Text: Ephesians 1:15-23
Second Introduction to The Power at work in you
I will never forget, last Sunday, when the Apostle was outlining some of the steps of faith this ministry (His Chosen) will soon embark on for growth and expansion, I sat there wondering what in the world is he is saying. I came out of the spirit and jump into the flesh and like Thomas began to use my mind to analyse and calculate the possibility of accomplishing all he was saying. Suddenly, doubt began to set in.
Then on Monday when Becky and myself drove him to the airport for his flight to Sweden, immediately we finished checking-in his luggage, he began to reiterate and reinforce the same vision for church planting expansion. This time, I went numb.
Finally, Becky and myself on our return, we talked about other things. Somehow, the issue of church growth and expansion came up, and the Holy Spirit was about to teach me a lifetime lesson. Becky said, “I wish His Chosen will have branches in America, Asia and in other parts of the world!” I could see from her face that she was determined and sincere about her desire.
Suddenly, the holy Spirit arrested me – to tell her it is possible and it will be done!. And I did as He has commanded. Then He said, consider the source of the mighty rivers and creeks, aren’t they small but yet give rise to and support the rivers that supply nations and feeds lives that exist in them! Then He said, such is what I do with those I have chosen to carry out my work!
He said, Son, have you not seen, have you not read, that I the Lord take the foolish and insignificant things of the world to confound the wise in their wisdom – And that I take man from the dunk hails and set them in the places of kings and princes? He said, that’s the power that is at work in you and all those who called on my Name!!
TN: So today, I have come to declare to you that there’s a power at work in you!!
– You are natural as human and so you are limited, but God is supernatural. Yet, your bible declares, when you got born-again, this supernatural and unlimited God became resident in you by His Spirit!
– That’s why I must talk to you about the power that is at work in you and that why the Apostle Paul spent time talking to the Church of Ephesus.
TN: Turn your Bible to Ephesians 2:15-23
Paul is addressing tongue speaking charismatic and Pentecostal believers but whose gaze is set and limited to the second coming of their master, when they will be suddenly caught up in the clouds with Him in a twinkle of eye. These, were believers like you, who have become consumed with great passion for the sweet by and bye beyond the skies but meanwhile had great struggles in relating to earthly issues. So happy that they are born-again yet powerless in the face of earthly battles and challenges!
He give thanks that their names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, but prays that the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened. That implies a problem! That as long as the eyes of their understanding remain unenlightened and darkened, they would suffer great difficulties in coming to terms with who they really are, and what they are carrying inside them! So, certain limitations and inhibitions had to be removed that they would comprehend, understand and take advantage of the vastness of God’s mighty power and resources that are available to them!
- Paul knew this power is good to change their lives, change their destiny forever, build their family, break drug habits, restore some things, bring peace, damage already damaged mentality and help you build self-confidence, dissolve your fears and worries, drive your sickness and diseases away. This power is good to give you a better future with good hope, Paul says. ,
- So he prays and contends, that the “eyes of your understanding will be enlightened… (Read Vr. 18)
TN: But He says exactly what you need for your eyes to be opened: (Vr. 17)
- Spirit of wisdom
- revelation into the knowledge of God
Normally, we Christians have a sharp shortfall between who we are, what we do and what we could do! And that is why this message is very important for anyone who wants to walk in the fullness of the power and potential available to them in Christ.
From this passage of Scripture, especially Verses 22and 23, you will realize that Paul is addressing a bunch of charismatic – Pentecostal tongue speaking believers who were satisfied that they were born-again, but who have not discovered and received a revelation of their authority, power and faith in Christ. So, Paul tells these believers, there is more to being born again, and you are more than you think you are! There is an exceedingly great power at work in you!
TN: Paul begins by thanking God for the Faith (believe) of the believers toward Christ and their Love toward one another
- Faith is never complete and effective without love, and the two must go together. And Faith in Christ must lead to love for all!
- 1 John 3:23 says, “And this is God’s commandment: that we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ and Love one another as He gave us commandment”.
- Galatians 5:14 says, “For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbour as your self.”
TN: He prays for the believers: More than anything, he greatly desires that they will
- Receive the Spirit of Wisdom
- Receive Revelation into the knowledge God
TN: Paul knew three things when he prayed for the believers: (vr.18)
(1) Until revelation becomes personal, it cannot work for you.(He Paul received personal revelation of Christ, was caught up into the third heavens, and did not confer with any man…2 Corinthians 12: 2; Galatians 1:11,15-17)
(2) Until you die to your own strength, your revelation of the potential you is impossible! The revelation of who you really are and what you could do supernaturally is highly dependent upon your ability to die to your own strength (It is not I who live but Christ that lives in me (Gal. 2:20) — For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). Later Paul says, God who separated me from my Mother’s womb…(Gal. 1:15,16) he didn’t know this until he became converted )
(3) Until your revelation of Christ exceeds your carnal knowledge you cannot experience the fullness of God’s power and blessings. (The carnal mind is enmity to God– you simply can not calculate God!) -= “Eye has not seen, nor ears heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him .. but it is revealed by the Spirit – this is the Spirit of Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2: 7-14)- these things the Bible declares are freely given, howbeit you can not discern them unless by the Spirit!”
TN: The Purpose of Paul’s Prayer
- That the eyes of the believers’ understanding may be enlightened
– the scales needed to fall from their eyes because of their spiritual blindness – Acts 9:18
– their spiritual eyes needed to be opened and deepened for discernment of realities that are outside and beyond physical sight and perception
– their inner man being prophetically and supernaturally opened to revelatory insights and foresight
TN: This spiritual blindness needed to be taken away by the enlightening of the eyes of the believers’ understanding for three (3) main reasons: That they may know:
(a) The hope (benefits) of their calling
(b) The Riches of the glory of their inheritance (there are certain blessings Christians need to lay hold onto as their inheritance)
(c) The exceeding greatness of God’s power toward/available to the believers
TN: In essence, Paul is telling the believers that you’ve got a divine open check marked power, promotion, prosperity, wealth, health, joy unspeakable, peace, eternal life, victory over Satan, righteousness and goodness! But, you don’t know the check you are carrying and you have not as yet cash it because you simply are ignorant of its value and worth. But it’s time to cash that heavenly check which is in your hand!!
TN: This check, the hope of your calling, the riches of God’s glorious inheritance and the exceeding greatness of His power at work in you was given to you when you got born again. It’s is the work of GRACE and Jesus put it into your hands as a credit to your account but debit to His account: That’s all Grace is about: God Riches At Christ’s Expense!!
TN: So, in Ephesians 3:20 – the bible declares God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ever ask, think or imagine, according to the power that is at work in us!
-What kind of power that is at work in us? Phil. 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. It is God’s Power!
TN: Paul describes the nature and excessiveness of this great and exceeding power, hope and riches that are at work in you. He does this by drawing a parallel and relationship between the power that is at work in us and the power of God that was in Christ. He demonstrates that the extent or nature of God’s mighty power, authority and riches that are available to believers can only be illustrated and understood in the light of God’s supernatural work and provision in Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power, and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for god was with Him)
TN: This same power of God at work in us worked also in Christ: How?
(A) God (He) raised Christ from the dead
– meaning God has power both to give and take away life, for he is the resurrection and the life.
– No need to fear death, for if anything dies in your hand or life, God will speak His resurrection life into the situation (Romans 8:11)
– Lazarus (John 11:1-24)
– If God be for you, no one can be against you… (Rom.8:31, 32)
(B) He seated Christ at His Right Hand in Heavenly Places
– Right hand is symbolic of a privileged position meaning Right of Access and influence.
– King’s or President’s right-hand person has access to the King’s
- Power – (Isaiah 62:8 –God’s right hand implies strength)
- Privileges – Favour (David Blunket, former … gave his girl friend governmental travelling allowances on trains)
– The right hand man has the ear of the king or president, and thus is able to influence decisions, make recommendations, and sometimes is untouchable.
– In (Ps. 110:1-4) “the Lord said to my Lord, sit Thou at my right hand, till I make Your enemies your footstool. (Every Enemy is brought low and Conquered from the position of right hand) The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies.(Dominion over enemy) Your people shall be volunteer/ willing in the day of your power (Place of Favour and great influence) …You are a Priest forever according to the order Melchizedek (Establishment) And God says He never relent concerning His right-hand man (Protection)
Few Examples of Right-hand Men in the Bible:
- 1. The Bible declares that Jesus is seated at the Right-hand of the Father making intercession for you: ( ) It is a position of intercession and influence (Hebrews 7:25)
- The Mother of Zebedees’ Children, James and John knew the secret and authority of the right-hand (Mtt. 20:20-28)
- Joseph and the king of Egypt:
– Right-hand position dissolves national and racial boundaries: So for those in Christ as God’s right-hand people there’s no longer Jews nor Greek… Romans 10:12
- Haman and King Ahasuerus (Read Esther 3)
– Heavenly Places is also symbolic of high and exalted place in and with Christ Jesus : For we are heirs of the Father and Joint heirs with Christ Jesus (Romans 8:17)
- Ephesians 1:3 – makes sense, when it says, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus.
Application: Our place in god is a heavenly place – a high and above place. It is therefore sin to:
- to think little of our selves
- to think small
- to involve in little-little sins here and there. Imagine Prince Charles of Britain caught picking pockets at the bus station or being caught with a 12 year old girl. He disgraces his position, soils the reputation of the monarchy, and then brings into reproach the good name of the Kingdom.
(C) He exalted Christ far above all principality (ruler) – power (authority) and might (power) and dominion
- Part of our hope, riches and power is this – “no weapon formed against us shall prosper”! no demon, no witchcraft, no power of darkness, no soccer, nor divination, no whispering nor abortive spirit – no conspiracy shall stand against us! Period!!
-Principality, powers, rulers of darkness — these are satanic forces set against our progress, promotion, family, health and joy!. They intend to hinder your progress, spoil your kids, get you hocked to drugs, bad habits…they tell your husband not to come home!!
- Just as God exalted Christ far above all principality, power and dominion, so we who are in Christ and bear his name have authority and power over Satan and his demons.
- Jesus said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my Name they will cast out demons, speak in new tongues, raise the dead, heal the sick, walk over serpents and scorpions, and when they drink any poison, they shall in no way be hurt (Mk. 16:17, 18)
- Turn to Romans 8:33-39
– note vr. 34: Christ is still at the right hand of the Father
– he is still making intercession for you
– God has loved us with everlasting love, and absolutely nothing shall be able to separate us from His love
(D) He gave Christ the Name above every other name
- That means everything that has name and is named
- Names that are named include sicknesses, diseases, plagues, situations and circumstances.
– is cancer a name that is named? Yes – so Christ’s name is above it
– is poverty a name that is name? Yes – so is Christ’s name above it
– is depression, barrenness, singleness, frustration, disappointment …
- Philippians 2:8-10 – God has given Jesus the Name which is above every other name – that at the mention of His Name, Jesus every knee should/ must (not may) bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and those under the earth (hell). And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ (the anointed one) is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
(E) All of these, our hope, riches, inheritance and power transcend this age. It is for now to eternity
“The fullness of Him who fills all in all”
– Roman 10:12 “ for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him!
- Christ and the power of God at work in us is full. You are full of power and are a walking weapon, and able to bring under control every plot and attack of the devil!
- But you need to rise in faith and begin to exercise your dominion and authority without fear.
- (Hebrews 11:6) without faith it is impossible to please God. What is means is, if you don’t operate on the principle of faith as God would (Roman. 4:17) it will be impossible to see Him come through for you when you call Him. For to operate not based on faith is to refuse to imitate Him in whose likeness and image you were created. Therefore, you also fail to put to work God’s mighty power that is at work in you!!