and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead
(Ephesians 1:19-20 ESV)
We continue reading Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians today. This prayer is all about knowing God. Paul has already prayed that the Ephesians would know the future God has waiting for them and that they would also know how valuable they are to God.
The final thing Paul wants the Ephesians to know is the great power that God uses on behalf of His people. The Greek word translated “power” here is δυναμισ (pronounced: doo’-nam-is). We get our English words dynamic and dynamite from this word. Something that is dynamic stimulates change or progress.
God uses His power only “toward” those who are His children [John 1:12]. In this opening passage of this letter Paul is describing some of the many benefits those who are adopted into God’s family receive. Anyone who is not yet one of God’s children does not have the mighty power of God working on their behalf.
Notice also that this power is referenced in the present tense thereby indicating that God’s power is working for us right now. We do not have to wait until this next life to experience it – we have it right now as we live in these earthly bodies [2 Corinthians 4:7, Colossians 1:29, Philippians 2:13].
This power is the very same power that God used “when He raised [Christ] from the dead”. I think its safe to say that it takes quite a bit of strength to raise someone who is dead back to life. Certainly no mortal human being can do that. Hossein Rezazadeh, of Iran, holds the Olympic weightlifting record in both the snatch (478 lbs) and the clean and jerk (579 lbs). He is very strong. But he is a weakling compared to God.
Many Christians, myself included, have a hard time remembering this concept. Too often we think we can’t do something because we think we don’t have enough physical and/or mental strength to pull it off. But that is not true. Anyone who is a born-again believer, and therefore is a child of God, has the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead at his/her disposal.
This does not mean that we can accomplish anything we want. God isn’t a genie that will empower us at our will. But it does mean that when God calls upon us to do something for Him or for others (such as tell others about Jesus), He will not let us do it in our own feeble strength. He will be with us, giving us the power we need to accomplish it.
Anytime we doubt that and use our own lack of strength as an excuse to avoid doing God’s will we are falling into one of Satan’s traps and are also insulting God.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.