Strengthened From the Inside Out
How is it with the core strength of your soul?
From places of great external weakness you can experience tremendous inner strength and ultimately remarkable spiritual growth. (3:1,19)
How can you be moved from the emptiness of normal living to the fullness of God?
“I pray…” - You must get good at worship (14-15).
We’re good at consuming and being entertained; we’re pretty lame at prayer and praising (worship).
“Worship is war [because] we must turn our energy towards killing the selective, prideful nature within us.” (Stephen Miller, Journey Church)
Prayer and praise will not take centre stage until the big vision we have of ourselves is eclipsed by a big vision of God.
2. “…that through faith…” - You must get good at trust (16-19a).
We don’t pray because we are not really convinced that God will offer the right power;
We’re not convinced God will offer the right power, because we don’t really trust (have faith in) him;
We don’t really trust him, because we don’t really know how much he loves us;
We don’t know how much he loves us until we ask him to open our hearts and minds to experience the incredible expanse of his love.
We don’t trust God, pray to him and experience his power to transform us, because we are not convinced he loves us - we limit the size of his love to the size of our wants.
3. “…that you may be filled…of God…” - You must get good at transferring ownership to Christ (17, 19b-20).
Power to change is for those seeking that change - if you won’t obey/embrace God’s ways from his word, you won’t be rewarded with his work in your life.
You have to “settle” on Christ - if you keep your life, you will actually lose it.
Once you really know Christ loves you, you will really trust him and it will be impossible not to be like him.
4. “Now to him who is able…” - You must get good at God (20-21).
Your view of God changes everything – you think he is like you, which is why you expect very little. He is not like you.
- We limit the size of his love to the size of our wants.
- We limit the size of his power to the size of our courage.
- We limit the scope of his plans to the limitations of our preference.
- We limit his ability to change us to the limits of our comfort.
- We limit the shape of his will to the look of our desires.
- We limit the meaning of his word to the extent of our sensitivities.
…and still call him God.
You can never exhaust him in what you ask, or have a lofty enough imagination of what he can do.
Ask him for an ongoing awareness to really know (experience) his love, which surpasses knowledge - everything in your inner life will fall into place!
In this series Pastor Rick takes us through what it means to be CHOSEN. Follow us as we study Ephesians and find out what it means to belong to Christ.