As a disciple of Jesus, do I live in the power of His presence?
Read Ephesians 3:14-21
Of the five questions we’re asking during Lent, this one—right now—could be the hardest to answer. As a disciple of Jesus, are you living in the power of His presence?
Honestly, I struggle with this because I have so many moments, hours, days when my answer would be no, I’m not. The Spirit and His power is not absent, but I am doing my own thing, listening to my own fears, battling in my own strength.
Ephesians 3:14-21 lays out the wonderful scope of the richness and depth of Christ’s love, the promise that He can do more than we can ask or imagine. And that sounds so good. But the glue holding this passage together is the power of the Spirit who lives in us. The power of His presence every day, every hour, every breath.
Three times, the Apostle Paul speaks of power as he addresses struggling disciples of Jesus—people like us. Power that provides inner strength to the depth of our being (Ephesians 3:16). Power to understand the expansive unlimited nature of God’s love (3:18). And power at work in us (3:20).
This is soul-power directly from God’s indwelling Spirit (Romans 8:11)!
Maybe you may feel like all power is gone. You’re drained. There’s no green in the battery icon on the screen of your life!
Our world is sucking dry any personal power we think we have. No amount of coffee, chocolate, sleep, exercise, or mindfulness will ever replenish what is draining away. We are insufficient in and of ourselves.
Only the ever-present, all-powerful, infinitely-resourced Spirit of God can strengthen your soul, the deepest core of your innermost being (Ephesians 3:16). He knows what you lack, and He is sufficient—enough for you. In our weakness and insufficiency, the Spirit has the perfect canvas to paint His grace and power (2 Corinthians 12:9).
As we lean into and live in His presence, the Spirit carries out the work of transformation. You see, the goal as disciples of Jesus is not to become a better version of ourselves but to become more like Christ (Romans 8:29). The Holy Spirit is the transformer and renovator of our lives. When we’re tried, tested, and stretched in the grind of life, it’s not about “learning a lesson” but about being changed so we resemble Jesus more and more (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Today, take a deep breath and step away from the things you lean on for strength and power. Go to the Spirit of God, seeking to rely on His power and giving Him room to transform you into the likeness of Jesus.
Consider this: Would someone be able to tell you’re a disciple of Jesus? What is the evidence of His power and presence? Self-sufficiency—believing you can do life on your own—hinders the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. What are you leaning on instead of the tapping in the Spirit’s power?
Prayer: Jesus, I want to live in your presence, to know you in all aspects of my life. Thank you for the Spirit who gives power and strength for my every need, for being enough when I have nothing. Forgive me for leaning on my own strength and neglecting all that you offer. Holy Spirit, please continue your daily work of transforming me into the likeness of my Savior, in whose name I pray.
–Barb Gerhart, Global Disciples