“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,”
Our God is mighty. He is powerful. There is nothing that our God cannot do. I’m reminded of the word of Martin Luther from the great hymn of our faith:
A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
When we take an honest look at the world around us, it becomes clear how weak we truly are. Our enemy Satan is going about seeking whom he may devour, the world and its lusts seek to entangle us in its grip, and our own fleshly desires draw us away from pursuing our Heavenly Father. But we actually have nothing to fear: for we have “the right man on our side”! In ourselves, we can do nothing, but with God all things are possible.
Have you ever heard a testimony from another person and wished that you could have the same experience in your own life? The simple truth is that if we are seeing God at work, the problem is that we do not believe. Let us take a look at what the Bible says about this.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul shares his deep desire for the people to be given spiritual sight which he continually expressed of God in prayer. He saw their faith in Jesus and their love for each other, and because of that, he wished that they would continue on into greater depths of knowing God in their lives.
After asking that God would open their eyes, he lists what he prays that they would be able to see. The aspect I would like to focus on is in verse nineteen of chapter one:
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power…”
God wants to show us His power in our lives. If you desire to see His working, know that God desired it first. The Bible says “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
In meditating on this passage from Ephesians, several different aspects of God’s power have stood out to me. Let’s explore how to see God’s power in each of these ways.
1. The potential of His power. Paul specifically prays that they would see the greatness of God’s power in the lives of those who believe. Even if we experience God’s working in our own lives, it is important to look at others’ lives and be inspired to go even deeper with God. We will never know all there is to know of our infinite Creator! “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.” (2 Peter 3:18)
2. The presence of His power. While there is much more to know and see of God, it is also important to see His present working of His exceeding great power in our lives. Trusting in the realization that we have, in this present moment, the fullness of God at our disposal through our relationship in Christ gives us boldness and peace in our current circumstances and allows us to continue on in believing Him more and more – which in turn allows us to grow in Him!
3. The pervasiveness of His power. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” One meaning of this passage is that the pure in heart are those that see God in each area of life. Part of what Paul was praying was that we would actually see the power of God; not just in the glorious or outward experiences, but also in the mundane things of life or inside the quietness of our hearts. As our hearts are cleansed by the washing of the Word, we will recognize God and His work in each unique part of life.
4. The possibilities of His power. We learn in the next verse that this power Paul refers to is the same power by which God raised Jesus from the dead! If we stop and think about it, we honestly believe the power of God to be much smaller than it actually is. But the fact remains; the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside you! Just think of the possibilities! If we let God have His way with us and draw us into knowing Him more, the work that He wants to do through us is beyond our comprehension.
5. The purpose of His power. Since the resurrection-life power of God lives within us, it is not too difficult to see why God desires to work His power in us. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) God is performing His will through our lives by His power. And what does He desire for our lives? Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21) As we keep, meditate, dwell upon, abide in God’s Word, God will manifest Himself to us! His desire is to walk with us and for us to know Him intimately. He wants to work this in us by his exceeding great power; not simply performing great wonders for validation or entertainment, but His powerful working in our lives for the purpose of knowing Him more.
When a certain man asked Jesus to come heal his son, Jesus simply told him, “Go thy way; thy son liveth.” (John 4:48) At that moment, the man had a choice: to agree with what Jesus said or to disagree. Fortunately, the scripture says, “And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” It would not surprise me if that was the moment when his son was healed. The exceeding greatness of God’s power is available to all, but only those who believe His Word actually experience it in their lives.
“…he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:10-11)
Let us soak ourselves in the Word of God and believe what God says. Ask God to open the floodgates of your spiritual understanding and shine the light of His truth on your heart. And may we praise God as He works His exceeding great power in our lives!