Pushing Power Downward, Part 1

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”  (Jn. 10:11)

From The Second Half of the Cross

The tragic irony in all of this, on a truly galactic scale, is that God does not mind sharing power.  God is not only willing, but anxious to impart spiritual power to human beings (Luke 9:1-2).  It is God who created us with the capacity for abstract thought, logical reasoning, and moral judgment.  A walk of faith through a life-script of varied situations and circumstances, carefully designed and orchestrated by God, is a guided apprenticeship in the right use of personal freedom and power.  The examples of the people of faith in the Bible are a demonstration of God’s enlightened management approach of pushing power downward into the lives of His faithful servants.

The management approach of pushing power downward, as a method of training, is an extraordinary trait to find within the character of God. The God who created our universe is an unequaled perfectionist.  In our human experience, one of the most difficult things for a perfectionist to do is to delegate.  Yet God works in partnership with Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Deborah, Gideon, David, Esther, Daniel, Peter, Paul, and others through unique and unusual story-lines in the Bible in order to give them the opportunity to experience the right use of power under direct apprenticeship to God.

God composes creatively different life-scripts, calls people by His Spirit, and orchestrates adventures of faith so that people can grow and stretch into the potentially Christ-like people that God intended us to be when He created us. The fact that God enlists people into all sorts of varied enterprises in the Bible, which He could undoubtedly do infinitely better solely by Himself, tells us there is a profound purpose behind God joining Himself with us along a walk of faith through life.

The writing of the Bible is a clear example of this concept of God pushing power downward. The Bible has nearly 40 different authors, writing over a span of 1,500 years.  These writers were prophets, kings, shepherds, fishermen, a physician, and other common people with varied backgrounds.  They wrote from different geographical locations, about different challenges and circumstances, and through the lens of different cultural settings.  The fact that these men produced a consistent and cohesive message has enormously persuasive apologetic value in arguing for the divine inspiration of the Bible.  But it also demonstrates God’s willingness and ability to spiritually joint-venture with people to produce something as lofty as Holy Scripture.  Jesus says in Matthew 5:18 that the scriptures are so precise that not one jot or one tittle (Hebrew punctuation marks) shall pass from the Law until all be fulfilled.  Jesus says in John 10:35 that the scriptures cannot be broken.

That God can and would enlist human participation in the writing of the inspired word of God called the Bible, which mirrors accurately in written words the actual living expression of the Word of God embodied in Jesus of Nazareth, tells us plainly of God’s intention and ability to push power downward effectively into the hearts and minds of faithful men and women of God. The fact that God created us with this “in-His-image” capacity is the clearest evidence of His loving desire to interact with us on the elevated plane of being able to responsibly, thoughtfully, and rightly use power.

At the outer limits of divine perfection self-centeredness goes away. One stereotype in the business world is of the manager who keeps information to themselves.  In any organization knowledge is power.  But the servant-leader approach informs, trains, and empowers others.  The servant-leader creates business reports and sends out memos with the aim to share information.  The servant-leader approach is a management philosophy of proactive thoughtfulness intended to liberate subordinates from complete dependence upon the all-informed and all-knowing manager.  The servant-leader, who manages to get people involved in the goals of the enterprise through personal participation in decision-making through shared leadership based upon trust, when done wisely usually creates highly motivated, enthusiastic, and committed workers.  The servant-leader approach is the exact opposite of the autocrat who keeps all of the information and knowledge, and therefore the power to themselves.

Lucifer wants to live out his dream of being god at the expense of others. Lucifer’s approach is egocentric and requires the sacrifice of others to achieve his goals.  By contrast God wants to fulfill His will and way by enabling others to actualize their created potential through free-will participation, a personal relationship, and wise and prudent delegation of authority.  God’s approach is based upon unselfish divine love that will sacrifice Himself on the cross for the benefit and well-being of others.

Author: Barton Jahn

I work in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have six Christian books self-published through Create Space KDP. I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on two more books on building construction.

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