Demonstrating True Power on Thor’s Day

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Much of what people do during the week relates to gaining more power. Whether it’s financial power (making more money), relational power (making more friends or subordinates), athletic power (scoring more points or getting more ripped), political power (making more influence), intellectual power (gaining more knowledge), or physical power (living more years), we strive to have more power. I think this is because when we have more power, we can be in more control.

Power is not a bad thing in and of itself. In fact, we need power to live, grow, and progress in life. What makes power bad is how we obtain it and how we use it.

If there was a day of the week that celebrates the powerful it is Thursday. As you guessed, Thursday comes from “Thor’s Day,” Thor being the Norse God of thunder and power (also one of the main characters on “The Avengers”). Thor’s equivalent in Roman mythology is Jupiter or Jove (where we get the Spanish word for Thursday, “Jueves”). Both Thor and Jove were into power and using it to get their way.

The world follows the pattern of these gods. If you want something, you use power to get your way. People use money, intelligence, beauty/sex, position, charm, and physical prowess to gain more control over others. And we are all guilty of using power forcefully over another; it’s a part of our fallen nature. Even the weakest and most disadvantaged people can use passive-aggressive ways to get their way. We may not be gods, but we sure act like them a lot.

Jesus says to his followers, “Not so with you!” Others may lord over each other, but Christ calls us to a new way of power. This power involves humility (being meek). It involves serving others. It involves sacrifice. And it involves trusting in an All-powerful and All-loving God.

On the greatest Thursday of history – we know it as Maundy Thursday – Jesus began to demonstrate this power by taking off his outer garments and washing His disciples’ feet. He gave them two commands: to serve each other and to love one another. He gave them a sign: the bread and the cup, representing His greatest act of power – that took place on Good Friday – the laying down of His life to conquer the powers of sin, death, and darkness.

Now that’s true power!

Here are some ways we, as Whole Life Worshipers of Christ, can live out His true power in our everyday ordinary Thursdays:

1. Surrender our “power” to God’s use. One of the verses to Charles Wesley’s Take My Life and Let it Be says “Take my intellect and use every power as you choose.” Every ability, strength and talent we have comes from God. God knows best how we can use them for His glory. The act of worship – the offering of our lives to Him – includes giving to Him our abilities to use in His ways.

2. Seek to serve rather than manipulate. This requires some forethought and “fore-prayer.” We are so used to using our powers to get people to do what we want them to do. But as we look at our day and think about who we will interact with (customers, colleagues, family members), ask God, “How can I best serve them, as You have served me?” Serving releases the power of blessing – the greatest positive power we have.

3. Approach each situation, task, and relationship with humility and trust. The key to meekness is to understand that we don’t have the power to do anything good or right, but God does and He chooses to use us as his vessels. Before I engage with a task or person, I try to pray the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”), as this reminds me of my humble reality. And then a breath prayer, “Fill me, Holy Spirit” which helps me to trust in His power and strength.

Christ came to turn the power structures of the world upside down. The poor in spirit will gain the Kingdom. The meek will inherit the earth. The peacemakers will be God’s children. Isn’t it time we start living in these truths? Why not on Thor’s Day?

2 thoughts on “Demonstrating True Power on Thor’s Day

  1. Thanks Doug. I was reading Phil 3 10 “I want to know Christ and the POWER of His Resurrection.” Through Christ’s sufferings and our identity with Him will we experience this.

    • Yes! And the verse continues with “becoming like him in death.” Thanks for sharing this verse! It encapsulates the paradigm of true power that comes when we serve and die to ourselves. Richard Foster personally gave me that verse at the end of a retreat nearly 20 years ago. And I’m just beginning to get it!

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