This is from an email dialogue with a friend.
What does “according to the power at work within us” mean in the context of the last few verses of Eph 3?
Staring at it with different glasses today.
The book of Ephesians has a strong “power” focus–see 1:18-23–2:6. Actually the whole book could be viewed as a treatise on spiritual warfare.
Could be translated,
“he is able to do so much more than we can ever think of asking for or even imagine, and he does this because of the way his power works in us”
or “…what his power is able to help us to do”
His power working in us–fitting for the book–to change us not our circumstances. The process of sanctification is empowered by the power of God, the same power that raised Christ is now empowering the Spirit’s work in our lives.
This seems to remove any “I can’t overcome” “I can’t have victory over” rationalization. The power is available, ready to work in us. So if we are not being changed the question is–is it the fault of the power of God or the fault of our surrender to God?
So from that section then…are we the restrictor of big movements of God?
Within us, yes.
Wow…then I guess our “corporate” life would be significantly impacted also. Wow…
Yes, if individuals are surrendered to the will of God–the power of God will produce change. If individuals are changed, churches are changed. If churches are changed neighborhoods, towns, states, countries, the world will be changed.
So are we restrictors of God’s big movements? Yes and no.
If God wants to accomplish something–He will. He will find someone who is willing. The question is whether we will be positive participates or not. Will we be blessed and a blessing or a “byword” (as described in Ezekiel 14:1-11 particularly verse 8)?
I guess that’s what was so captivating when I studied that section today as I reflect on objective observations (facts) as to how “resistant/reluctant/afraid/etc.” of change as a generalization we are..
Thankfully you’re right God will do what He wants, when He wants, however He wants…I just hadn’t noticed the obvious participation/engagement/submission that seems required in the text…
My question is–is our view of God accurate, clear and compelling enough to engender submission and engage trust? Or is our view of God so puny that fear, reluctance and resistance are the byproduct?
Is it that simple?
Maybe. It would be nice to dialog, plan and act on what we find. That too is difficult.