Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Ephesians 3:16 – I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being…
As a fan of superhero movies, I really like understanding the origins of how regular people acquired their superpowers. Whether it was from a spider bite or from the released energy of a crashed light-speed engine, it’s fun to see how their skills develop over time.
In the book of Ephesians, the author, the apostle Paul, is writing to a church of new Gentile believers. The origin story of these Christians most likely includes a history of idol worship and pagan rituals. Learning to believe in one true God was a new concept for them. Not only that, they were being introduced to a Messiah who made it possible to be in a personal relationship with the God of all heaven and Earth. They were learning that this personal relationship with God meant that they had a job to do: to participate in the sharing of the Gospel. And this participation would require them to rely on the power of God to accomplish all that He was calling them to do.
In my imagination, I think that the experiences of these new believers learning to lean into the power of God is a little similar to superheroes learning to use their powers. New discoveries of what might be possible; determining how and when to use these gifts and for whom; and probably failing every now and again.
For some superheroes, the more that they use their power, the stronger they become.
As believers in Christ, our faith also grows more powerful the more we exercise it. I sometimes wonder what might be possible if I could get out of my own way, completely, and totally rely on the power of God. I wonder if this happened if I might be more like the original disciples who healed, ministered, and preached to hundreds and thousands.
I know that with each passing year my faith in God grows as new and different circumstances require me to lean into the power He offers. I think that is why this particular prayer that Paul prays for the Ephesians is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. In Ephesians chapter 3, verses 16 through 21, I read one of the most encouraging prayers that is offered up to believers. When I read this portion, I am strengthened in my faith and my desire to serve God grows. I want to see what God can do in and through me. I want to put on my super suit and get to work.
So how about it? Will you join me in the adventure of a lifetime?
- How would you tell the story of how you got your power? Where does it come from? How did you get it? What do you do with it? What could you do with it?
- Re-read Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. Does this sound like your prayer list for your church, your family and yourself? What do you like best about Paul’s prayer? What could you add to your prayers?