September 20, 2018 • Life for Leaders
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
“If you want to be successful, you need to discover your inner power.”
“If you have faith in yourself, you will be successful in whatever you do.”
Sound familiar? Platitudes such as these are a dime a dozen. You can find them in bestselling books, on television talk shows, in greeting cards, and all over the Internet. You hear truisms like this in graduation speeches, infomercials, and even in sermons. But are they true? Can you find the power you really need inside of yourself?
The biblical answer is “no… and yes!” If we simply look inside of ourselves for power, truth, and salvation, we won’t find it. What we’ll find is a vacuum that can be filled only by God. But, if after you peer inside, you realize how empty you are, if you turn to God in faith, not only do you receive salvation by grace, but also the very Spirit of God comes to dwell within you. Thus, if you have a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ, then God’s own power does indeed dwell within you.
This explains Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16: “I pray that out of his glorious riches [God] may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” There will be power inside of you, power to be discovered and used, but not power that emerges from your own inner resources. Rather, the true source of inner power is the Spirit of God.
When we draw strength from the indwelling Spirit, we find peace and confidence that exceed our own capacity. We find compassion to love those who are otherwise unlovable. We find strength to serve and sacrifice in ways that imitate Jesus. The Spirit of God empowers us to minister in the church and in the world—wherever we are—in amazing ways, so that God’s purposes might be advanced through us.
Something to Think About:
Where do you need God’s power today?
What challenges do you face that exceed your capabilities?
What opportunities might you pursue if you believed that God’s power lived within you through the Holy Spirit?
Something to Do:
As you consider the challenges of the day, ask God specifically to “strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”
Gracious God, my heart echoes Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16. I ask that out of your glorious riches, you would strengthen me with power through your Spirit in my inner being. Empower me, Lord, to say “no” to sin and “yes” to you. Strengthen me to serve others faithfully and sacrificially. Give me wisdom as I do my work today. Grant me faith to believe great things of you. To you be all the glory. Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
The Face of Endurance
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.
Thank you for this prayer. It was very timely. For the last three months, I have been hit with anxiety attacks almost every morning. I do have a medication, but it doesn’t help very well.
For a while I felt like a Dr Jekyl and Mister Hide. On the good side, at least I have peaceful afternoons and nights. Then around 5 a.m. it starts all over.
Anyway I will try to memorize this prayer each time I feel an attack coming.
Thank you for all the devotions that I get every morning!
Thanks, Sherry, for your open-hearted comment. May God grant you his peace with anxiety comes. Blessings to you!
Thanks Mark. I need to be reminded of His power within.