Tag Archives: power

Colossians 1:16-20

Scripture: from verses 15 and 16

He is supreme over all creation, because in connection with him were created all things — in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities — they have all been created through him and for him.

Observation:  Most powerful things have gained power.  The environment gains energy from the sun or from gravity or from whatever craziness is going on at the core of the earth.  People start as babies, and gain power through intelligence or popularity or apparently random chance.  And so on.

But Yeshua’s power is different.  His power is inherent.  He didn’t gain power by manipulating the universe.  He created the universe by being who He is.

That’s why Yeshua’s power isn’t a zero-sum power that leaves us with nothing.  His power is not taken from us.  Instead, His power is to give us life and power of our own.  He is the Source, not just the user, of power.

And we can rest in that.  We don’t need to participate in the rat race of local power struggles, because we have a direct line to the Source of all power and authority.  We can be nothing and nobody because He is everything.  We can follow His ways instead of leaning on our own understanding.  It’s not like that works out well anyway.

Application:  Rely on Yeshua’s power.  There is no need to get it elsewhere.

Prayer:  Yeshua, I praise you for being the Root and Source of all things.  Please help me to rest in your power and not be anxious about my own.  Amen.

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Ephesians 4:21-25

Scripture: verse 23

…you must let your minds and spirits keep being renewed…

Observation:  This is generally translated “you must be renewed” and the verb tense caught my eye.  So I used blueletterbible.org to look up the Greek, to the best of my ability.

The previous verse, which commands us to strip off the old nature, is in the “aorist reflexive” tense.  Reflexive is easy enough – it’s something you do to yourself.  I don’t quite get “aorist” but it looks like it means an action that started at a specific point in time and continues to the present.  (Or it can mean an action that continued and then stopped at a specific point in time, or just an action that happened at a specific point in time.  Like I said, I don’t quite get it.)  So the stripping off is something that happened at a point in time – when we were saved, presumably – and continues in the background today.

“Be renewed,” on the other hand, is in the present passive.  It’s something that still happens today, and it’s something that happens to us, not something we can do.  God renews us, and without His Spirit, nothing happens.

Application:  So.  The old nature was put to death.  Our job is to keep it dead.  God’s job is to renew us, and our job is to let Him.  There’s nothing we can do on our own – He has to do all the work on our shiny new natures.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, thank you for renewing my mind and spirit.  Help me to listen to the patterns and thoughts you are teaching me instead of my old habits.  Amen.

Ephesians 3:16-21

Scripture: from verses 16 and 17

I pray that from the treasures of His glory He will empower you with inner strength by His Spirit, so that the Messiah may live in your hearts through your trusting.

Observation:  So.  The goal of this prayer is for the Messiah to live in our hearts.  Two things are apparently required for that to happen: for us to trust, and for us to have inner strength.  I’m not certain why we need inner strength in order for Messiah to live in us, but I guess it’s because Messiah changes us, and we need the strength to cooperate with those changes and not turn away.  The Holy Spirit gives us the strength we need from the treasures of God’s glory.  Possibly because God is strong, possibly because God made me and has the ability to upgrade me, and possibly because the reward of God’s glory helps us be strong.  Though I’m disinclined to believe that last one, since it assumes we have the strength on our own, and we don’t.

Application: Trust in Him, since apparently there’s not much else we can do.  Use the strength He gives us.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, please empower me so that Yeshua can live in my heart.  Please give me the courage to belong to Him.  Amen.

Ephesians 1:20-23

Scripture: from verses 22 and 23:

The Messianic Community…is His body, the full expression of Him who fills all creation.

Observation:  I’m fairly certain the Greek here is quite complicated, but I don’t feel like poking around in it (especially since the meaning relies on specific prepositions, which I’m not able to follow) so I’ll take it as written.

Believers are His body (which I knew).  As His body, we are a portrayal of Him.  According to this verse, we are the full expression – such an accurate portrayal that He doesn’t need another.  Obviously this is one of those facts vs truth things – we are still sinful, but God has declared us sinless, so in Him we are sinless.  (He has made perfect forever we who are still being made holy, according to Hebrews.)

Which is kind of insane, even aside from the sin issue, because God is huge.  Fills all creation, like it says.  Something as small as a human cannot be the full expression of God. But it says we are.

The universe is a fractal: it looks the same at every level.  The same themes and changes and principles that operate over the entire universe also operate in my life, and operate again at a cellular level.  At the same time, God made us special – we have free will and creativity and intelligence that no other being (as far as we know) has.  The Screwtape Letters describes us as amphibians – half animal and half spirit – and this, I think, is part of what he meant.  We reflect not just the universe, but the God who fills the universe.

God can be bounded in a nutshell and count Himself a king of infinite space – and the evil of this world is no more than a bad dream.  He can make us like Himself and use us to dance the dance of the universe.

Application: This is about perspective to me.  There’s nothing new under the sun, nothing He hasn’t accounted for, nothing that catches Him off-guard.  Which means that He knows me.  He knew me before the creation of the world.  I can’t screw things up for Him, and neither can anyone else.  Which means it’s going to be okay.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for making it okay.  Thank you for having a plan, for knowing the resolution of the dance and the end of the story.  Thank you for holding me close and carrying me through it.  Amen.

Ephesians 1:16-19

Scripture: from verses 16 and 17

I keep asking…the Father of Glory to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you will have full knowledge of Him.

Observation:  Sha’ul (Paul) prayed for us to understand God.  For us to have “full knowledge” of God.  Kinda like “full throttle,” I suppose – opening up a source of power that can launch us into greater and greater speeds.

It says in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  It also says that we should seek wisdom more than riches.  (Admittedly it also points out that wisdom will lead to riches, so it’s not as if we’re sacrificing much on that account.)  I think this is why – because with divine wisdom and revelation we have full knowledge of God, and with full knowledge of God we can do anything.

Application:  Seek wisdom.  Watch for it and cling to it whenever you do find it.  Learn more about God.

Prayer: Father of Glory, give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may have full knowledge of you.  It says right here that this is a good thing to ask for, so I’m asking.  Teach me to know you, and teach me to recognize wisdom when I see it.  I want to know your truth, God, so please reveal it.  Amen.