For Easter, I would like to share an excerpt from my book, Abundant Life. May you experience God’s resurrection power at work in your life! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in the life of believers. Are you experiencing God’s resurrection power? In what areas of your life do you need God’s resurrection power to change your life? If God can raise Jesus from the dead, He can certainly raise up the dead parts of your life! Maybe it’s time we (myself included) surrender to God the dead parts of our lives and ask Him to put His resurrection power to work in our hearts, lives, and circumstances.
Resurrection Power at Work
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul prayed that believers would know the incredible power of God at work in their lives: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know . . . the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Did you know that this power is the same power that raised Christ from the grave? That’s power! I am particularly fond of the Today’s English Version rendering of Ephesians 1:19-20, where Paul prays that their minds would be opened to know “how very great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his ride sine in the heavenly world.”
Paul not only wanted the Ephesians to know of God’s resurrection power, but he wanted them to be strengthened by it. In the same letter, Paul goes on to pray a second time, asking “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). Just try to imagine the implications of having the resurrection power of God at work in your life. God is “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (v. 20).
From the moment we trusted in Christ, this resurrection power has been at work in our lives. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” Everything we need to live for God is available to us. Unfortunately, we deny ourselves many blessings by now relying on the power at work within us. There are some who are “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). We can try to live godly lives while denying the power of God. But if He granted us everything we need for life and godliness, why would we try to achieve it on our own?
Americans feel good about the “doing” part of being Christians. The all-American Type-A personalities in the church quote Ephesians 2:10 as a standard: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,” as if our works were the measurement by which God evaluates us! I think a more appropriate standard might be Philippians 2:13: “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” This puts the emphasis on what God does in and through us when we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, rather than on what we do for God.
Does God need us? Not at all. Acts 17:25 says: “Nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.” God does not depend on human strength. God does not choose to work through the strong. Rather, He chooses the weak so that no one can boast before God (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
It’s God’s responsibility to work in and through us. We merely need to cooperate. God will “equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:21). God works in us whatever is pleasing in His sight.
Just because we’re not doing anything for God doesn’t mean God isn’t using us. Paul reminds us that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). We could be going through a phase where God wants to work in us instead of through us. That’s up to God, not us. Let’s not beat ourselves up just because we feel that we’re not doing anything for God. When we allow Him to work in us, He will also work through us. It’s all His doing. This is Paul’s understanding when he said, “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29). Yes, Paul was the one laboring, but it was by God’s power within him.
–“Chapter 7: Resurrection Power at Work,” Abundant Life, ©2002 Christy Bower
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