Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power…
What is this “power”?
You might notice in the list of things Jesus deserves that there is another word related to this: “might.” It’s helpful to have these both so that we can contrast them and be sure to give Jesus His due.
The second word, translated “might,” is also translated in other places as “strength.” It has to do with ability, energy, a person’s physical-self moving and living.
The first word—our focus—here translated “power,” can also be translated “strength.” But in Revelation, that only happens once, in 1:16, where it refers to the brilliant shining of the sun. This image points to what “power” means everywhere else in Revelation. For example, “I know that you have but little power…” (3:8), and “You have taken Your great power and begun to reign” (11:17), and “the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority…” (13:2), and “they hand over their power and authority to the beast” (17:13). In each of these passages, power is synonymous with authority, reign, or influence.
What does “power” mean here in Revelation 5:12? It means authority, influence, the ability to affect people and their realities. It’s our “spheres of influence,” our “voice.” It’s our “platform.” We may not have many “followers,” but such as we have, and such a voice as we possess, and such influence as we can wield, Jesus deserves.
Where do we have this in our lives?
This power exists in all the actual or potential relationships we have. It’s your household—your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your parents, your siblings. We have the ability to make their life easier or more difficult; we have influence there, a voice in their lives. It’s your workplace—your coworkers, your boss, your employees, your customers, your clients. Your presence has an impact on them. It’s your church—your pastor, your elders, your fellow members, their children, the ministries, the visitors. Every part of us showing up, or not, encouraging or complaining, serving and listening and giving, or not, fills or makes a hole. It’s your neighborhood and 3rd-places—the book club, the workout crew, your neighbors and their neighbors.
This is our power. The power to bless or to take, to heal or to harm, to build-up or to tear down. The power of the influence of our decision to show up; the power of the influence of our decision to stay home. The force of the shift that takes place when we give, share, join, and also withhold, hide, or withdraw. It’s us, present, absent, singing along or standing mute. This is our power. And Jesus deserves it.
How do we give it to the Lamb?
We give our authority and influence to Jesus, first, by owning our power. Don’t blather on about how you’re nobody or no one listens to you or after all what could you really do. Honestly. This is a selfish mirage. Your absence is felt as keenly as your presence. Own it. Jesus has given everyone this power, some kind of authority and influence—it’s essential to our humanity (Gen 1:28) and descriptive of human society. Jesus has put you there, among them. Or, He has tried to. If you will not say, “this is my power, Jesus,” then you will not be able to say, “Here, it’s for You, Jesus.”
Second, we give it to Jesus by influencing for Him. This means flexing, exerting. Make decisions. Show up or stay home, but do it for Him, not for you. Speak up or shut up, but do it for Him, not for you. Exerting influence on behalf of another means deciding to do what we do for their sake. In other words, it’s “making disciples of…” What is making a disciple? Seeing your power and “reign” and exerting it for Jesus’ sake. What would be the difference—at home, at work—if we used our authority to see people thrive? To bless them? To show them light and love? To be a safety, a buffer, between them and harm and injustice? To be a relief? To be a joy? To speak into their lives the love of their Creator?
Be present with power.
Third, we give it to Jesus by exerting influence with, or under, Him. We give it to Him, for Him to use. Our power, such as it is, is weakness before King Jesus. So He does not ask us to “do our best.” He asks us to join Him, by the Spirit, and see real power flow. Paul learned this after he prayed for his weakness to be taken away, for power to be given to him: God told him, “It’ll be okay. My power will flow through you, Paul. So just keep swinging, buddy!” So too for us. When we give our power to Jesus, He enters and amplifies our power. He provides “the increase.” Our power only exists with Him, and is under His power. So involve Him in all the things in which you are involved.
Be present with His power.
Conclusion. Will you today join with the angels and say, “I see my power, Jesus. And the power, influence, and authority I possess, I give to You. You deserve it! Worthy is the Lamb who was slain for me to receive all my power!”
And then, go make a dent!