It wasn’t even a dark and stormy night, but mid-afternoon. I stood in the living room, chatting with my nephew, and gazing out the kitchen window. Two of our sons, along with our nephew, had just recently come through the front door not 3 minutes before.
When out of nowhere the loudest noise you have ever heard thundered simultaneously with the brightest flash of light, while branches, wood, and limbs went flying. It happened so fast that I barely screamed the words out,
“Oh my gosh, lightning just hit our tree!!”
My husband and son came quickly from the back room to see what in the world just took place while my heart raced and pounded in my chest.
We all stood at the window in disbelief.
There stood our amazing red oak, half-naked and split down the middle.
Anyone who has ever been through a natural disaster understands on a small scale the great power the natural elements contain.
However, what is unfathomable is the power of God Almighty. Our wildest imagination doesn’t come close, but this does not excuse us from seeking to understand God’s great power.
Immeasurable Greatness of God’s Power
It was essential to Paul for his fellow believers in Ephesus to know the immeasurable greatness of God’s power, and thus, he included it in his prayer for them.
This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. Ephesians 1:15-19
Paul’s encouragement to the Ephesian believers included a prayer of action. He desired for them to continue growing in their knowledge of their calling, their inheritance, as well as the greatness of God’s power.
Not just any power either. It was the immeasurable greatness of God’s power according to the working of God’s vast strength.
But what does this vast strength look like? Paul continues:
He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens-far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way. Ephesians 1:20-23
God’s Demonstrated Power
Paul lists four ways God demonstrated His power so that believers would see the actions of His vast strength.
1. God raised Jesus from the dead
Can you name any act more powerful than raising someone from the dead?
2. God seated Jesus at His right hand
Not only did God seat His Son beside Him, But He also placed Him above every ruler and authority, above every power and dominion, and above every title given in this age and in the one to come. Christ is over every man, spiritual being, and any title.
3. God placed everything under Jesus’ feet
God’s power put everything under His Son’s feet. Not one thing is above Christ. It is all under Him. Think about that for a moment. Christ is at the highest elevation.
4. God appointed Jesus as head over everything for the church (which is His body)
God’s power extends through His Son over the church. Christ is the head, and there is no other. Jesus fills all things in every way.
God is power and should be revered. Our reverence for God’s immeasurable great power also produces security and comfort.
Our Response To God’s Power
I am reminded of a scene from C. S. Lewis’ book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. In it, there is an exchange between Susan and Mr. Beaver. Susan is inquiring about what to expect when she meets Aslan, the ruler of Narnia.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh,” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …” Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
While the great and powerful lion was not safe, he was good.
So is God Almighty.
Paul’s prayer is for us to understand greater God’s power because he knows the security and comfort it will bring to us.
As we understand the vastness of God’s power to raise Jesus from the dead, we grow more assured of our eternal salvation and the fact that nothing can snatch us out of the Father’s hand (John 10:28-30).
As we understand the vastness of God’s power to seat Christ at His right hand, we take comfort in Christ’s intercessor role beside His Father (Romans 8:34).
As we understand the vastness of God’s power to place everything under Christ, we have victory in this world, because nothing can stand against Him (Isaiah 14:27).
Finally, as we grow more in our understanding of God’s power through Christ as the head of the church, we can be guided daily through His headship (Colossians 1:18).
As we press into understanding the vast strength God demonstrates through these four areas, a higher level of reverence rises in our hearts along with greater comfort and security.
My heart was still racing an hour later. I felt like I had been in a car wreck from my body tensing up through the whole experience.
Over a week later, I am still in awe of the great power behind the lightning and the force it struck the tree.
If that amount of power is contained in a bolt of lightning, can you imagine how much power is in Christ?
Imagine even further, the same power of Christ is also living in each of us.
It is hard to believe that we don’t explode!
As we seek to understand the immeasurable greatness of God’s power, may we also allow it to spill out onto others. May we hold it in high regard while at the same time taking comfort in the security of His power.
What portion of God’s power have you been denying or covering up in your life?
Confess it and embrace God’s love and forgiveness.
Then walk in the power of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Video: I Survived A Tornado by Mark Lowry
Song: Same Power by Jeremy Camp
Sermon: Jesus Is Better Than Strength by Pastor Scott Zbylot