We have been studying Ephesians in our ABFs (Adult Bible Fellowships) at Valley Church. The passage we studied from Ephesians 1 today is:
…having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, according to the working of and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all,” (Ephesians 1:18-23, ESV).
We land smack dab in a middle of a prayer of thanksgiving as Paul was remembering the Church at Ephesus, and his prayer for them as he intercedes on their behalf. He prayed that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened – that their knowledge wouldn’t be just a head knowledge, but heart knowledge as well. That they would have intimacy with the Father. That they would realize the hope that they have in Christ, that they would understand God’s power for those who are in Christ. We who are in Christ need to realize this as well.
Power. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said to His disciples that, “… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The Greek word for power in Acts 1:8 is dunamis. It is where we get our word dynamite. It is explosive, mighty, and awesome. Dunamis is used again in Ephesians 1:19. The power working in the lives of Christians is great! Why?
Because it is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father, (Ephesians 1:20). In our flesh we can’t live the Christian life. It is impossible. We can’t be the witnesses that Christ calls us to be in Acts 1:8. With this God’s great power within us we can. Jesus confirms this when He said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing, (John 15:4-5, ESV).
So when we face trials, temptation, & anxiety, we need to have our hearts enlightened and realize that we have God’s power to overcome that temptation, to pull through that trial, and the ability to give that anxiety over to God (which He promises to give us peace in Philippians 4:6-7!). Also remember that we serve a Risen Lord who has dominion over all things! Does that give comfort? Does this bring peace? It needs to be more than head knowledge, but heart knowledge that is believed and acted upon.
This is a great reminder for me to place my faith in Christ and His power and not my own strength or ability when facing temptation, trails or different things in life that tend to cause anxiety for me. The power of God is bigger than all of that.