According To The Power……

Remember: This website is One Man’s Thoughts About The King And His Kingdom.

Here are my thoughts regarding this oft-quoted verse in Ephesians (all verses NKJV):

Eph 3:20-21
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

There is no question in the minds of praying, Bible-believing saints as to the ABILITY of God to accomplish virtually anything He so chooses. He is God. He is omniscient. That is good.

Verse 20 confirms He is able “to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”. THAT is unlimited, almost Buzz Lightyear kind of superlatives: Infinity and Beyond! Exceedingly abundantly – even BEYOND what we could ask or think. I can think pretty way out there sometimes, and our God CAN DO even more than that.

The sober question then arises as to why we sometimes/typically and even often fail to see the results of prayers and petitions that we might make to our great and powerful God, even though we know (a) He is able and that (b) our particular prayers are in line with His purposes – healing, provision, miracles, deliverances, etc.

CAN DO and DOING are two different issues. Scripture shows me that, in His perfect sovereignty, God has chosen to partner with mankind in the work on earth.

I believe (this one man’s thoughts) that the key is in the words “according to” later in that same verse in Ephesians – “…according to the power that works in us”

The word “according” is best defined as “in proportion to”, “in concert with”, “concurring with” – the amount of power that works in us.

Inarguably there is no junior Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God/spirit of Christ. The terms are used interchangeably throughout scripture. The Holy Spirit is fully mature, and eternal.

The issue is not maturity of His presence in our lives. I believe the issue is the amount of Holy Spirit in our lives. According to the amount of room we make for the presence and the abiding of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

An 8-ounce glass with 4 ounces of water in it cannot receive more than 4 more ounces of anything else.

The more of me that is in me, the more of my own will that I choose to cling to and exercise, the less room there remains for the will of God, and the presence of God.

We are called and admonished to be FILLED with the fullness of God. I believe God will go so far in His relentless pursuit of all of each of us, that if necessary He will drill some divine holes in us, to help us empty out of self.

Paul’s apostolic prayer for the saints:
Eph 3:17-19
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–
19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Eph 4:12-13
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Why would he be praying like this for folks who are already saints, already saved, unless he fully understand this dynamic truth of the Kingdom? Progressive growth. Progressive maturing. Progressive filling.

3:17 “…that Christ MAY dwell in your hearts….” Conditional.
3:18 “…that you MAY BE filled with all the fullness…) Conditional.
4:12 “…till we all come… the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. Eventual and Conditional.

Paul understood this journey is all about us making choices, putting forth conscious willing effort, to be emptied of ourselves – so that fullness of Christ might reign in us. This is the will of God. This is why I get so crazy about folks who think they have nothing to say about the outcome of their faith. What kind of love story eliminates free will? “Whosoever WILLS” has to make some provision for free choice. As Smith Wigglesworth said (he raised people from the dead), the problem is not whosoever wills, the problem is centered on whosoever won’t.

This is a daily invitation, a daily challenge. I’ve been saved long enough to recognize the cause and effect of distraction, lack of time in the word or in prayer. More of me and less of Him – fruitless. Positively – the more I choose to press into the high calling, the more I determine to (as Brother Andrew wrote) “practice the presence of God” the more of Him I realize in me, and the less of me. THAT is the heavenly Plan A.

The seven sons of Sceva obviously had some kind of prior success in their exorcism business in Israel, otherwise they would not have been in business. Our great God apparently had breathed some amazing grace on them prior to the revelation of the gospel and power of Christ, to alleviate the torment suffered by His chosen people.

But after the ascension, and once the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was manifested, things shifted in the heavenly and earthly realms.

The sons of Sceva, with good intention, determined to free someone from demonic bondage:

Acts 19:13-17
13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Oh my. These brothers obviously believed in Jesus, otherwise they would not have invoked His name. But greater was he who was in the world, than He who was in them. See the problem here? There ineffectiveness was “according to the power that worked in them”. Or didn’t work. God didn’t fail. They failed.

I believe the Lord has always invited, and is in fact in these trying times of preparation, inviting His saints to purposely empty themselves of self, so that Christ might reign in them, to the fullness that God has intended and purposed. In that place, we will walk in authority. Gideon tore down the backyard idols before the anointing came upon him. I am preaching to myself.

I personally do not believe we’re automatically filled up and stayed filled up. I do not see that in scripture. Otherwise we would not be told “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” – that is not simply about getting saved and then you’re filled. It’s about a purposed lifestyle of hungering and thirsting.

It’s about daily coming to the waters. It’s about praying and pressing in daily. Experience confirms there is a marked correlation between folks who have active daily prayer lives, and who SPEND their lives in God, as opposed to saints who simply are relieved they are now in the Room of Grace. Pressing in to God doesn’t mean He loves you more. We’re not about earning our salvation. But we are invited to get hungry, stay hungry, and to fill ourselves up in Him.

The psalmist vowed ”All my springs are in You” (Psalm 87:7)

I want all that I can get. I have the freedom, and the choice, to make choices.

Our God is available 24/7. I like to call it the Inconvenience Store of His presence. I have learned to love that place. Awakening the dawn. Making choices, for God, that cost me. It is a wise investment. Such a deal.

Eph 3:20-21
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US,
21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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About ez3728

I am a believer in Jesus - that He is the One and Only Messiah of the world. I believe the Bible is the perfect and complete Word of God, and that God is absolutely competent and capable of keeping His Word perfect, undefiled, and uncorrupted. Jesus was born Jewish. So was I. He lived a perfect life, and is worshiped. I live an imperfect life, and I worship Him.
This entry was posted in Everything, Fear of the Lord, Giving, Holiness, Movement of God, Personal Relationship, Prayer, Understanding & Knowing God. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to According To The Power……

  1. Tisha says:

    great insight. I’m going to share it with the Tuesday group. Thank you!

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