Weekly Devotional~I've got the power!
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
I bring you one of my favorite scriptures; a message from Paul found in his letter to the Ephesians.
This letter was written at a time when Paul was awaiting trial in Rome. Over the few years prior he had been setting up churches and then visiting and revisiting them, teaching and reminding them of the message from God and their instruction in going forward as believers of Christ. This particular letter is especially important because, Paul was unable to revisit the church at Ephesus and so, this letter had to do what he would have preferred to do in person. He elaborates quite a bit on how to live and what to believe; how to treat one another and where from to draw strength. His means of drawing strength in captivity to hear God's Word and share it with the world is wonderfully represented in this one section of the greeting. In it he describes a power that Christ followers hold, and it was by that power that he was able to confidently and hopefully address the church. Continue reading after the jump to understand what makes this power so special and what it can do for believers when they tap into the truth behind it.
The simple fact that Paul was a prisoner when he wrote this letter tells us that he made it a point to be in the Spirit and presence of the Lord whenever possible in order to stay focused. He knew he had a job to do and so he tapped into the only source that could allow him to complete his tasks. God's love and power sustained Paul through everything, even captivity. It sustained the churches he addressed by filling Paul with inspiration, and still sustains believers today as it continues to work through His Word as we read it!
As (very) blessed humans living in the greatest country in the world, we find ourselves feeling a tug of war happening within us on a daily basis. We hold a feeling of entitlement as we recall the hard work we have completed and sacrifices we have made to reach a certain level of respect and authority in our home, work and social lives. At the same time we also find ourselves feeling worthless and depleted, often running to worldly "fixes" to fill us and dilute the pain in our hearts. What we are feeling is a detachment from our Creator; the Lord of all. Remember, He created us in His image. We are of Him. We have all of the parts of Him in us, but also, all of the sin that was committed with one act in the very beginning. This is the war that lives in us and the war we must be very aware of.
Two forms of ammunition and power surround us each day. It is our choice which one we choose to "arm" ourselves with.
The earthly power is one that we are surrounded by each day. Our world has given us nearly every possible luxury and indulgence we could have ever imagined. Food, entertainment and traveling being the top three categories of our human pleasures. Every single thing that ails us and tempts us and distracts us can be found in these categories. By filling up on them, we leave no room for God's love. What if things were working the other way around, though?
We read in verses 19 and 20 of an "incomparably great power...which equals the mighty power that rose Christ." God, as most people know, did two incredible and often unbelievable things with His unfathomable power; first, he spoke the universe and world into existence and second, He rose His son Jesus Christ from the dead. According to His Word, this power is available to us as a spiritual gift; a gift for those who believe.
Imagine holding a power so great. Imagine it right now. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to possess a power that could literally shake the ground and hold back the sun?
This is the power that is offered to us in exchange for our faith.
The greatest part of our God is His desire to share everything with us. He remains sovereign as He delegates tasks and callings to His children. He wishes for us to glorify Him and will use us to channel His power onto the earth. If we are too busy soaking ourselves in sin we will miss the opportunity to be a part of something amazing. The problem is, sin is held in most people's minds as murder, adultery, dishonesty and other great acts such as these. Though they are legitimate forms of sin, the Lord considers other very subtle acts as sin as well and this is where the majority of His children fall. We feel that since we are not murdering anyone or robbing a bank, then we are not doing anything "that bad." But we are distancing ourselves more and more with every act that follows this destructive belief.
We must restrain ourselves and hold tight to the power He gives us. Each day that we wake up and breathe in His word, we are filled. As we encounter road blocks and obstacles and hand them over to Him, we are filled. As we continuously ask Him "what do we do?" we are filled. This power is able to fill us and work in us; for the great of His world, we are filled with His power.
Though it's difficult to imagine giving up a life we are so accustomed to, it's not difficult to think of what we could be missing by prioritizing our lives completely opposite of what the Lord asks. He created us to please and glorify Him and He intends to soak us in His Holy power in order to do so. Anything is too big for us, but not too big for Him. The next time you doubt your capabilities, draw on the promise that He will give you all that you need to accomplish the things He has called you to do. Remember that the power you are drawing is the same power that rose the man that perished to atone your sins. The only means of acquiring such a gift is by exercising a great faith, and it was with the help of a faith that big that Paul was able to bring the church of Ephesus, and us, this amazing message. He could have just laid down and died, but He instead pressed on with His duty to bring the messages to the Ephesians and others, and in doing so, he remained in the presence of God and filled with His power.
Fill yourself with God's power this morning, and make it an incomparably great week :)