This last winter our area went through the worst electrical power failure since I have lived in this part of the American Midwest. I was reminded of that loss of power as I watched the sun melt the ice from the trees and electric lines outside my office window. The ice that covered everything was dropping from the limbs and wires in sunlit chunks and crystals all around our neighborhood. Upwards of 250,000 people in the county in which we live were without power, off and on for almost a week.
As I watched the ice cascade to the ground, I began to consider the concept of power itself. There are powers other than just electricity in this world in which we live. I read of the power of presidents and prime ministers. I read of the power of judges in our courts; I read of the power of one person to take another’s life with the click of a trigger or the thrust of a blade. I have seen the power of a mother’s ability to quiet her frightened baby by just the touch of her hand or the simple embrace of a loving mother’s arms around her child. Those among many are powers of one type or another.
Power can be used for good and power can be used for evil pursuits, I am sure we are all in agreement with that thought. We are often subject to the powers we come into contact with whether we like it or not. We embrace some powers and live in terror of others. Either way, just like the ice storm our county went through, power can control us in ways we often come to treasure or regret.
An example of a power that can control us in many ways we often regret is in Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American King James Version×, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (KJV) I have read that verse often and yet I have often wondered if I grasp the fullest purpose for which the Apostle Paul was inspired to write that concept.
I thought about the power of Satan as I looked out my window and likened the thought of his power to the ice I saw falling from the tree limbs. When one ice chunk would break loose and fall; all the other limbs below it were also individually affected. The ice from the top of the tree continued to break off in a shattering display of power that battered and spread out to more and more ice covered limbs on the way down.
Just like that cascading ice I began to wonder how often Satan's negative power has been able to cascade from one person to another in such a way that caused the breaking and shattering of the innocent or weak on the way down.
Part of Satan's power is to tempt us to think sin has no power to harm us. Yes, the Bible does show that sin has power over us. John 8:34 John 8:34Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.
American King James Version×says, “Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.'” (NKJV) I would suggest that if we become a slave of sin; that sin is a power that can control us. An example of the cascading power of sin at work all around us today is found in the sin of fornication.
We live in a precarious moment of our culture when fornication itself is not considered to be a sin or even poor behavior, after all who is being hurt if it is consensual.
Let’s cascade that thought.
The couple who commits fornication will suffer emotional trauma even though they are convinced they are not harmed for the moment. Later in life however, they each will come to feel that their behavior did cause harm towards a future loving marital relationship.
Cascading down, the parents wonder about the relationships their children have when fornication is already the norm while dating. They worry if they are serious and safe. They may consider if they even like the person in this relationship with their son or daughter. What will happen to their future family or career? The parents may truly be concerned that they will have to care for a grandchild the couple can ill afford. The parents then become victims of this cascading sin.
Cascading down to lower limbs; if a child results from the fornication; other sins may drop from that top limb. Should the sin of abortion be considered? Who will care for the child if the couple does not stay together? As a defaulting tumble of possible events, will the welfare system provide adequately for the future of this child? The taxpayer certainly feels the cascading affect of fornication. The taxpayers are victims of cascading sin.
What of the personal future of the child and his inherent need to grow up with two loving parents who care and provide for the emotional, physical and psychological needs of the child as one loving family unit? Will this child then cascade the same behavior on down to the next generation and then the next?
Some sociologists state that over 1,000 people are affected by a single marriage. How many are affected by the cascading sin of fornication? Who can truly say? According to the website,
Strengthening Relationships, “Children of separated parents are also more likely to have behavioral problems, exhibit anti-social behavior and to take part in substance misuse more often than children who are raised in a home with both biological parents”. I think we could then surmise that Children and the children’s children are victims of cascading sin.
What powers your thoughts, your choices and your behavior? King David’s writings have cascaded the power of a loving, concerned and caring God that has directed our thoughts, choices and behavior for centuries now. He wrote a song after he witnessed the power of God to save him out of King Saul’s hand in 2 Samuel 22:33 2 Samuel 22:33God is my strength and power: and he makes my way perfect.
American King James Version×, “God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.”
We began our thought about cascading power with the power of someone Paul called a prince of the power of the air, Satan. It is true that we are often subject to the powers we come into contact with whether we like it or not. But our thought about cascading power should not end there. We see many examples in the Bible of the power God can display in our lives; God does not want it to end there. If we submit to it, God’s power can just as quickly cascade and flow in our lives.
Wouldn’t we each like to work so that our children, grandchildren and our families could find their paths lay perfectly and lovingly out in front of them by the eternal power of a God who seeks to provide them a life of cascading joy?
Allow the power of God to be the storm of cascading ice that drops down from limb to limb, so that it may spread to everyone in our lives.
For more reading on building strong relationships, read the free Bible study aid,Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension.