Monday, February 7, 2011
THE POWER TO OBEY
THE POWER TO OBEY
There is a power shortage among us. In this critical hour we need God’s power more than ever, and in increasing measure. So many are hungry for more, thirsty for revelation, anxious to know the Lord in some way that will bring reality, His reality, His Kingdom, into their lives with impact.
Here Paul lays out his desires for us. Here is his prayer for the Ephesians.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth
derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches
He may strengthen you with power
through His Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
Paul says to us through this prayer that we are part of a family, one that encompasses heaven and earth. He prays for power to come into us through the Spirit of God, giving us strength and the ability to have faith.
You see, we don’t even have the ability to have faith without the power of the Spirit of God doing it within us.
“…apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
It is Christ in us who does it all.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power together with all the saints
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep
is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God.”
LOVE. This is the mark of God’s Spirit within us. This is the aim of God in Christ, that we would grasp and know and be filled with His love. This love that together we learn with all the saints. This love that establishes us, roots us, and enables us through the Spirit of God to stand in fullness of faith and hope every day.
So we have learned that God the Father empowers us by His Spirit within us to have faith, to have love, and to be filled with His fullness in Christ. Nothing comes from self-effort. This is a gift, a treasure we receive only by faith, and that faith even comes from the hand of the One who loves us.
So many of us have learned religious striving. This sad, hard road of never believing we are worthy of getting power to live joyous, obedient lives in Christ. Can you feel this pain? I can, having pursued without profit for many years these spiritual goals, which I could no more attain than to launch myself to the moon while sitting in my car.
It is not our power, it is Christ’s power in us. He lives now, and we are dead. Dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more
than we ask or imagine,
ACCORDING TO HIS POWER THAT IS AT WORK WITHIN US,
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
This working of power is to bring about the life of Christ in us, which is the greatest miracle in the universe. Far greater than we imagine. Far greater a miracle than those we ask for on a daily basis in our feeble prayers for God to rescue us and help us at every turn.
He has miracles waiting, but they are not the kind we often seek. They are the inner miracles, the quiet, powerful kind, which make selfish, hardened, sad, lonely, hurting people into loving, kind, strong, faithful, servants of Christ in a sinful world.
This is His power at work within us.
This is glory to God in the church and in Christ Jesus.
This is God’s purpose, which shows His power to every ruler and authority in the heavens.
This is the strength and the power to obey Christ, and it comes only from Him.
Today, may we leave our own attempts to live the “Christian life” and let Christ live His life within us, by His power, by His efforts, and turn us into obedient, loving, power-filled servants, filled to fullness with Himself.
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