The world is a lost, wicked, dark, destitute wasteland; it just doesn’t necessarily know that, completely yet. The world tries to ‘create’ meaning for itself, it tries to use the perceived surplus of itself to manipulate the powers that be. In fact the world operates on the assumption that “he with the most ‘power’ in the end wins.” What defines or describes the ‘power’ that the world, collectively and individually, is after? To be honest I am not sure the world really knows what it is that they are looking for when it comes to ‘power’. Sure it thinks power is related to having lots of money, or being in a role like ‘President of the United States’, or more simply a CEO. Maybe it tries to find power through ‘controlling’ others, for example a murderer seeks to supplant the rightful place of God by taking or giving life (or so they assume), or a thief seeks to find power by violating other peoples’ perceived powers by taking from them ‘at their will’. Power is an elusive thing, for man that is, for man left to himself, his own vices.
But any critical person knows that man has no ‘real power’, that’s why man can never rest, there really is no ‘real power’ to be had — in himself. But isn’t that the dilemma? Man, by ‘fallen-nature’ is driven to ‘regain’ control, regain power over his circumstances — be god, if you will. I’m afraid this is all in vain though, real power only comes in an disarmingly brutal fashion. Real power is only undercut through a tearingly raw reality. Substantial power only comes from without, when man is ripped from himself unto the source of all power; unto the person who is power, who is an indestructible life. Real power, by the world’s standard is ‘revealed’ and ‘released’ through, for all intents and purposes, what the world is running away from, weakness. Here is the plight of the world’s power:
. . . He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by trimphing over them in him. Colossians 2:15
The world strives in vain, the structures of society are built upon vanity (even America). There is no safe haven to run to, there is no ‘city on a hill’ to find rest in, there is no ‘city of man’ to find refuge (sorry politicians); our only place of hope is found in what Jesus did to ‘disarm’ the principalities and powers, it is found in ‘taking up our crosses daily and following him’ — it is found in His life, exemplified and externalized at the cross, grave, and resurrection.
I am tired of hearing Christians, and especially American Christians, trying to find hope in the political system. It has been ‘undercut’, there is no hope there; there is no power to be had there, there is nothing to ‘control’. If you want control, if you want power, if you want refuge then quit looking for it in the places that this world does; quit mixing (syncretizing) Jesus with the structures of this world, this only ends up making us idolaters (just read Israel’s history in the bible). Sorry weary soul, but if you were looking for a sense of control, or some ’empowerment’ in your life, the ‘city of man’ is only really and always a slough of despondence.