I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10
If Easter is about one thing it’s about the power of God that resurrected Christ. The divine power, or “dunamis” as the word is in Greek, brought a dynamite explosion of life to the physical reality of Jesus’ human death and to the blood, pain, tears, despair and screams that preceded it. The resurrection event of Easter is about the paradox or mystery of divine power interacting with physical nature.
That paradox was also seen in Jesus’ life. He was a normal human being like you and me. He ate, slept, wept and felt rejection. But when a woman reached out and touched his cloak in a crowd, the dynamite explosion of divine life healed her of a multi-year sickness. Hundreds of others were dramatically healed. A mountain was transformed into radiant light. Food was miraculously reproduced. A tree withered from his spoken word. The hearts of his listeners burnt as Jesus spoke to them about the Father of creation and His Kingdom of love. This things happened by a spiritual power that rested easily alongside Jesus’ human nature.
The Christian faith is mystical and spiritual with a very real power that’s at work; but it’s also about that power working in and through tired earthly lives, in fragile human bodies that eat, sleep, get sick, cry, and feel pain. This is the paradox of the faith journey.
Meditation is an “engine room” where this paradox plays out in a practical way. We bring our frail and dependent human nature to God, and He responds with divine power. We release thoughts and surrender the energies of our “false self”, and there’s a renewing power that stirs up within us replacing our old dying nature with the new resurrected nature of Christ within us.
The resurrection was the crowning moment of Christ’s story. It speaks many things, but one thing it speaks very clearly is that we can also experience constant resurrection; in everyday life, as we experience human weakness, we can also enjoy the live giving power of God.
Through meditation, resurrection power can become a daily reality for us. In meditation we take a “little step” towards God and He responds with a massive step of giving His love to us and activating His power in us. As we wait silently in centering prayer we are expressing our faith that God will give us His Holy Spirit and our awareness of His Presence grows. As we rest, we are learning to accept that it is entirely by His grace – not karma – that we experience the Kingdom of God and all of its spiritually transforming realities. As we are still, we are practicing a type of “dying to self” by releasing thoughts that are linked to our false self – our need for control, affirmation and security. The more the grip of the false self, with its entrenched mental programs, is loosened through silent meditation, the more we open doors to the divine nature flowing freely within us.
The resurrection of Christ is a permanent sign of God’s intention for us. As it says in
1 Corinithians 6:14 By his power God raised the lord from the dead and he will raise us also. As you practice centering prayer, remember the crowning moment of Christ’s resurrection, and hear Him inviting you to the same experience in life and particularly in centering prayer. This is not a moment that was meant to be relegated to history. It is history to be repeated for all of eternity.
Here are nine things to know about God’s resurrection power. Ponder on these this week before you move into centering prayer meditation.
- God’s power is the person of Christ. 1 Cor 1:24 Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. God’s power is the person of Christ, not an impersonal force. And Christ dwells within in – we are the temple of God.
- God’s power is already resident in you but is looking for traction. 2. Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. There’s an internal alignment that needs to happen for His power to work within you and to be released around you. A big part of meditation and centering prayer is about this re-alignment.
- God’s power transforms who we are. 1 Sam 10:6 The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. All over the Bible there are examples of God’s Spirit transforming people. Centering prayer is about realizing that this happens when the false self dies, and the true self, which is Christ in you, can step to the fore. It’s not becoming something you are not, it’s becoming who you really are. This is not just psychology – its actual energy and power that can flow into and out of human beings.
- God’s power removes us from the control of evil power. Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ There is an evil spiritual world – of fear, darkness and death, and there is power there too. Christ’s power is the greater power and the power we must choose to let rule our lives.
- God’s power increases in us as our physical power decreases. 2 Cor 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 13:4 He was crucified in weakness yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we live with Him.
- God’s power brings healing and strength to our bodies. Acts 3:12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
- Christ’s power gives us immunity against evil influences. Lukas 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. I’ve very clearly noticed that since I’ve started centering prayer I’ve become much stronger spiritually, much less influenced by evil.
- God’s power has impact in the work we do in our lives, in our vocations and careers. Deut 8:17 — 18 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. This promise does not only apply to wealth through the “strength of our hands”, it also applies to God’s energy, His joy, and His love which permeate the environment in which you operate.
- We access God’s power in the secret place. Ps 63:2 — Ps 63:4 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.
Watch the discussion session after a group session of centering prayer.
This is the 4th in a series of sessions aimed at deepening the experience of centering prayer, Christian meditation or “silent waiting on God” as the Bible terms it. This session looks at how resurrection power, God’s “dunamis“, gains access to our lives in a transformative way as a result of the work of Christian meditation. To learn the foundations of centering prayer, watch, listen to or read our 8 session introductory course.
Addendum” Why is spiritual power scarce in our world?
The great majority of our human family acknowledge the spiritual world in some way, some perhaps not very consciously, just intuitively as a result of nature. These echo Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
The minority of the human family go by the atheist creed. Atheistic humanism attempts to explain away spirituality completely. The thinking goes that everything is physical and scientific. But some of the confounding new realities of science are introducing the spiritual world more than ever. The idea in quantum physics that there is an interconnected force sustaining all matter in the universe speaks to the reality of Christ as the “firstborn of all creation…in whom all things hold together” and “the radiance of God’s glory… sustaining all things by His powerful word” as described in the first chapters of Colossians and Hebrews.
Unfortunately, many that are in the category of being “religious” intellectually acknowledge the spiritual world but don’t experience it as a personal living reality. These understand the concept of God cognitively but treat spiritual power as hardly real, as a million miles away from where they are. “Dead religion” strips God of having any real power and “dumbs down” faith as cultural way of living with norms, rules and rituals. Those who met Christ and wrote the Bible didn’t live that way at all. Paul said, “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power,” (1 Cor 4:20) and “I did not come to you with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Sprit’s power so that you faith might not rest on man’s wisdom but on God’s power” (1 Cor 2:4). Why does spiritual power disappear so easily in most religion? One reason is that when people introduce “karma”, they strip out divine power because everything one gets from God is a transaction – you get from God what you earn and deserve. So you certainly don’t get spiritual power because you don’t deserve it!