Ephesians Day 9: Inner Strength
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (3:16-17)
Paul really knew how to pray. His letters record for us some incredibly profound prayers, and the one at the end of Ephesians 3 is probably the greatest of all.
First we see a truly trinitarian prayer for the Ephesian believers, where Paul sees every member of the Trinity playing a role in strengthening them to live for God. It is out of God the Father’s ‘glorious riches’ that we derive what we need; it is through God the Holy Spirit that these riches are instilled in us as strength; and it is all so that God the Son, Jesus Christ, can ‘dwell’ in our hearts.
There’s a sequence here. It starts with God the Father, it’s carried out by the Holy Spirit, and the end result is a relationship with Jesus. It begins with God and ends with God. We need help to live by faith. We need strength to enter into all that God has for us. And we need God’s glorious resources to keep going in our faith. Without that strength we might drift away and lose our faith. Instead of dwelling in our hearts as a permanent honoured guest, we might just have a fleeting acquaintance with Jesus. That’s not what God wants at all. He wants us to stay the course.
We’re in this for the long haul. Successful Christians are not spiritual sprinters but spiritual long-distance runners. It’s about stamina, not speed. Life can be fine and faith easy for short bursts, but over the course of a lifetime it’s filled with storms, hurdles and challenges. Those are the times when those who don’t have strength from God through the Holy Spirit fall away. We can see those who have outer strength and be easily impressed by them, but to live the way God wants us to we need inner strength, right down in the core and essence of our being.
We need prayer for inner strength, not shallow platitudes.
To take away: Does Jesus dwell in your heart, or is He just an occasional visitor? Is He resident throughout the week, or does He just have a Sunday pass? If you want to go the distance with God, ask Him to fill you with inner strength and power for lasting faith.
This is the ninth post in a 31-day walk through Ephesians. I’d love for you to join me in exploring this amazing book of the Bible for the rest of the month of May. Every day you’ll find a new post with fresh encouragement from God’s word. I hope this series blesses you, and if it does, please share it with others. Thank you.