The Expository Files

The Gospel's Power
(Transforming bad energy into good)

I know some people who have an unbelievable drive to accomplish their purposes. Once they decide to accomplish some end, they set their minds directly to the task and no obstacle keeps them from success. All of this sounds good, but right now I'm talking about people with selfish, evil purposes!

In the Bible, the chief illustrator of this is the devil. You cannot argue against his tenacity. His purpose is well-defined, his enemies clearly in view and his weapons within reach. He knows what he wants to do, and he does it with daily, driving persistence, comparable to a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). Children of the devil often display the same persistence as their father - and an undiscerning observer may see the energy and drive but not the selfish ends.

I have known people who displayed admirable energy and determination, but it was applied to selfish ends (greed, vengeance, passion, power). Some live this way, knowing exactly what they are doing but not caring about the claims of Deity. Others live this way for a time in ignorance. But when the truth is discovered, they repent and begin a life of service to God. In this new life, the hope is - they will have the same tenacity and drive, but will now use it to the Lord's glory and not self. Saul of Tarsus became Paul the apostle, illustrating in his conversion and subsequent life, this very thing.

The gospel is the power God uses to change people. God can take mis-used or mis-applied energy and direct it toward higher things. If you have never obeyed the gospel, it is this act of faith in Christ that can transform bad energy into good.

By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 7.9; September 2000