Know God’s Person, Plan, and Power
Intro: Paul as spiritual father prays this for the church. It has 3 main parts.
I pray that God may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM. Vs 17
Pray that we will know God’s person – personal experience. Intimacy as face to face, eye to eye.
I pray that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know the hope of His calling for you. Vs18
Pray for our eyes to see the hope of God’s plans for us.
Adversity and affliction come from the enemy who opposes you finding the hope, plans God has for you.
There is no spiritual progress without spiritual opposition.
Hope is an anchor to the soul. Hope is not wishful thinking but confident expectation of good. Whenever anyone loses hope it is because they believe a lie from the enemy.
Even when you have made a mess of your life, if you repent and turn back to God there is hope.
Some trials God has actually ordained that you walk through in order to learn to trust Him. Disappointment, loss, criticism, betrayal.
3. Pray that you know by experience the surpassing greatness of God’s power towards us.
Summarized this prayer for us to personally know:
Know God’s Person
Know God’s Plan
Know God’s Power
You have heard two other messages from Eph. 1 prayer about knowing God’s Person and about knowing God’s plan. Today is about knowing God’s power.
What comes to mind when we think of God’s power towards us is maybe healing the sick, raising the dead, or casting out demons and that is part of the reason He gives us power, to do the works of Jesus.
Ill. Disciples came back from mission trip excited over the power of God they discovered they had. His instructions were vague. Go and don’t carry any money, extra shoes, and don’t stop to visit with anyone along the way. “Whatever house you enter say ‘Peace to this house’ meaning [Freedom from all the distress that result from sin be with this family]. If they receive your peace, then your peace will rest upon them. Heal the sick and say to them the kingdom of God has come near you.
The seventy returned with joy saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!” Jesus said, “I saw it as Satan falling like a lightning flash from heaven. Behold I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy. Verse 21 Then Jesus rejoiced greatly in the HS. Wonder what that looked like?
Nevertheless, don’t rejoice that demons are subjected to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.
He is saying don’t rejoice in your accomplishments for God, but rather rejoice in what God has done for you! This discourages pride as in Jeremiah 9:23-24, I Cor.1:26-29, 2 Cor. 10:17.
We have a tendency for pride whenever we operate in the power God gives us to see a miracle. Somehow to our flesh this becomes a badge of approval from God at least in our minds. We think it validates us. We are given gifts not because we earn them or have even proved that we can handle them. It is the sovereign decision of God to give gifts to whomever He chooses.
God has a different idea for us to experience power. He wants us to experience the same power that raised Jesus EVEN from the dead.
It’s interesting that when Paul describes this power God he uses the resurrection of Jesus from the DEAD.
Notice what he did not say. He did not say the surpassing greatness of His power towards us that made the blind to see, or that fed 5000, cleanse the lepers, or that made a gold coin show up in a fishes’ mouth to pay taxes, or that made a lame man walk, or anything else where Christ’s power was manifest.
Instead he focuses on Jesus’ resurrection from the worst thing that could ever happen to Him.
Death for Jesus was not just taking a nap for 3 days in a tomb. It was God the Son being separated from God the Father. It was taking on the sin of the whole world, all the world’s sickness at one moment in time and having it piled on Jesus all the sin, sickness, and evil and corruption in the world in one moment in time. This was Trinity’s worst nightmare but all knew it had to be done. It was the only way to rescue mankind from the justice of God that would mean eternal separation from God in hell.
Pic of Christ under the weight of the cross. https://www.google.com/search?biw=1440&bih=803&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=_l-hWtWlI47BzgK056SIAw&q=Jesus+crushed+under+the+weight+of+the+cross&oq=Jesus+crushed+under+the+weight+of+the+cross&gs_l=psy-ab.12...9970.13731.0.156126.96.36.199.0.0.0.113.1452.2j12.14.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.0.0....0.I3e3RPvL-F4#imgrc=_JDG3pdsLJeAtM:
The point is this; this same power that brought Jesus and Father through the worst nightmare of history- lives in us for the same reason.
When your worst nightmare shows up in your life you already have the power of God that overcame His worst nightmare, living in you enabling you to have His victory in your trial or adversity.
Jesus did not escape the cross – He “for the joy (of obtaining the prize) set before Him endured the cross, despising or ignoring the shame, and is now seated . . .” Heb. 12:2
That same verse is telling us how Jesus was able to humanly endure all that He did and at the same time telling us how we can endure our own crucifixion and shame.
“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . .” Heb. 12:2 Amp.
In the KOG pain has a purpose. God may allow adversity to shape you ands strengthen you like a trainer puts weight on you to build strength.
God sent a lion, then a bear to David. When David conquered them then his confidence in God grew. He became stronger out of adversity that he went through. When the lion came at him and he conquered it – then he grew in lion strength. When the bear came he grew in bear strength. All this prepared him for Goliath.
Whatever adversaries we face and conquer, we then take from them their strength and it becomes ours. The spoils of war are the strength with which the enemy comes against us, and now their strength becomes our increased or added strength.
This is a radical way to look at trials and troubles in your life. This is why James wrote “Consider it all joy my brethren, when all kinds of trials and troubles come your way.” I have yet to find many people who get excited about a trial they are going through! This requires a whole different perspective and mind change.
Warning: whatever is overcoming you is taking your strength and making it stronger to continue to overcome you later.
“Whatever overpowers you enslaves you.” 2 Peter 2:19 CEB
Most of our prayers are about our comfort. God is not all that interested in our comfort, but He is interested in Conforming us to the image of His Son.
To know the hope of His calling is maintaining confident expectation in God, so that I can remain in a place of trust when disappointments come, when loss comes, when criticism come, or worst betrayal come.
We have resurrection power in us for this reason! In fact, we may not discover resurrection power until we experience the fellowship of His sufferings. Most breakthroughs do not happen until we have to come to the end of ourselves. This can be hard but necessary so that like Paul who learned and we must learn,
That the power may be of God, and not ourselves. 2 Cor. 4:7
What’s the goal of life? Paul said,
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death. Phil. 3:10
Both King David and Paul set good examples of us of how to handle trials and suffering you don’t understand.
David had his world falling apart and living in the wilderness hiding for his life from King Saul and now even the men who were broke, busted and disgusted that he had raised up. His mighty men of David. These guys turned against him and he is totally alone in the wilderness. There he “strengthened himself in the Lord.” How we don’t know. But he did write many psalms in this time. One of them is
Psalm 42, 43 where he is very depressed. He says,
“I shall again (still) praise Him.”
“Praise” in Hebrew = Yada – to throw a spear and is described as thrusting hands upward making a prophetic sign of breakthrough.
I am not going to stay depressed, disappointed. Instead I am going to press through into Your heavenly atmosphere.
What you dwell on, you dwell in.
First I need to speak to the bride of Christ here today and listening on podcast. You like Queen Esther are here on planet earth for such a time in history as this. God’s plans for your life are for this time in the earth.
Has it ever occurred to you that our job on earth is to prove the will of God? To show other people what He is like. We are to cause unbelievers to be provoked to jealousy so that they want the same relationship with God that we have.
We have supernatural power residing in us. We don’t have the right to say that “we are only human”. Paul rebuked the church for behaving like “mere men” I Cor. 3.
The gates of hell are located in our minds anytime we agree with the enemy. I empower him and surrender my strength to him when I agree with him about anything instead of agreeing with God. I empower demonic forces and become a gate through which the enemy can steal, kill, destroy in my life and in others.
We must change the way we think because God is greater than this.
Ill. Years ago in this church on a Sunday morning service I was beginning to preach then a wave of God’s glory swept over me unlike anything I have ever known. Immediately I began to weep and could hardly catch my breath. All I could say is, “We are not ready, we are not ready! He is coming and we are not ready!” I wept the whole service. I was undone.
I was reminded of this the other day. I wondered since then are we anymore ready?
Last week, I mentioned the parable of the 10 virgins. Five ran out of oil of intimacy and missed the feast of the marriage supper. They had to go buy oil – it costs you something. You exchange your time, energy, life for it. This represents your passion/hunger for God and the things of God.
There seems to be a difference between the church and the bride of Christ.
Ill. If you have ever been around a bride to be. You can talk to her about the super bowl, but she is not interested in that. You can talk to her about politics but again she has no interest in it. She is preoccupied with her wedding plans and being ready for the Bridegroom. She has no interests in worldly things. All that is on her mind is my wedding day is coming. I don’t see that mind set in many in the church.
I guess you have to decide do you want to be a church or the bride of Christ? You may need to stop some things, or get rid of some things and downsize your complicated life to keep it simple and focused on your real purpose. I suggest you come to the altar and make some sacrifices that you know He is asking you to give up.
After all your purpose in life can be summed up to 3 things.
Know Him personally.
Know His plan.
Know His power.