"Power To Change”
A story is told about the Carthaginian king, Hannibal. He stood atop the Alps and looked down upon the mighty Roman Empire. Inflamed with a hunger for conquest, he drove his weary army down the mountains. Before his quest for Rome could begin, however, he had to overcome the last huge obstacle that blocked his path. There was an enormous rock wedged in the mountain pass. It was impossible to move his army and their wagons through the pass unless the rock was somehow dislodged and moved out of the way. All attempts to crack the rock with picks and hammers failed. Sacrifices and incantations also produced no results. It seemed that the rock was beyond all known power to move it. Desperate and impatient, Hannibal cried out “Burn it!” His troops must have thought that he was going mad. Nevertheless, huge trees were cut down and piled against the rock. The soldiers lit the fire and watched in fascination as the flames created a huge inferno around the rock. Unable to stand such intense heat, the rock emitted a deafening crack which could be heard throughout the valley. The massive boulder had broken apart. Hannibal and his army descended upon the Roman countryside.
Many people feel that it’s impossible to change certain things about themselves. It is not that they don’t want to change or that they haven’t tried to change. But for whatever reasons, various attempts at conquering their obstacles in life are blocked. As helpful as some of their attempts appeared, those efforts turned out to be like picks and hammers scratching an enormous boulder. There are some things that are simply too big for us to move out of our lives by ourselves. It takes a power beyond any we could produce—a spiritual fire that will melt and crack our hardened ways of doing things which we know need to be changed. The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians that there is an incomparably great power which is like the power that raised Jesus from the dead (1:19). It is beyond any power we know on earth, and it will break whatever has hardened us and prevented us from moving forward in our Christian lives. Paul prayed that the whole family of believers would be strengthened by it so that we might be filled with fullness of God and know the power to change which is beyond our ability or effort (3:14-21).
John Harp (Reprint)