“…and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might…” Ephesians 1:19
Have you ever found yourself joining a conversation right in the middle of a great story? You feel somewhat lost as you try to keep up with the storyteller and all the details they are sharing. You might be able to piece together some parts, but ultimately you don’t have the entire story. This is how we probably feel today in reading Ephesians 1:19. To read this verse on its own isn’t going to make much sense because it is part of a much longer thought, or prayer, that Paul is expressing in his letter to the Ephesians.
This is one of the things I have grown to love about studying Scripture – context. It’s so important to read and study God’s Word in context so that we not only understand what is being said, but also so that we don’t misinterpret and misapply these words. We’re in the middle of Paul’s prayer that he’s praying for the church in Ephesus, and in verse 18 he writes this phrase: “that you may know.” That short phrase is also applied to verse 19, as he finishes his thought. The desire that Paul is expressing here is that they would know God’s power, corporately and intimately.
The unfortunate reality of the state of the church today is that too few know, understand, and believe WHO they are in Christ. Therefore, they live lives somewhat handicapped and frail, when in fact, we were intended to be the tangible display of God’s power here on earth. So few, it seems, actually seem to live in this power, this immeasurably great power. Rather, I find that we tend to try to muster up strength on our own, this “pull up your boots straps” mentality. We face life with fists clenched ready to fight, be brave, fake strong, and all the while we’re broken inside. But this was never God’s plan.
Take a moment and look up Psalm 103:14. What does this verse say that God knows about us?
I think sometimes we forget that God knows how weak and frail we are, and that He is in no way surprised by it. He’s not expecting us to do this thing called life on our own. That is why He sent His Son Jesus to earth, to live a perfect life, to die in our place, and to overcome sin and the grave. Because of this good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God now gives us power to live the lives He’s called us to live. He’s given us power to know Him, to love Him, and to share Him with others. He’s given us power to overcome the bondage of sin and brokenness. He’s given us all that we need in Him. And this power that has been given to us is not dependent upon us one bit. This power is at work in and through us according to what? “According to the working of His great might.” Since He is the creator of this power, He is also the sustainer of it. It is not up to us to do good or be good enough to keep it or maintain it. If we are in Christ, we have not only been given this power – we can’t lose it.
Look back again at verses 18-19. Notice that Paul is not asking God to give these believers His power. Rather, He’s asking God to cause them TO KNOW that this power has already been given to them. How many of God’s blessings have you been given that you live unaware of today? Who does God say that you are that you have not yet fully known, understood, or embraced? The truth that God beckons us to today is that we have been given power…immeasurably great power. Do we walk in it? Do we operate in it? Do we know it? Because if you only knew the power that has been given to you, if you only knew the power you have access to, if you only knew the power that is at work within you, your faith could and would move mountains.