Saturday, April 10, 2021

Resurrection Words Day 9: Power


Day 9: Power

"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." Romans 8:11

We live in the resurrection power of God now. We live in this power because God's Spirit lives in us through our faith in His Son Jesus Christ. We live, not by our own power, but by relying on the power of God. Anyone who has tried to change a long held habit knows the truth of this. We do not transform and change by simply trying harder, but by relying on the resurrection power of God. His power in us enables us to say no to sin, it frees us from fear, it provides us with the power to live the life He calls us to live. We are never promised a problem-free life, but we do possess the power of God to endure, and not simply to endure, but to come out victorious.

We who are in Christ, possess this power. But we do not all connect with it, or maybe even believe we possess it. How do we connect with this resurrection power of God? Paul gives us an answer to this in Ephesians 1.
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:17-21

Paul's prayer for the Ephesians in this passage is, ultimately, that they would connect with the resurrection power that is theirs through the Spirit of God living in them. Whether or not we feel that power or feel like we experience it or see it in our lives is a matter of perspective. For if you are a Christ-follower the reality is that the power of God is within you, because God dwells in and through you by His Spirit. You already possess that power. Paul's prayer reveals how to connect with it.

Paul calls us to first pray for the Spirit's wisdom and revelation. This should be our prayer every time we read and study the Word of God, before every decision we make, and in every circumstance we face. This prayer is not for us to have more wisdom and to know more for the sake of knowledge itself, but to know God more, to know Him better. And again, this is not simply about head-knowledge but more about heart-knowledge. The word used for "know" or "knowledge" in the Greek language that this letter was written in is the word "epignosis". On a side note, this word group is what began my journey into wanting to learn how to dig into the Bible and learn to study for deeper meaning. Epignosis is not simply knowledge that gives you information. It is experiential knowledge. The kind of knowledge that brings the knower into a relationship with that which is known. It is experienced first hand by relationship with the knowledge revealed. This is the type of knowledge that has the power to change us, transform us. When we learn something our eyes are opened, but when we experience what we learn in a deeper manner our hearts are opened. This is heart-knowledge, and what Paul prays for us. This is why he prays for the "eyes of your hearts to be enlightened" (verse 18).

What is it that he wants us to know with our hearts? He wants us to know experientially the hope to which he has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance, and God's incomparably great power for us who believe. God has called us to salvation through Christ. He has chosen us and he loves us. We are His children. Our glorious inheritance is everything that comes to us in this life and the next through our relationship with Christ and our position as God's children. When we connect with this, we connect with the incomparably great power God has for us. The more we know God, the more we will know the power that is ours in God. Being secure in who we are, in Whose we are, and in the assurance of eternal life ignites the power of God that dwells in us. We can handle anything, stand up under any pressure, endure all things, and walk securely in His power. Paul continues in the rest of the passage to describe how God's power is seen most dramatically and perfectly in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. His resurrection from the dead gave us the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us and gives us access to God's power.

Share your response to today's word and Scripture readings in the Words Art & Faith Challenge Group on Facebook. Or share on social media with #resurrectionwords. 

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