Summary: The power that we need most in our lives can only come from God

The Power You Need

Ephesians 1:19-20

January 20, 2002


When electricity became available in remote rural areas, one woman went to great trouble and expense to have electricity installed in her home. A few months after the wiring was installed and the power was turned on; the power company noticed that the home didn’t use very much power. Fearing that there was a problem they sent a meter reader to check on the matter. The meter reader saw that the power was indeed working properly and then asked the woman, “Do you use your electricity?” The woman replied, “Of course we do. We turn it on every night to see to light our lamps and then we turn it off.”

Doesn’t that just sound ridiculous? Having all of the power that you need and the ability to tap it all of the time but only using it just enough “get by.” We would never do anything like this at all because it just wouldn’t make sense. However, we do this exact same thing a great deal when we apply the same reasoning to the power of God.

We go out of our way to go to church and to worship but have little relationship with god through the week. We go through difficulties day after day and only when we come to the end of our strength do we ask for God’s help. We have the power of God at our disposal all of the time but yet we attempt to get by on our own strength everyday. We are a lot more like the woman who wouldn’t use her electricity than we would like to admit.

What is our problem? Let me suggest two possible reasons. First, we don’t have a proper understanding of God’s power. Second, we don’t realize how weak we are without that power.

The Apostle Paul wrote some encouraging words to the Ephesian church about the power of God, in fact, he prayed that the church would understand God’s power more deeply and allow it to work in their lives.

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength. Ephesians 1:19

A. The definition of power

1. Human terms

a.) Power is to have control or influence over others

b.) Power is to have ability

c.) Power is to have energy from a source

2. God’s power

a.) Paul uses some very descriptive language for God’s power in this passage and exploring these descriptions gives us a deeper understanding of God’s power.

b.) Paul uses the Greek word, dumanis for power. It is the same word that we get our English words dynamic or dynamite. Literally this means to have incredible power.

c.) Paul’s description of god’s power also reveals that it is active. God is in the process of working His plan and he moves through history with power. God’s power is revealed in His ability to complete His divine plan

B. The description of power

1. Incomparable

a.) Paul is saying that God’s power us all surpassing, unlimited and beyond imagination.

b.) Literally, there is nothing we can compare to the power of God because nothing we have can even come close

The Point: God’s power is beyond our imagination

2. Great

a.) Our misuse of the word “great”

Examples: Great job, Great meal, great day, great show

b.) The Greek meaning was much deeper and gives the expression of explosive power. Power that was above and beyond the human ability to measure

The Point: God’s power is beyond measure

3. Working

a.) Paul describes God’s power as working, which gives us the impression that it is always active.

b.) The Greek word used here is energeia, which we get the word energy. This implies that God has the ability to empower or to energize.

The Point: God’s power gives Him the ability to empower

4. Mighty

a.) Paul says that God’s power is mighty. Literally this is saying that God’s power is His own. There is no other source that gives God power.

b.) This attribute is impossible for anyone or anything else to have because nothing or no one is more powerful than God.

The Point: God’s power gives him the ability to give ability

5. Strength

a.) Paul states that god’s power is strong. This seems to be a silly statement because we already know that God is strong.

b.) The word that Paul uses is a political term that describes authority or sovereignty.

The Point: God’s power gives Him total and complete authority.

C. The designation of power

1. Restate the description of God’s power

a.) God’s power is beyond imagination

b.) God’s power is beyond measure

c.) God’s power gives Him the ability to empower

d.) God’s power gives Him the ability to give ability

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