October 2, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I’ll never forget the very first time I drove a motorized vehicle. My friend’s dad had just bought a motorcycle for riding off-road. It wasn’t particularly powerful, only a lightweight dirt bike. But, from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy, it was a rocket.
One weekend, I joined my friend and his dad for a trip out to the California desert so we could ride the motorcycle. They showed me how everything worked and gave me the honor of the first ride. As I released the clutch and gently turned the throttle, the motorcycle shot forward as if by magic. I roared down a dirt road, going probably twenty-five miles per hour, but it felt like a hundred. In a quarter of a mile, I tried to turn around, but misjudged the turning radius. Before I knew it, I ran smack into a Joshua Tree. No damage to the bike or my body, just to my ego. Soon, though, I was back on my way as my friend and his dad cheered me on.
I will never, ever forget the feeling of power I had on that day.
According to Ephesians 3:20, you and I have access to an even more amazing power, power that is already at work within us. The verse reads, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” In yesterday’s devotion, we marveled over the fact that God is able to do more than we could ever envision. Today, our astonishment grows when we learn that God’s ability to do this resides within us.
A few verses earlier, we learned that God’s power dwells in our inner being through the Holy Spirit (3:16). This Spirit doesn’t just sit idly by, waiting for an opportunity to do something powerful through us. Rather, according to verse 20, the Spirit is already at work within each of us and among us as the church together.
There have been a few times in my life when I have felt God’s power rather like I felt the power of my first motorcycle ride. For example, I remember a few times when I prayed for someone to be healed, and healing happened right there on the spot. But, usually, my experience of the Spirit’s power is less obvious and spectacular. Nevertheless, the fact is that God is already at work within us through his indwelling Spirit.
Remember that God’s power isn’t manifested only in church, Bible studies, and mission trips. God will empower us and use us in every sector of life, including our shops, offices, boardrooms, warehouses, studios, hospitals, courtrooms, and classrooms. The more we become available to God in every moment, the more God will do amazing things through us, for his purposes and glory.
Something to Think About:
When have you experienced power in your life, like my experience on a motorcycle? How did it feel?
When have you experienced God’s power in your life? How did that feel?
What is God doing in and through you right now? How might you cooperate with this work of his Spirit today?
Something to Do:
Take some moments to reflect on the fact that God’s Spirit lives within you. As you go through this day, try to remember that God is present with you at all times, and will empower you for the challenges and opportunities you encounter.
Gracious God, how I thank you for dwelling within me through your Spirit. Thank you for being at work in me even now. Thank you for times when your power has been amazingly evident in my life. Thank you for being at work when I don’t even know it.
O Lord, help me to live today with the truth of Ephesians 3:20 filling my heart and mind. May I step out in faith, trusting you to do in and through me more than all I can ask or imagine. Use me in all of my relationships, at work and at home. Use me in my family, my church, and my neighborhood. May I truly live for the praise of your glory today. Amen.
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.