October 14th 2010

The Power Within

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith….”
Ephesians 3:16-17 (NIV)

There is no power shortage in the spiritual realm! Paul understood this very well: his whole life and ministry were subject to the power of Jesus. He tells the church at Philippi in his letter, “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me…” (Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible).

What an amazing servant of God Paul was. He was completely yielded to the indwelling of God’s Spirit to do the work he’d been called to. Just look at the fruits of his ministry under that powerful guidance: He carried the gospel all over the Greek world and beyond; he wrote 13 epistles, and championed the cause of Jesus since the day that he encountered him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20). You’ll notice that this amazing Apostle of Christ doesn’t depend on his past life for success.

Here’s what he told the church in Philippians 3:5, that he had been “Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, in regard to the law, a Pharisee…”  All this makes for a great CV but this wasn’t what he looked to for strength. No, this very humble servant rejoiced in the Spirit of Jesus who moved in his life. In fact Paul’s whole life is summed up in something he wrote at the beginning of this epistle to the Philippians. Notice in chapter 1 and verse 21, “For to me living means Christ…” (C.B. Williams Translation). We might even call this statement Paul’s motto for life!

As we close this brief look at Paul’s inner power, it would be good to reflect on several verses contained in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. He tells us that Christ said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness,” and he declares, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

What a great example of a life yielded to the awesome power of his Saviour!

Lord Jesus, help us to be yielded each day to your Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. So that just like your faithful apostle, Paul, we may do all things through Him who strengthens us.

Study by Cliff Neill

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