Commentary: Are you exhausted, or empowered?


The young woodpecker left the nest and flew out to his first tree. He picked the tallest, straightest tree in the forest and started pecking away. Just as he began, a lightning bolt struck and split the tree in half, hurling the woodpecker to the ground.

He picked himself up, wobbled around for a moment slightly disoriented, tailfeathers smoking, and finally said, “Wow! I didn’t know I had it in me!”

Many believers are like that . . . we wobble through life weak and discouraged because we fail to tap into the spiritual power God’s makes available to us every day.  

Ephesians 5:18 reads, “And do not be drunk with wine . . . but be filled with the Spirit . . .” To be filled means to be controlled by the power God’s Holy Spirit gives. Paul presents an interesting contrast. Do not let your life fall under the influence of things that make you lose control, like alcohol; instead, let your life be influenced by God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit is His powerful presence dwelling in every person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior.

God’s Spirit influences our thoughts, attitudes, and behavior, and also gives us power for daily living.

One Wednesday evening, the choir was practicing for Sunday, singing “He is exalted, He is exalted.” One tired choir member, drained after a long day, was not aware she was singing, “He is exhausted, He is exhausted.” The music minister stopped, and, after a laugh with the choir, said, “He’s not exhausted, He never gets exhausted, He’s our source of strength and power.”

That’s why we can proclaim, as Paul did, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me” (Philippians 4:13).

Paul and his contemporaries could never imagine the power that man creates and demonstrates today. The most powerful airplane today in terms of thrust is currently the Antonov An-225 Mriya, a Ukranian cargo plane, whose engines generate a total of 332,750 pounds of thrust.

Russia’s Tsar Bomba is the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created and tested. The bomb was dropped by parachute and detonated on Oct. 30, 1961. The destruction radius was 22 miles. The radius of the fireball was two miles.

As impressive as that power is, nothing can approach the exceeding greatness of God’s power. Easter just reminded us that God’s power defeated death and overcame the grave, as Jesus arose. Because Jesus lives, we have the opportunity for new life in Christ. God’s power enables us to live by faith and draw from His strength every day. We don’t have to wobble through the day feebly.

Here are several great scriptures to remember about the power of God and how God’s power is available to us every day:

Psalm 29:11 – “The Lord will give strength to His people.”

Psalm 31:24 – “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.”

Psalm 118:14 – “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”

Jeremiah 10:12 – “He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.”

Jeremiah 32:17 – “Ah, Lord God, behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”      

Habakkuk 3:19 – “The sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”

Ephesians 3:20 – “Now all glory to God, who is able through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” 2 Peter 1:3.

Why not begin each day asking God to empower your life today and determine to depend on His strength and not your own to face the challenges that come our way?

The key? “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).


David L. Chancey recently retired after over 24 years of serving as pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. He plans to continue preaching as God opens doors and to expand his writing ministry. See his other writings at