According to the Power (Part 1) by Pastor Carl W. Mann, II
Ephesians 3:20 (KJV) “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
I don’t pay close attention to what men are saying when they are comparing the size of engines in their automobiles. One reason I don’t listen that closely is because I’m not that much “into” automobiles; well, I know I must get “into” one to operate it or ride in it.
Another reason that I don’t listen that closely is because I do not understand what they are talking about; AND, I am not that curious that I desire to be more educated on the subject! Whether an engine is a “285 – with 2 barrels” or a “285 – with 4 barrels,” is above my comprehension and beyond my curiosity. All I’m interested in is does it have enough power to carry or pull the load I anticipate it needing to, and will it be dependable for the “long-haul?”
When my sister bought her first automobile, she chose a beautiful burgundy Chevrolet convertible with white vinyl seats. It had an automatic transmission with the gear shift located on the middle console. She would allow me to drive it, and I confess I tried to make it look like it was a standard transmission. I’d move the gear in Low and work my way through the “2-Steps” to Drive. That made me feel pretty “sporty,” until the car next to me had a real standard transmission accompanied with a more powerful engine than my sister’s car! Without a doubt, her car “looked” more sporty and beautiful than most others; however, her car did not have the power I was attempting to have it appear to possess. Let me also state, my sister ordered her new car and it came exactly as she requested.
I learned a very valuable lesson from my immature experience – while automobiles might be beautiful, sporty, or extravagantly arrayed, what matters most is the “power” that is inside it. It is the same with every human being! The Word of God teaches us not to judge others, or anything, by how it appears on the outside. It is the “driving force” within people that really matters!
When Paul wrote our study Scripture, he was encouraging the saints in Ephesus to look beyond their broken past and bewildering present, and see the transformational power of Christ’s Resurrection that was a result of His sacrificial death at Calvary. He was exhorting them to look beyond themselves and catch a full spiritual focus of the transcendent love of Christ whereby they might be “filled with all the fulness of God.”
We need to reflect upon what Paul was, and is still, saying: “The same power that was in Jesus is in us!” Let me go back and refer to my opening remarks concerning the engines that produce the power for the automobiles to function. While I do not pay close attention to what men are discussing concerning their automobile engines, I do notice that very rarely does an individual use their engine to its full potential.
For instance, what does it matter if the engine and transmission of an automobile can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds if there is rarely the need to do so, OR the driver will NEVER operate his automobile in such a manner even if it would be to his advantage to do so? It really doesn’t matter if an automobile has the potential to operate in a highly efficient and powerful manner if the operator is disposed to drive only in a conservative manner. I assume some will think: “Aren’t we supposed to drive conservatively!” I agree, but the principle I am attempting to illustrate is why would anyone desire to spend more money to purchase an automobile with a higher power capacity if they never intend to rely upon or utilize it?!
Referring to today’s Scripture, I want to draw your attention to the “condition” of how God will move in, and on, behalf of us, “…according to the power that worketh in us.”
Paul defined the “power” that works in us, Ephesians 1:19-20 (KJV) “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,” The “power” that works in us is the “Resurrection Power of the Holy Spirit!”
EVERY believer that is born again is “indwelt” by the Holy Spirit and empowered to manifest the life of Christ…
Romans 8:9-17 (KJV)“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Emphasis Mine).
1 Corinthians 2:12 (KJV)“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (Emphasis Mine).
Unlike automobiles that are manufactured with a variety of options, we have been created in the image and likeness of God. Because of Adam’s sin, we all are born in sin and with a sinful nature. When we become “Born Again,” we are transformed into a new creature that is “made” after the righteousness of Christ. As such, we have no “options” as to the “power” that will be placed within us. You could say that the Holy Spirit comes as “Standard Equipment!”
Whether we will “utilize” the power of the Holy Spirit or not is a matter of choice. We have the power of the “fulness of God” at our disposal! The question is, do we tap into that Power, or do we just enjoy knowing we have it but have no desire to use it?
An automobile has its “power” hidden inside, and it can only be used IF the operator “taps” into it. Metaphorically, we are the same.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
Next week, we will discuss this “power” and what “He” will do in and for us.