A friend tried to rescue a stranger who was getting mugged on the streets of Montreal. He warded off the attackers but received some punches. It got me thinking about power. I knew if I was in the same situation, I would not have used brute force, having emerged unscathed from a worse situation in the past using my words. But in other areas of my life, I use brute force with minimal results instead of unleashing the unlimited power of the Spirit.
I think dependence on any kind of brute force is evidence of a fallen race. True strength, power or ability is spiritual and although there are degrees of power in the spirit, anyone can connect with the power and ability of the Most High. This power does not lend itself to noise, aggression and agitation but to stillness, quietness and rest. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “spiritual is greater than any material force,” a fact that is evident throughout scriptures, from which I understand that the universe was created from spirit, not matter. Naturally, the victorious ones among us are those who live in the spirit, the original estate of the human race.
Before willingly sacrificing His life, there were several attempts to kill Jesus but He was untouchable. I doubt if He would have won the contest for Mr Nazareth, yet He embodied and could activate at will, the very power that created and sustains the universe. That excites me. It would explain why he easily performed all the things we consider miracles, using only words. Could it partly explain why he said to turn the other cheek? Unless you choose not to, as Christ’s follower, you can slip into a dimension where, instead of hurting you, your attacker gets disarmed. David Wilkerson and Nicky Cruz’ story bears this out as well as the stories of Daniel in the Lions’ den and the Hebrews boys in the fiery furnace.
I have a natural preference for spirit over brute force, partly because I am not physically the strongest of men and would promptly choose non-violence over violence but mostly because I know that brute force is nothing beside spirit. That knowledge puts me in a dimension far above hurts, making it easier to obey Jesus’ words to love my enemies and pray for those who abuse me.
This would affect how we make things, subdue the earth and handle our challenges. Our spiritually dead civilization relies on brute force to make things happen but I believe we are meant to live and function in spirit, not in a spooky way but as real and simply as the Redeemer and last Adam did. He said, “It is the spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit and life.” If we belong to the last Adam and no longer the first, our words are spirit too and can be as effective as His, if we copy Him.