Ephesians 1:19

verse 19: and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

How often we limit God by doubting the greatness of His power directed towards us.  What exactly is the greatness of His power directed to those who believe?  Has anyone ever touched the height, depth, and width of the reality of His greatness?  Faith and hearts abiding in love are the currency that move His heart, but we wander around as paupers, avoiding the table of His blessing because we’re too busy trying to do it all ourselves.

The word “believe” here is pisteuō (Strongs G4100) and it involves confidence, persuasion, conviction and trust.  It is the same “believe” that is in Hebrews 11:6 which reads, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe (pisteuō ) that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” 

What is this belief that incites God’s power towards us?  According to Hebrews 11, first we believe that God does exist–the Almighty I-AM who is, was, and is to come; the Alpha and Omega; the Root and offspring of David; the Firstborn from the dead; the Prince of Peace who is Wonderful, Counsellor, Everlasting Father; He of whom we say, “the government is upon His shoulders and His kingdom shall never end.” 

This exalted One is.  My failures as a Christian do not negate His existance.  My life circumnstances do not lessen His sovereignty.  He is, He was, He will always be.  This, I must pisteuō.

Secondly, I must believe that He will reward those who diligently seek Him.  How does this look, exactly?  I understand first that He Himself is the greatest reward that we could have.  Simply by giving us His companionship, we know we are loved, adopted as sons and daughters of God as we are led by His Spirit.  When He comes, He brings with Him an exceedingly great reward (see Isaiah 40:10). 

Why do we not see the movement of God’s power in our lives the way we would want to see Him?  Could it be that we are not firmly convinced–with unmoving trust, unwaivering conviction, undoubting belief–that He will reward those who diligently seek Him?  Or have we negated the “diligently” part?  Seeking is more than a half-hearted prayer thrown in a vaguely upwards direction.  It requires motive, intent, purpose.  The Greek, ekzēteō, means to beg, to crave, to demand back, to require. 

Are we to a place where we require the Presence of God in our lives?  Are we ready to beg, plead, crave, cry out for Him when it’s inconvenient?  I defintely fall short in that area.  I want to long for His companionship beyond just a hazy notion that something’s not quite right when we don’t speak at length in a day. 

God, only Your Spirit can give me the strength to desire You more.  Make me even more lovesick.

<–verse 18

One Response to Ephesians 1:19

  1. Joe says:

    John Piper once defined prayer as “intentionally conveying a message to God.” He differentiated this from “communicating with God” and says that the intentional aspect of it means that there is an ongoing quality to intentional prayer…praying before sending a difficult email, praying before phone calls, praying before reading, etc. You mention that “seeking is more than a half-hearted prayer thrown in a vaguely upwards direction” and I think that’s what Piper was getting at as well. The intentionality is something that we often miss. The great men and women of prayer in the Bible had that (David, Ezra, Daniel).

    I think you hit on something else that we often overlook – do “we require the Presence of God in our lives?” Can we honestly say we “require” His presence throughout our day ? That’s where the diligent seeking that you talk about comes in – they’re connected. If we’re not seeking diligently, then I think by extension we don’t feel His presence is required. We can get through this issue or that problem, but will wait until the problem looks insurmountable before we start our seeking. That’s where we get into trouble….

    Chrystal, you might like another one of Piper’s sermons that deals with this text in Ephesians specifically (1:15-23). You can find it here: http://bit.ly/bbvsG9

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