Wednesday, March 30, 2011

power to contain - 3/30/11

Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-19
"...that you might be strengthened with power..."

Observation:
This prayer is about power. Paul prays that the church might be strengthened with power.
The source of the power is the Holy Spirit. The placement of the power is in our inner being. The result of the power is that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.

I normally think of power as something that is used to do things. It is oriented towards action or activity. It is usually associated with motion. We think of power as the power to do. Paul thinks of power as the ability to contain.

In Japan this morning a fight is going on to contain an enormous amount of nuclear energy inside crippled reactors. Their prayer (and mine!) is that the facility would have the strength to contain an enormous power. I think that image helps me to understand what's going on here. Paul is praying that my body and soul would be strengthened because there is an unimaginable power at work within me though the living Christ.

A second thought comes to me this morning related to this power. It is not the power to do, but the power to know. Paul's prayer here is related to our ability to have a corporate understanding of the love of God. And as we are filled with an understanding of this love - that we may be filled with the fullness of God.

Application:
The Holy Spirit wants to unite the Church through an understanding and application of love. I only have a limited glimpse of the love of Christ. I have my experience and my study and I see Christ from a single perspective. I need you - the body of Christ in all of your glorious understandings of the love of Christ. I need to live outside my own sheltered view and learn from others in the body of Christ.

Prayer:
Today, Lord, I unite with my brothers in sisters in Christ around the world. I thank you for our vast diffferences and I thank you for the incredible power that unites us. We need that power because the power of disunification is strong. We feel it's pull every day. Strengthen your church with power so that we may remain united...that you would dwell in our hearts...and that we would work together to understand the marvel and complexity of your immense love for us. May we be filled with the full measure of the fullness of you. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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