What Does It Mean for God to "Receive Power"?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." (Rev. 4:11)

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" (Rev. 5:12)

One of the most climactic and triumphant portions of Scripture is the heavenly song of the saints in Revelation 4-5, in which they acknowledge the creative power of the Lord God and the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I have always wondered, though: what does it mean for God to "receive" glory, honor, power, wealth, wisdom, might, and blessing?

Surely this cannot mean that God is made more powerful, glorious, or wise through something that is given to him. He has always been all-powerful. (He is, after all, the One who "created all things"!) He has always been all-wise (Rom. 11:33). He has always been completely glorious (Rom. 11:36). The list could go on...my point is, God doesn't lack anything!

As I mediated on these verses, I came to realize that what God receives is the worship and praise of His people. "God receives 'power,' not in the sense that an omnipotent being can become stronger, but in the sense that the strength of His creatures is used to honor Him" (ESV Study Bible). We are to worship and praise God with our might, our wisdom, our respect, our wealth, our joy. This corresponds to our loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength - our entire being! (Mark 12:30)

What receives your most passionate energy and strength? To what do you give your most focused thoughts and creativity? What is the object of your greatest respect and reverence? What is your most valued investment? What most often fills you with joy?

I hope your answer is the worship and praise of God. He is worthy! Why? Because He created you, and because Jesus Christ died for you.

Christian, there is a reason God gives you might and wisdom - so you can give it right back to Him! This is the reason you exist, and this is the source of true joy.

"Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory." (Isa. 43:6-7)


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