I realized this week that as we have been going through Ephesians 6 that I had not shared with you a very important point.
Let’s go there today
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
I almost used this as a “thought for the day” then realized I needed to teach it because there is too much here to just do a cursory glance.
If we are to impact our world we can not use our wisdom, our strength, our influence alone we must learn to walk and live in His power.
So how do we do that? Is there some magic secret? Secret handshake perhaps some kind of backroom deal we can make with God
I remember being in a tent revival as a kid when the Pastor asked people if they wanted to receive power from on high
Dozens came forward as the evangelist began to pray he would walk behind the people and say if you want it you have to really cry out, beg God for it, plead with Him to pour out this power in your life. Pray louder pray harder if you want it you have to wait.
As a kid watching this it gave me the impression that God was a hard taskmaster like the Baal in the old testament when Elijah told them yell louder maybe Baal is not awake, maybe he is away
The Bible tells us that God knows what we desire before we ask and as I shared last week that it is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. Neither of those things jived with what the evangelist was saying.
Neither does it work with what Paul is saying here in Ephesians 6:10
Let me walk you through something very briefly this morning
Jesus said in Mark 16:17,18
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
How was this going to happen? How will Christ-followers be able to have the power to cast out demons, heal the sick, speak in tongues, drink or eat anything and not have it harm them?
When Jesus was with them they were able to do this easily… he shared the authority he was given, with them. But He was now going away but he was sending the Holy Spirit to take His place
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
After Jesus was resurrected He spent 40 days with them talking about the Kingdom of God and explaining what they needed to know.
Now they needed the power to make it all happen, the power he had promised to them as recorded in John so in Acts 1:4-8 we see this
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” 7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
They were to wait until the timing was just right then in Acts 2 we see this promise fulfilled. The timing wasn’t abut their needing to wait to be good enough, righteous enough to receive but instead it was about a large celebration where was the Holy Spirit was poured out they would be able to reach the most people with the Gospel
The power of the Holy Spirit is to always honor God. Is something that is being done is supposed to be of God but is not honoring Him then it is not God!
Acts 2:1- 4
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
So where does that leave us..
– Jesus said we would do amazing things
– The disciples did amazing things under Jesus authority
– Jesus said he wanted these amazing things to keep happening even after He went to be with the Father so he would send the Holy Spirit to empower us.
– He told the disciples in order to keep doing the things to impact the world they needed to wait for the Holy Spirit baptism
– Once they were baptized in the Holy Spirit they immediately had the power to do everything they did when Jesus walked with them
So where is that power today
Right with you….that takes us back to our opening scripture
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
“in the Lord” – what Paul is saying here is this supernatural power is Locked up in Jesus
– You can read books about it, hear sermons about it, watch TV or listen to radio about it they can all point you to the power but the only place you can get this power is in the Lord.
This is in the “locative” case, which means it expresses location. Paul is saying here that this power is located in one place in Jesus. If you have the chance read Ephesians 1 within the first 13 verses Paul uses this same phrase and case to describe how we as believers are locked up in Christ. The phrase Paul uses to describe our connection to Christ are “in Him, in Christ, in whom, or in the Beloved”. Paul uses all of this to say as you come to Christ you are placed in Him…your habitat as a believer is no longer in the world but you are now “in Christ”
WE have been securely placed in Him perpetually now why is this important because not only are we “locked up” in Christ but so is the power of the Holy Spirit. Every day since we came to Christ we have been rubbing elbows with this power.
Let me give you this illustration (Alayna I will give you a picture to put up to illustrate this) The fact that we are in Jesus residing with the power of the Holy Spirit can be illustrated this way. If you picture this fishbowl it is filled with water and a goldfish both are of a different substance and in the bowl both reside in the bowl. The bowl is the home for both of them. The fish doesn’t have to release faith to get into the water it is already in the water.
The idea that we are “locked up” inside Christ with the Holy Spirit’s power means we can access a supernatural move of power anytime we want. Just as the fish we have access to the water all the time but with being surrounded by this supernatural power we must simply by faith allow the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us and then embrace that power by faith, being thankful for it
You don’t have to beg or plead for God to fill you all you have to do is want Him to His power is all around you there for the taking…He loves you, wants to give it to you all you have to do is breathe it in!
Question, is do you want it today?