You Got The Power (Heaven on Earth)

What inhabits your prayer life?  How often do you find yourself praying for others?  How well do you know the people that you go to church with; well enough to pray intelligently for them?  Paul offers insight into his prayer life in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1: 15-23).

On the heels of laying out the work of the Trinity of God in their salvation, he reminds them that he is praying for the Ephesian believers.  In particular, he mentions his thankfulness for them and their love of other Christians but then goes on to pray for the eyes of their hearts to be open to the value of their salvation and the power that lies within them.

The sentence structure makes clear the eyes of their hearts – ability to perceive – have already been opened.  They have had their eyes opened to the wealth and power of their salvation.  He writes to remind them of what they may have been distracted from remembering. 

Living in Ephesus was like living in a version of Las Vegas – a city with many distractions.  Paul was reminding the members of this 1st century church that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead was active within them.  In verse 19 alone, he uses 3 different words to convey that God’s power is active and advancing through them.

The first century believers much like 21st century believers have many distractions away from the reality of the power of God in their lives.  The result is believers end up living seemingly powerless and listless lives of boredom that they believe is their responsibility to break free from.  It is the power of God that breaks bonds, gives purpose and meaning to our lives.  It’s impossible to live for Jesus in our own power – the power of God that courses through our lives enables us to say no to temptation and sin and yes to God’s agenda in life. 

Sadly, gaming platforms, phones, video games, sensuality, entertainment and more distract well-meaning believers from recognizing they have the power within them (from God) to live victorious lives.  A trap that many falls into is believing they can conjure up the strength they need to live for God from within themselves apart from God.  In short, this leads to a form of religious bondage and negates the good news of Jesus.  The good news was that grace has come to free us from the bondage of sin. 

The call is to recognize the power lies within us from God and access it – do something with it that requires us to live beyond ourselves, counters our selfish desires and glorifies God more than anything or anyone else. 

We asked God to show us what He wanted us to do at Lakeside.   We answered the call to host in an emergency women’s winter shelter and provide a haven for homeless women in our city.  He came again and invited us into helping rebuild homes for people in India (their homes were destroyed by back to back cyclones).  To answer these invitations, we have had to come to terms with ourselves – do we have the power and strength to live beyond ourselves and be blessings into the lives of others with no return?

You got the power.

Vince Armfield