Bristol, Virginia

The Effective Working of His Power

At the end of Ephesians 1 the Apostle Paul prays an incredibly powerful prayer. It is a prayer, like an onion, that has many layers. We will be focusing on the last portion of his prayer that relates to the believer working in power. We will see that this power is a force that comes from God and is sustained by God.

and what is the exceeding greatness of His power (dynamis) toward us who believe, according to the working (energeō) of His mighty (ischys) power (kratos) which He worked (energeō) in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” (Eph 1:19-20)

There are actually four distinct Greek words for power in verse 19 (see above). Dynamis is explosive power. Energeō is the powerful working of God. Ischys is a show of force. And kratos is the power that comes from government – in this case the government of God.

We will be focusing on the energeō of God. Paul said that dynamis power is toward us who believe and that it is according to the working (energeia) of His government’s force in our lives. Don’t misunderstand when I say “His forceful government.” God never forces Himself on us. But to those who surrender and allow His government to rule in them He works mightily in them. Let’s be honest, there is a great battle between flesh and Spirit. We need the working of God with force in our lives. I know I do!

The Greek word energeō, as mentioned above, means “o be operative, be at work, put forth power.” It can be likened to how an engine powers a vehicle. It works underneath with great power, propelling the car.

We see in the above verse that God’s power was worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. That same power works in us who have died with Christ and have been risen with Him. Think on that!

In Ephesians 3 Paul pray another powerful prayer.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:14-19)

He prayed they would be strengthened in the inner man, that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith and that they would comprehend the width, length, depth and height of God’s love. What an amazing prayer. Now see the statement -no, a declaration- that Paul makes right after the prayer.

Now to Him who is able (dynamai) to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power (dynamis) that works (energeō) in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (v.20)

Paul was declaring that God is able (power!) to perform exceedingly abundantly above all that he asked or thought for them. But see it: it is according to the WORKING of His power!

As believers we greatly desire to please God and do His will. The truth is we cannot without the working of His power in our lives. Philippians 2:13 says

for it is God who works (energeō) in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

It is GOD who works in us to want us to do His will and bring Him pleasure. So give yourself a big break and allow Him to work in you. He will never work His power against our will but, oh, to the person willing He will do amazing things!

Paul understood that He needed the working of God’s power in order to fulfill his calling to teach.

Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working (energeō) which works in me mightily (dynamis).” (Col 1:28-29)

Paul said he strived (agonized) according to the working of God’s power that is within him. This takes all the pressure off of self and places it on God. So now we can begin to ask God that His power would work mightily in us. We must come to the end of ourselves and allow Him to work in us.

FATHER, we thank you for the working of your power in us. We confess that we cannot do anything of worth or impact for you kingdom in our own power. We recognize our great need for the working of your power in our lives. We surrender to you and thank you for the outworking. In Jesus’ name.

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