Summary: Power from God is the strength to do God's will
Power With Purpose
Eph. 3:13 - 21
Have you ever heard that “America is the most powerful nation in the world ?” What does this mean? We have also been called, “The only superpower, left.” This is usually a reference to military power. It could also be applied to economic power and social influence.
If power were applied to a person, what would you think? Would you think of - their physical strength, their influence, their money, their political position, or maybe their impact on society?
In our text for today from Eph. 3: 13-21, we read that God wants us to have power, and that it was Paul’s prayer that that power manifest itself in the lives of the church and individual Christians. But what kind of power? How do we know if we have it? How can we attain it? What do we do with it?
There is a story from one of Max Lucado’s books of a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century. She was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. "I’m wondering if you can explain something to me," he said. "Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?" "Certainly," she answered. "Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off."
“She tapped into the power but did not use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we make the same mistake? Our souls are saved but our hearts unchanged - are we connected but not altered? Are we trusting Christ for salvation but resisting transformation? Do we occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time settle for shadows?” Paul was writing from prison but it was worth the pain for he was connected to the power. Because of his care for the church he was more than willing to be incarcerated.
Eph 3:13-16 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged (and he is the one in jail) because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14 For this reason I kneel (good prayer position) before the Father 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
“There was a famous oil field called Yates Pool: During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government help.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil under his feet. They asked permission to drill a well, and he signed contract. At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Other wells gave upmore than twice as much.
In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
Many Christians live in spiritual poverty. They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, but they are not aware of their birthright.”
We have the resources at our disposal but we settle for far less. Instead of working to advance the Kingdom we fight to hold on to our perceived territory. We have pretend conversations with people who have hurt us but now haunt us in our mind. What a waste of time, pouting about what we would say if we had the chance. (sad faces)
Often lacking the courage to do anything in a direct manner we gossip to any gentle soul who might listen and pine away at our puny hurts while the real world rushes toward hell on a high speed train.