A Powerful Life

I meet many people who are Christians, but they don’t really know the power of God in their life.  They might come to church, sing and praise, get involved in a thing or two, but they don’t really see God’s power manifest in their lives.

When we are saved, we receive eternal life. That means we have a guarantee that we will one day live forever in heaven with Jesus our Lord. But abundant life was never intended to be pie in the sky when you die by and by, it starts right here and right now.  Victorious, powerful living should be the reality for every believer, but it clearly isn’t, so what’s gone wrong?

THE HOLY SPIRIT…THE DEPOSIT, OR WORKING CAPITAL?

In the OT the Holy Spirit of God came upon people at specific times, then left. That’s why King David, knowing he’d sinned and asking for God’s forgiveness, pleaded with God,

Psalms 51:11 (ESV)
Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

But after Pentecost, something amazing has happened. The Holy Spirit has been given to us, and He lives within us. Every believer has the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19 (ESV)
do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

So, the Bible teaches that, when you give your life to Jesus, you get a deposit…

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (ESV)
And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

The Greek Word used for guarantee is ARR-HABON, which is money pledged or deposited as a down payment that the full amount will subsequently be paid.

Believers have the deposited Holy Spirit, yet many do not live powerful lives for Christ. How can this be? We all have this deposit, but do we just sit on it, or can it become working capital for living a powerful life?

BELIEVING IS SEEING

It’s been said that seeing is believing, but to the Christian, believing is seeing.

Ephesians 1:18-20 (ESV)
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

As believers we have the Holy Spirit within us, and we have a God who loves us and has a destiny for our lives. But often we fail to see it. We get overwhelmed by the maelstrom of life, the thousands of voices confusing us, and we miss what God has for us in the confusion of life.

Ephesians 1:18 (ESV)
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

To know the hope and our rich and glorious inheritance, we need to be enlightened. The Greek word used here is PHOTIZO, which means to shed light upon or illuminate something. That’s what I want to do this morning, to enlighten and shine a spotlight on how you can live a powerful life.

1. EXPLOSIVE POWER

Ephesians 1:19 (ESV)
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

The Greek word used here for power is DYNAMIS, from which we get the English word, dynamite. But back when Paul wrote, they didn’t have dynamite. To him DYNAMIS meant inherent strength or power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature or what it is. In this case, clearly it refers to the explosive power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

There are many incredibly powerful explosives in our day, such as C-4, dynamite, and many others that can overcome virtually any obstacle.

“There is no problem so insurmountable that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.”

Though he had no idea of what explosives are, Paul is telling us that we have at our disposal a power that is explosive enough to overcome any obstruction to our Christian walk.

Now we should realise that this power is “toward us who believe.” Does this mean that God wants us to have this kind of power within? Yes! Paul’s prayer is that we will know God’s power by experience.

Are you getting the picture? We have no excuse for living in mediocrity or defeat, no excuse for living in a life of ups and downs, for this violates the very power we’ve been given.

2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power (DYNAMIS) and love and self-control.

We don’t need to live fearful, timid, unproductive lives because we have the explosive power of God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

2. PRACTICAL POWER

But it doesn’t stop there. Let’s look at the end of

Ephesians 1:19 (ESV)
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

Might is a second Greek word for power, ISCHUS. This speaks of strength and ability (especially physical). Does this physical ability mean we can go out and leap tall buildings at a single bound? Of course not. But God does give us physical strength and stamina beyond what we in our own weakness could ever hope to know.

Added to this is word working, which is ENERGEIA, from which we get our English word energy. This speaks of power in operation or power in action; that is, it pictures something going on, a force that is actively working.

And Paul adds another word for mighty which is KRATOS, which refers to “power excited into action.” Greek scholar John Eadie illustrates it like this… “Ischus [power], is like the power lodged in the arm, kratos [might] is that arm stretched out or uplifted with conscious aim, while energeia [working] is the same arm at actual work, accomplishing the designed result.”

What a picture! And that is what God wants us to know! These three words also occur together in

Ephesians 6:10
Finally, my brethren, be strong [endunamoo] in the Lord, and in the power [kratos] of his might [ischus].

Putting all this together, Paul prays that we may know the surpassing, super-abounding greatness of His inherent, overcoming power, a power that is in action, it’s practical, and it shows the strength of His might.

Paul, who was a master wordsmith, used as many descriptive words as he could to try and describe the power we have at our disposal.

3. SUPER DOOPER SUPERNATURAL POWER

But honestly, we take our eyes off the Lord and I believe this morning every one of us needs to be re enlightened about the incredible power of the Holy Spirit within us.

Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

This verse stands out as one of the most descriptive in all the Bible concerning God’s power.

The first truth we should notice here is that God “is able.” Scripture many times declares what God is able to do. God’s power created everything we see around us by His Word. He parted the Red Sea, he saved three young men in the fiery furnace, and at the top of it all, He gave His one and only Son to die in our place to save our souls from the sin that would otherwise destroy us.

This verse says that God is able and can do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” “Exceedingly abundantly” is an amazing expression. It is a very rare double compound, in Greek HUPER-EK-PERSISSOU. The prefix huper means “over, beyond, or above,” the primary preposition ek means “out of or from,” and the root word PERISSOS means “over and above, more than enough.”

It wasn’t enough for Paul to say that God can do more than enough, but he wanted to say that He can do above and beyond more than enough. How can one do more than more than enough?

But even that is not all, because Paul adds “above” (HUPER). The full thought then is: Not only can God do more than enough, and above and beyond more than enough, but He can do even more than above and beyond more than enough.

In short, God can do infinitely more than what any of us can “ask” or even “think” about asking. All that is still inadequate, however, to describe the power of God.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said it well: “Our greatest superlatives do not describe the power of God. Add one to another, multiply them, and add them together, and multiply again, and go on doing so ‘beyond all things,’ exceedingly abundantly above all things, and still you have not succeeded in describing it.”

And let us be reminded, this is the same power “that works in us.”

4. THE RIGHT POWER

There is another Greek word used for power that expands our understanding of the various Greek words for power in the NT.

Romans 9:21 (ESV)
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honourable use and another for dishonourable use?

The word for having right or power over something is EXOUSIA? It means unrestricted freedom of action, power, authority, and right of action. The same word is used for Jesus and His divine authority.

Matthew 9:6 (ESV)
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority (EXOUSIA) on earth to forgive sins”—

We have been given divine authority and power also

John 1:12 (ESV)
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right (EXOUSIA, POWER) to become children of God,

So, in summary, the power of the Holy Spirit is explosive, it is practical, way beyond what we need and it is a divine authority, and we have this all within us to lead and guide us. However, most of us do not walk in this power day by day.

DO YOU LIVE IN SPIRITUAL POVERTY?

In West Texas during the Depression. Mr. Ira Yates was like many other ranchers and farmers, having a lot of land, and a lot of debt. He was living in abject poverty and drought, with no money for clothes or food, and could not make the payments on his ranch.

One day a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land, and they asked permission to drill a well.

At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day, and Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been barely surviving living on relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.

The power of almighty God lives within us, yet we live in spiritual poverty.  We are entitled (have the rights) to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His explosive power, and yet we live unaware of our birthright. We face problems, sickness, finances, depression, and all other issues in life with His Holy Spirit within us, but we fail to use His explosive, yet practical power in our life…

2 Timothy 3:5 (ESV)
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

Charles Swindoll said, “Every problem is an opportunity to prove God’s power. Every day we encounter countless golden opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insurmountable problems.”

HOW TO DISCOVER THE POWER WITHIN

So how do we discover and use this dynamic, explosive, incredible power within us? The solution is simple…we must know and yield to the Holy Spirit.

As we discussed, we have the right, the EXOUSIA, to yield to the explosive or DYNAMIS power that can be manifest in a practical ISCHUS way. We can yield to the Holy Spirit within us, and then we have His promise that He will do above and beyond what we can even think, HUPER-EK-PERSISSOU. But how?

1. INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT

You will never know the power of the Holy Spirit within you if you don’t ask Him to live in you. This is the starting point, asking Jesus into your life, and with Him comes the Holy Spirit. Jesus said

John 7:37-39 (ESV)
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive,

The first step is to give your heart to Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. But even if you are saved, you still need to invite the Spirit to fill you. He’s a gentleman, He won’t force you.

2. KNOW THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH HIS WORD

To see the power of God in your life, you need to get to know Him. Many Christians want to see power in their prayer, they want to overcome addictions and sin in their life, they want God to use them to touch lives around them, but they can’t be bothered putting in the time and effort to learn about God.  This is incompatible. Paul wrote,

Philippians 3:10 (ESV)
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

You get to know God through His Word. You cannot grow without reading, studying, learning or even memorising God’s Word.

John 15:7-8 (ESV)
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

If you want to see God’s explosive power in your life, abide in the Word.

3. YIELD TO THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CONTROL

It’s not enough to invite Jesus in, read His Word and pray. We must be obedient, and that means yielding to Him, and His will.

I am sick of hearing Christians using God’s Word and promises as an offensive weapon, to force God to do what they want. They find promises in God’s Word, apply them to whatever situation they find themselves in, and say, God must do this. Why can’t we be so filled with the Spirit, so yielded to the Spirit, that we can trust God, even if His answer is not what we desire?

It takes faith to pray and see the answer you want. But it takes greater faith to pray, not see what you want, but still believe! Jesus said

John 15:5 (ESV)
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

And Paul adds

Romans 8:9 (NIV 1984)
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.

Yielding to the Spirit means being controlled by Him. It is listening to His still, small voice, obeying Him and, and here’s the crunch, giving control of your entire life to Him. Letting Him lead and guide you in all you say, think or do.

It’s the opposite of how we normally respond to the Holy Spirit. Its opposite is grieving Him, quenching Him or resisting Him.  Those who are yielded to the Holy Spirit will not be doing that which offends Him. They will not dampen His influence in their hearts, and they will not oppose His will.

DON’T QUENCH, DRENCH, AND YIELD

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (ESV)
Do not quench the Spirit.

This is a commandment to Christians not to resist and reject the ministry of the Spirit. The image is that of fire. Just as fire brings light, heat, and cleansing, so the Spirit enlightens, enables, and purifies His people. Paul reminded Timothy to “stir up the gift of God” (2 Tim. 1:6), which means “get the fire burning again.” Are you allowing the fire to go out on the altar of your life?

Don’t quench the Spirit, drench your life in Him! D. L. Moody said, “I have noticed this, that when a man is full of the Holy Ghost, he is the very last man to be complaining of other people. He loves everybody too tenderly. He loves even a cold church and is anxious to lift them up and bring them to a kinder feeling and sympathy.”

According to the dictionary, to yield is to admit you’ve been defeated and are under the control of something. In wrestling it is used for when the opponent has you in a hold and you give in to him. Isn’t it time you give in to the Almighty, all powerful Holy Spirit of the living God? Can you trust Him to lead and guide and prosper your life? I believe you can.

All of us have the opportunity to invite, get to know, get drenched and totally yielded to the Holy Spirit. I want to yield my life totally to the Holy Spirit. Will you join me? Imagine what this church can do for the Lord if all of us are totally yielded to Him!

Questions

WHY DO WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE?

WHAT IS STOPPING YOU FROM YIELDING TO THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT?

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?

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