"that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man," Ephesians 3:16 NASB
There are a lot of times in my life where I feel inadequate (don't worry this isn't going to be a self-pity blog). But I think age and experience teach us the reality of our frail humanity, if we pay attention anyway.
As you can tell, I have totally redone the website. I have no idea where it's going to go, and while there's plenty of help on the interwebs, reality is even something so 'small' I realize I need God's help and wisdom. No that's not a pat on my own back, just an acknowledgement of the facts, it doesn't mean I always live that way.
I can muster up strength to do this or that, but even outside of Christ, can anyone really claim that THEY did it entirely on their own? Of course not.
For the believer it should be more evident. God didn't pick only the wise and strong, but frankly it seems He often picks the weak and needy to do His will. This shows His strength in their lives.
Paul's prayer here in Ephesians 3 comes after a long discourse about who Christians are (chapters 1-3). Sought, bought, sealed, saved by grace, brought into the family of God. He is about to tell them to "act like it", more or less, in chapters 4-6. And in the middle we have this key passage, which should be something all Christians realize. You're not doing this in your power. You have access to a higher power. No it's not to do crazy or miraculous over the top things to bring attention to ourselves. It's empowerment to live the Christian life.
Can we really put aside sin and all the baggage and issues on our own? Of course not. We weren't saved by our own will or strength, why would we think we continue in sanctification by it?
So to break it down briefly. "that He", God, the Father, "would grant you," the Ephesians and by extension all believers, "according to the riches of His glory," not just out of but in accordance with His riches. It's not a miniscule enough to get by type of giving, but an abundant lavishing of it. To what end? "to be strengthened with power" The Christian life needs supernatural power to overcome sin, to do the things God would have of us. "through His Spirit" The Holy Spirit empowers the believer. Once saved, He indwells the believer, and we should ask God for more and greater manifestations of Him in our life. "in the inner man," We're changed from the inside out. The outer man wears away, but the inner should be renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
The Christian life needs supernatural power to overcome sin, to do the things God would have of us.
Paul goes on in the following verses to describe the reasoning. It isn't for our own glory, but that we would know the love of Christ and be rooted in love and be filled up with the fullness of God (vss. 17-19).
There's a lot more that we could talk about in that passage, but I wanted to give a brief summary.
So to tie it together. There's some changes with the website, and even something as 'simple' as that is, it is not something I can do on my own strength, much less can I live the Christian life alone.
I hope that you'll come alongside and see where this goes from here. It might fall flat on its face, or might go in some great directions. But I appreciate the love, prayer, and support. I hope this passage and blog are encouraging for you, and I'll catch you guys next time!