Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV*
I’ve heard these verses quoted at the close of worship services so often that even to read them silently, my mind takes on a sober, official-blessing tone. They’re a commissioning, a reminder of God’s power and our goal of living to His glory.
Something new struck me this time I read them. Don’t you love it when God does that?
Paul isn’t writing about God’s power working on its own, restraining or unleashing forces of nature or holding the universe together. He’s talking about God’s power at work in us.
Earlier Paul prays that God will “strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16, NIV*)
How often do we stop to consider that God’s power is at work in us? That when He wants to work through us it’s by His power, not our own?
Do we really believe it? Too often, I don’t. My mind knows the words, but the rest of me knows how little energy or ability I have and gets frustrated by the demands on my time.
Paul also says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV** ) and I need to understand that not just to mean Christ giving me a boost as I climb, but Him being the power source that supplies energy, ability and vision.
Father, when I limit myself to my own ability with Your “help” I miss chances to show how glorious and powerful You are. I place more trust in my own understanding than in Your strength. Please forgive me, and help me truly believe and trust Your power working in me to accomplish what You direct me to do. Help me not to view my tasks as drains or burdens, but as areas where You want to work through me. You are the Potter; help me be a vessel You can fill and pour out of.
A good reminder song is “In Me” from Casting Crowns:
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
**New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Hi Janet. I can only agree with you in repentance. Yes, many a times I find myself doing the works in my efforts and end up getting frustrated. Yet, I know that without Christ, I can do nothing. May the Lord keep us from prideful works of the flesh and rely on HIS POWER AT WORK within us to do HIS WILL.
Yes — and Paul dwells on that again in 1 Corinthians 3:7, when he said, “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”
It’s interesting to see how the same themes show up repeatedly throughout the Scriptures. The repetition shows how important they are.
Beautiful song and so true the message!