POWER BEHIND THE NAME
Write this to Sardis, to the Angel of the church. The One holding the Seven Spirits of God in one hand, a firm grip on the Seven Stars with the other, speaks: “I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead." -- Revelation 3:1 (Message)
Twenty-five years ago during New Years Day Tournament of Roses Parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit - it was out of gas. The entire parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The float represented the Standard Oil Company! The name on this float, which signified unlimited energy resources, meant absolutely nothing. The float had the name, but not the power behind the name of Standard Oil.
Having only the appearance of power can have terrible consequences in certain circumstances.
During the early days of the Korean War American occupation forces in Japan found themselves completely unprepared for combat in Korea: unprepared in training, conditioning, and in equipment. But that didn’t seem to matter. America had won a great conflict five years earlier and was still riding on that success.
In his book, “The Forgotten War,” Clay Blair explains that the Soldiers of Task Force Smith went to their death thinking the North Koreans would actually flee at the sight of American soldiers in uniform.
The soldiers of Task Force Smith had the uniform, the reputation, and the name, but not the military might of the U.S. Armed Forces. In Scripture, Jesus condemned the Church of Sardis because in name it was alive, but in truth was dead.
Leader Prayer: "God help us never to be merely superficial Soldiers or superficial Christians, but to walk in the power that you’ve appropriated to us by your Spirit. Thank you that you hear us when we pray. As we lift our needs to you, thank you that you open our eyes, change our hearts, heal our wounds, and grant us wisdom to do the work of your Kingdom. Amen."
Happy New Year!