Message on 2nd December @ Lied en Geloof congregation in Pretoria West
Scripture Eph 3:14-21
While preparing for the sermon, I felt the Lord laid it upon my heart there was someone in this congregation who felt “the Lord cannot really change his/her circumstances anymore” and even to the point that the Lord “has forsaken me”. I mentioned it in the beginning and then continued with the message and with the altar call an old man said that was exactly how he felt for a long time. God is so good and His spirit is faithful.
The Church is a broken place and people also get hurt INSIDE the Church – and it is not supposed to happen like this. I know sometimes people get hurt because they can get so easily offended by something said or done or even remotely suggested. According to Luke 4:18-20, Jesus Christ was inside the synagogue and then read from the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free, and to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.”
But then continued (verse 21) with: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
The people in the synagogue (who is also a type of the Church today) listened when He read the prophecy, but when He added that this scripture has been fulfilled in their hearing, they immediately disagreed and denied His claims about it. And they missed out on supernatural blessings and miracles due to skepticism and lack of faith. Christ is the perfect offering for perfect salvation and the whole Word of God came in fulfillment when He died on the cross and rose again on the 3rd day. Each promise in the Word of God is available for you and me. But the Church is still missing out on the power of the promised Word due to a lack of faith in the Word. Funny enough, they would rather believe a vague “prophecy” with no substance through some unknown or well-known pastor/prophet/apostle, just because they have added the words “…so says the Lord.”
Upon searching the phrase “the Word of the Lord…”, I found 335 scriptures and some of them even quotes the specific day when God spoke to a prophet about some aspect for Israel. One of them in the book of Isaiah declares the following:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”(Isa 55:10-13)
I truly felt that if this congregation would believe the Word of God and accepts it with their whole hearts, then God will bless this place to be a name unto Him and it will be an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.
Christ was anointed by God to speak and proclaim His Word to Israel. And He said:
- “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Seeing that I am also called and anointed by the Lord Jesus Christ (as most of the other pastors and church leaders) to minister and speak His Word, I do believe that I can also declare that THIS Word has been fulfilled for this congregation today! There is power in the Word of God, more power in the spoken Word and even greater power when people hear it and accepts it in faith. Then we release the actual power of God contained in each scripture and promise. Please note: I am talking now about the written Word of God being spoken and received in faith and not about vague prophecies where people are attaching the Name of the Lord to it, or try to prophecy existing scripture.
Christ completed/fulfilled everything for us that we might need: (Body and Spirit)
- Breaking of all bondages
- Restoration of sight
- Restoration from brokenness, etc.
What must Jesus do for you today – even as you read this now?
- What should be fulfilled for you?
- And do you believe (faith) and trust in the Lord to do this – or do you trust more in the pastor in front of you who will pray for you?
Let’s look at this example:
- If I tell you that I will write a cheque for R5 million and sign it, who would like to come and get it?
- A couple of people agreed but was not sure – I told them they are lying in their acknowledgement, because they don’t believe that I have the means and the power (authority) to sign such a cheque. But if Bill Gates was here in front and signed such a cheque, they would forget about brotherly and sisterly love and each one will fight and run and jump over all the chairs – just in order to be the first one there to receive it!
- But R5-million is not enough and you will waste it and then still have nothing;
- Or like some Christians do with the promises of the Lord – they will frame it and show it to everybody but not cash it for themselves. They are still poor and the promise of the R5-million is worthless if it is not used/cashed!
Now Christ has already given us the authority to “cash in” on all of His promises more than 2000 years ago! It is there – it is given – it is available. Use it! And Christ can give you so much more than mere money!
Let’s discuss the theme verse again, step by step to reveal the hidden secrets of the Word:
Eph 3:14-17 “ For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
- that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you
- to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
- so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith
The Afrikaans translation gives me another view on the first part where it is said that God has granted – he has given n us “might/authority”. It is in relation to what John 1:12 declares:
- “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” This refers to “authority”.
- “to be strengthened with power – refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 declares: “But ye shall receive power(dunamis), after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..” This refers to the power from the Holy Spirit and boldness and the zeal to proclaim the Gospel.
- Then we find these words; “so that..”. You see, the Lord will always do or provide something with a purpose. The purpose of it all is to dwell in our hearts!
But what does Christ wants to achieve through this:
- To establish Faith in His power in our lives by dwelling in our hearts!
Now let’s look at something else:
- The first declaration is that He provided authority – yes, we know that He has already done this on the Cross. It is given and we need to accept and receive it.
- Looking specifically at the words being used – “to be strengthened” and “so that Christ may dwell” – it is quite clear that these two aspects is dependent upon our faith and acceptance. Christ is a gentleman and will not force Himself upon anybody. He has given us EVERYTHING that we need to come to salvation and even more. But the rest is up to us to accept it through faith and to receive it. This first part speaks of being born again.
But when we do, the following will happen: (Eph 3:17 – 21)
- “–that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
- It speaks of a solid foundation in Christ of which He is the corner stone
- may have strength / other translations refer to: “May be able to”
- It refers to “ability” to do something through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- to comprehend with all the saints
- This refers to complete insight and understanding (Hebrew word of Binah refers to this aspect)
- what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
- The Word speaks of 4-dimensional (4-D) insight and understanding;
- The world is only now at 3-dimensional technology.
- God also wants us to seek the depths of His Word and His character.
- It is like an iceberg in the sea – we only see the tip of it but we need to go down deep in scripture where God will reveal His hidden secrets. (Like the Arithmetic of God also available on this website).
- and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
- To know and to experience the love of Christ that surpass all other;
- that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Wow! To be filled with the fullness of God? His character and purpose and power through His Spirit! I don’t think we actual know what we have received or what is still available for us?
His purpose of this all: To provide us with insight and understanding to know His love and character and to reveal to us what has been hidden all through the ages. That is Christ IN us with all of the power of God on tap for us!
And now we are coming to verse 20 which a lot of people would so easily quote – but forget about the first part of it all. Unfortunately we have to go through these first aspects and come to salvation in Christ and be baptized in the Holy Spirit before we will be able to pray correctly or effectively.
- Verse 20-21: “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,
- to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
What are you asking/praying for?
What are you even thinking?We are dealing with the Almighty God who is ABLE TO DO; Far beyond what we may be praying for or even thinking.
- That is a given!
- He has already given us everything concerning salvation and to be victorious over sin and even Satan!
But verse 20 declares that He “is able to do”! That means He still wants to do something that He has not done before, for you and me! He wants to do something new for you and me! Today! Even something far beyond that we may pray and think about!
But there is a tiny snag in this process. The key to this all is captured in the following sentence:
- “according to the power at work within us”,
- The “dunamis” (in the same sense as dynamite) power of the Holy Spirit!
- That work within us! What power is currently working in you?
When all of the above according to scripture is in place, it will create a “spiritual reaction” in the same sense as a “chemical reaction” when you combine different materials and combinations. The power of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling Christ should create a “spiritual reaction” in faith and it should direct and influence your prayers and thinking to be more effectively.
According to the power at work within us!
- Your thoughts would influence your prayers!
- If you are negative = you would moan and groan before God!
- If you are carnally minded = your prayers would be:
- Bitterness and hatred?
- Low self-esteem (a beggar syndrome)
- Personal prosperity driven!
- But when we apply our faith IN the power of the Holy Spirit, it would be powerful and effective in the Lord!
So, God has given us everything:
- Empowerment through His spirit;
- Christ who dwells in our hearts;
- Insight and understanding;
- His awesome 4-D love and grace;
- And to be fulfilled with the fullness of God!
- Our prayers and thoughts would be flawless and powerful;
- In the knowledge and the faith that He has the power to do!
And He is waiting for you and me!
- To activate/release that spiritual reaction inside of us through faith and His Spirit;
- To pray in faith and in the power of His spirit!
- To be more effective and blessed as children of God!
IS there anything not possible for God?
- But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Mat 19:26 – ESV)
- “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mat 17:20 ESV)
Maybe that is why Paul also wrote that we should renew our minds: (Rom 12:2)
- “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let’s apply the Word of God in our lives to be more effective in our relationship with Christ and in our prayers.