse to follow God’s laws. They choose to break away from God’s precepts and they throw the cords of God’s law far from them. They falsely slip into the assumption that their human systems have more power than God.


People and nations will continually plot in vain when they refuse to accept the authority of God. While this statement is in regard to nations it can be applied to any type of institution. This includes businesses, organizations, and even religious groups who refuse to submit to the authority of the kingdom of God. The sad result can be an abuse of power because when power is not placed in submission before God it can be abused. When the world says let’s burst the bonds of God’s oppressive laws, we have a problem, and yet that is what has been happening for thousands of years. The Psalmist knew it, and we know it. Casting the cords of God’s laws far from us creates a false experience of freedom, when in fact, this simply creates new bonds which lead to oppression and the use and abuse of vulnerable individuals. 

Even followers of Jesus Christ need to evaluate whether they are submitting to the power and authority of God, or have taken matters into their own hands. It’s easy to get caught up in following a set of rules or practices of religion without really knowing Christ. We plot in vain if we think that we can live a godly life without daily interaction with God. True freedom is found in our personal relationship with Christ. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit transforms our lives in ways that give us more joy and freedom than we can imagine. We don’t have to become bound by the ways in which the powers and authorities view our circumstances because we have a newfound freedom in Christ. Loving God with our whole heart opens up a wideness in which we can grow and flourish. God’s love provides us the opportunity to overcome the obstacles which may have been created by misplaced power.

Dependence upon man-made systems or structures for our salvation has always been a false assumption of power. God’s kingdom power will always transcend that which we create on our own. We don’t need human systems to empower us. That’s the folly of the nations and the people who literally, plot in vain. It simply reveals the misguided dependence upon structures which will always fail. True power is only found in submission to God.


Lord, may I find my wholehearted dependence in you. Amen.


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