Summary: While our past is history and our future is a mystery, let me show you, from this text, three things God, in His mighty power, desires for our church.
Holy Tornado, Batman!
Introduction: Robin always had a way with words, didn’t he? This message has nothing to do with Batman or Robin. It does have to do with “power” (tornadic power). Three times in this passage you will find the word “power”. If you have access to power point show a film clip from the movie Twister. If not, refer to the movie. Many of your people will have seen it.
Tornadoes are pretty powerful things. How would you like to have that kind of power? If only you could harness or control it you would have something!
Twisters are like a small puff of air or a gentle breeze compared to God’s almightiness. God is like a holy tornado (constructive that is). He’s a trinity tornado – Father (14), Spirit (16),
Son (17). See Acts 2:2. God wants to sweep into our lives and spin us into new people.
Here is Paul’s prayer for the church. It’s also God’s promise. Why did Paul pray this prayer? He did so because he saw a church with unparalled potential and an unquestionable challenge. He saw what God gave the church to do and so he prayed that they would be equal to the task. But if they were to reach their potential and meet their challenge, it would take a greater power than they, themselves, possessed. It would take a supernatural power; a holy tornado!
While our past is history and our future is a mystery, let me show you, from this text, three things God, in His mighty power, desires for our church. He desires for us to be:
I. Invigorated By His Life (v.16)
A. Request (16): “Strengthen” means that God would impart divine power. In order for us to face opposition, fulfill opportunities and finish our obligations, we must have God’s help and strength. “Inner man” indicates the mind, will and conscience. See 2 Cor. 4:16. Many of us are like a one-legged grasshopper in a desert sandstorm. We are blown away by evil forces.
B. Reason (17): Paul’s not speaking here of conversion. One may be truly Christian but not fully Christian. With many, Christ is present but not preeminent. See the word “dwell”? That means to settle down, make a permanent home. Allow Jesus to make Himself at home in your heart.
C. Resource (16): Is any of this possible? Sure it is. Look at the words “glorious riches”. That refers to limitless resources! We can receive what is required. The problem is not his ability to give but our reluctance to ask. Do we fear asking God for too much? Are we unsure He can meet our needs? We don’t strain God’s resources. He never exhausts His wealth!
II. Educated About His Love (v.17-18)
In v. 18, the word “grasp” means to apprehend or comprehend. The more we are invigorated by his life, the more we will be educated about his love. Follow Paul’s thoughts.
A. Be Planted (v.17): The picture here is that of a deeply rooted tree, or a well-founded building. It carries the meaning of being nourished and stable. You can’t go high if you don’t go deep!
B. Be Partners (v.18): “Together” means fellowship. We’re not to be isolationists. Those who love the company of God’s people are in the best position to understand the richness of his love. That’s why public and corporate worship is so important. Others experiences help us to more fully realize his love.
C. Be Pursuers (v.18): “Grasp” also means to lay hold of, seize or take possession of. “Know” is to gain by experience, comprehend with the mind and experience the full dimensions of his love. “Length” refers to the scope of eternity. “Breadth” includes all people. “Height” points to heavenly places. “Depth” indicates the unlimited reach of God’s love. All this alludes to the surpassing magnitude of his love for all the world.
III. Saturated With His Likeness (v.19)
A. The Person: You.
B. The Petition: “Filled to the measure.” This is something beyond our comprehension. All his love cannot be known.
C. The Presence: We can’t contain the fullness of his divine essence. The heavens can’t contain God’s glory. Curtis Vaughan writes, “You may experience to the extent of your capacity the totality of blessings God is willing and able to bestow.”
Conclusion: Pay close attention to v.20. Our only limitation is our unwillingness to permit him to work in us freely. Why not make this your daily prayer. Who knows, someone may look at you someday and say, “Holy tornado, Batman!”