Strengthened with Power

Posted on October 5, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:14, 16

Our previous devotional reflection on the prayers of Paul concluded in Ephesians 1:19 with the prayer that we might know “the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Paul goes on to explain that power in the following verses, but in chapter three he once again prays that we would be strengthen with the power of Jesus Christ.

Paul had learned through personal experience that we need a power beyond our own. As long as we try to live the Christian life in our own strength and ability we will fail. Too many revert to legalism in trying to do what is right and avoid what is wrong by our own efforts because thatʼs what the Bible teaches and how we ought to live. We must realize that the power of Almighty God has been given to us and actually dwells within us through the Holy Spirit to enable us to live for Him and serve Him.

A key factor in appropriating this power is to realize it comes not from something we do but according to Godʼs work and for His glory. He will not entrust His power to one who may take pride in their success and what they are doing for the Lord. It is only when we humble ourselves and recognize our own inadequacy will we discover the power that God gives us through His Spirit within us. Paul discovered this when he struggled with the thorn in the flesh. When he wasnʼt able to get relief from God or through his own efforts, he concluded, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12::10). He said, “Gladly will I boast about my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Paul explained following his prayer in Ephesians 1 that the power of God available to us was the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. The power of God having done so, that power has given Christ a position “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion…and put all things in subjection under His feet” (Eph. 1:21-22). He goes on to exclaim that God has given Christ as head of all things to the church–the body of believers on earth.

We need to realize that there is no power in all the universe that is greater than the power of Jesus Christ–no government, adversity, evil or earthly power. And that same power has been given to us! It is available to the church because the church is the body of Christ indwelt by His Spirit. Can you understand the passion and desire of Paul that we would realize what we have been given and experience that power and strength personally and collectively as believers in the world?

Would that we would echo Paulʼs prayer today, “That God would grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16).

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