“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit.”
Where do you look for power in your daily life? Where do you look for power to take on a problem, care for a loved one, serve the Lord? What is your power source?
It is obvious from Scripture what God intends our daily power source to be: His Spirit! God created us to contain Him and to “live and move and have our being in Him” (Acts 17:28). When a discouraged, faint-hearted Zerubbabel faced a “mountain” of trouble, God reminded him of his power source: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised His disciples power when the Holy Spirit descended upon them: “And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so, stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). We see at the top of Paul’s prayer list for believers to “be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit.” While you and I can only act on others from the outside, the Holy Spirit works on us from within. And He acts with power! The prophet Isaiah assured troubled people that God “gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless” (Isaiah 40:29). David testified to the power of God’s Spirit at work in him: “On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul” (Psalm 138:3).
Even while sitting in a Roman prison, Paul could confidently pray for God to strengthen the Colossian Christians: “May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks” (Colossians 1:11).
As a believer, you have already dwelling in you that divine power Jesus promised: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). Scottish preacher Alexander MacLaren writes knowingly of that power:
“He will come with the manifold results of the one gift to you. He will strengthen your understandings and make you able for loftier tasks of intellect and of reason than you can face in your unaided power; He will dwell in your affections and make them vigorous to lay hold upon the holy things that are above their natural inclination, and will make it certain that their reach shall not be beyond their grasp.”(Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture: Ephesians)
Paul does not doubt the inexhaustible power available for every believer, praying that this power be granted “according to riches of God’s glory.” God will give us power in a measure corresponding to the greatness of His glory. Yes, the heavens are declaring the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), but a greater display of His glory is the way He strengthens the powerless. This is in keeping with the riches of His glory.
My wife and I spent a wonderful evening with an Iraqi family that had to escape the clutches of ISIS, fleeing to a refugee camp in Jordan, then making their way to the United States. The young mother was the most English fluent in the family and talked excitedly with me about our Lord. When I said “Holy Spirit” to her, it was apparent she did not understand. Quickly she looked up the words in her Arabic dictionary, and her face beamed: “Ah! Yes! Power!” I understood that moment I was talking to a woman who really knew the daily power of the Holy Spirit!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
God knows what each of us is dealing with. He knows our pressures. He knows our conflicts. And He has made provision for each and every one of them. That provision is Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit, indwelling us and empowering us to respond rightly.” Kay Arthur.