Ever owned an under-powered electronic gadget? The whole process starts slowly…the laptop doesn’t seem to last as long on battery power as it used to…and once the battery drain starts, it progresses quickly to the point where it barely holds a charge altogether. I have an iPod that dies in a day simply by staying connected to WiFi.
It’s a senseless waste to be a piece of electronics and under-powered. All those resources and apps with so much potential, made useless by a lack of battery capacity.
There is one thing that’s worse, though–an under-powered follower of Christ.
As we continue in our study of the book of Ephesians this fall at Blanchard Warrenville, the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that everyone who believes in Christ has total and complete access to all the power we’ll ever need for our lives today.
Let me summarize some of the many incredible promises from Ephesians Chapters 1 & 2. As you read them (slowly!), let them soak in and fill you up with power:
- “we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ…” (1:3)
- “we are chosen to be holy and blameless in his sight”(1:4)
- “anyone who believes is redeemed, forgiven and lavished with God’s wisdom and discernment” (1:7-8)
- “anyone who believes is included in Christ”(1:13)
- “anyone who believes receives the mighty Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our hope” (1:14)
- “we (the Church) are the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way” (1:22)
- “because of God’s great love for us, we are made alive in Christ.” (2:5)
- “believers in Christ are raised up to rule with him today to be a testimony of his kindness and rich grace” (2:7)
- “as loved ones, Jesus freely saves us by his grace” (2:8-9)
- “we are God’s masterpieces, empowered to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” (2:10)
Overwhelming isn’t it? At the beginning of Ephesians 2, Paul makes it very clear that we are all faced with a stark choice. Will we be consumed by our own fleshly passions and desires, thereby submitting to the devil’s authority, or will we obey Christ and fill ourselves up to the full of his riches? I’ve attached the Powerpoint slide I created for my message last Sunday which summarizes the essence of Paul’s argument:
I’m particularly struck by the immediate consequences of which self we choose to live for. The description of the kind of person who obeys the devil is pretty exhausting, miserable and toxic–we’re like animals consumed all day long by our own selfish passions which will kill us. The terrible irony is that the devil doesn’t even have to destroy us–we destroy ourselves–he just gives us enough leash that we walk off the edge of the cliff to hang by our own selfish choices.
But look at how focused and powerful we are when we obey Christ! By God’s grace, he empowers us to proactively create and establish Christ’s kingdom rule as forgiven ones along with him in our everyday lives rather than lurking around like reactive creatures at the mercy of our sinful habits. With Christ at the center of all things we have unlimited capacity through the unbelievable gift of his empowering grace, power and presence.
Perhaps this post has helped you to identify areas in which you lack focus or where you are frustratingly under-powered, like my old iPod. Accept the free gift of Christ’s salvation, then, and believe Christ’s promises to define your Today with Christ’s all-powerful authority. Just ask for it–the power’s available right now. And if the asking’s too much, pray like Paul did for the church in Ephesus: He prayed that they might:
- through His Spirit, know Jesus better
- the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened to know the hope they have
- believe and experience his incomparably great power.