As soon as we heard the sound, we knew something was wrong.
We were blessed to live in a home with beautiful hardwood floors. Hearing it fracture underfoot was both unnerving and surprising. Hardwood floors, after all, are supposed to be made out of wood that's hard, not wood that will split when stepped on.
The carpenter's assessment was simple: rather than laying the hardwood on a flat subfloor, whoever had installed it had put in tiny joists which held up each plank. Over time, the distance between the joists allowed weakness in the planks and one simply gave out, cracking in half.
In our last article, I Got the Power, we saw that believers in Jesus have access to the same power that raised Christ from the dead. In our everyday lives, however, we struggle to access that power. We might describe ourselves as busy, tired, distracted, or discouraged, but never powerful. The floor of our lives resembles cracked 1950's-era linoleum more than beautiful, well-crafted hardwood. We don't just need to fix a cracked plank or two, we need a whole new floor.
If God has given us these great and precious promises, why are our lives so in need of a good mopping? And, more importantly, what do we do about it? Scripture gives us two actions we can take to experience more of his power, and they are surprisingly similar to the actions needed to replace a floor.
1. Load Up
In order to improve our floor (or our lives) we need to make sure we have the right materials. If the room we're reflooring measures 12 feet by 15 feet, we'll need at least 180 square feet of flooring. Probably more, as we never know what unexpected surprises we might encounter.
Before the carpenter could do anything to fix our floor, he needed to find replacement planks that matched the planks we had. And he didn't just buy one, even though only one broke. He purchased several.
The material we need more than any other is a solid supply of Scripture. Accessing God's power requires us to lay God's word as the very foundation of our lives. If we don't have an adequate supply of it hidden in our hearts, we will be unable to live the kind of life God created us for. (See Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:4 and 7:24-25)
And yet, less than half of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. One in five never read the Bible. Only about a third of evangelical Protestants read the Bible every day. The word of God may be "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12), but if we don't regularly spend time with it, we'll never be able to wield it.