Is God Only Your Back-Up Generator?


Back-up generator, not what you want God to be

Is God Only Your Back-Up?


Is God your back-up generator, sitting somewhere in the back of your mind, only to be called on when things get dark in your life and you need light? Is he held in reserve until your main power sources of money, prestige, physical strength, and mental skills run out of power? Or is God your main power source, the spiritual muscle and energy behind everything you do?


Taking Things for Granted


We take many things for granted in life. One of the things we most often take for granted is electricity. We’re so used to having light and power at our fingertips, that when we lose power, we still flip switches, wondering why the lights aren’t coming on.


If you’re smart, you have a back-up generator available so life can go on when the power stays off for an extended time. Until you need it, the generator sits in your basement or garage.


Relying on the power of God is part of our Christian life. We first learn to rely on him with our bedtime prayers. As we age, we read Bible stories about how God intervened in human history. We saw in the New Testament a different kind of power manifested by Jesus, the power of love and sacrifice.


How many of us plug into God as our main power source for light in our living, energy in our endeavors, and help with heavy burdens?


The Scriptures Tell of God's Power


The scriptures burst with examples of God’s power, both on the macro level of human history, and the micro level of working in the physical and spiritual lives of people. We hear example after example of Jesus working miracles in the lives of his sick and hurting people.


How can we ignore the manifestations of God’s power in today’s world, moving people and events around a magnificent chess board to accomplish his purposes?

No matter what goes on in our lives, we can rely on the promises of God. Underlying all his promises is the simple fact that he will take care of us, period.


Unlike the faith we exhibit when we turn on a light switch and a power source delivers the energy we need, the faith we place in the almighty power of God is founded on a belief in an eternally dependable energy source driven by unlimited and unparalleled love.

Accessing God's Power


How do we tap into and remain connected to the power of God? Since the driving force behind God’s willingness to be there for us is his love for us, he expects us to reciprocate with loving obedience and service. We are his people, and he is our God.


God expects us to continue to rely upon him through prayer. He wants us to remember and be thankful for what he has done for us, and live with great expectancy that he will continue to care for us.


Indeed, God wants to be the main power source for your life, not a back-up generator. He wants to be a source you can rely on no matter how dark and stormy your personal skies become, and how strong the winds of adversity blow.


Additional reading:

Letting God: Riding With No Hands

How Big Is Your God?

What to Do When Life Dares You


Listen to God's Word


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (Psalm 46:1-3)


Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)


Also read: 2 Samuel 22:2, Job 1:10, Romans 1:2


In the Words of Others


“God desires to show his power through your storm.” Paul Chappell


“With the power of God within us, we need never fear the power around us.” Woodrow Kroll


“God is the source of all power, and prayer is essential to experiencing His power in our lives.” Gwen Smith


Think About It

  • What are the most important sources of your power in your various life spheres? Were there times when that power was diminished or lost? What did it mean for you at the time?

  • What are your sources of strength when you face challenges? Recall three occasions when you felt overwhelmed by challenges. To whom or what did you turn for help? Why?

  • Do you consider God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be sources of personal and spiritual power in your life? If yes, describe how. If no, why not, and what you should change?