Here is my commentary on Ephesians 1:19. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.
[ that you may know]… what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us to believe according to the workings of his great might.
Paul continues his prayer that we might know the hope to which Christ has called us. He is not talking about theology in these prayers but a heart-level knowledge, and transforming conviction that directs our lives.
Now he prays hat we might know the immeasurable greatness of his power.
In physics, power is defined as the rate at which reproduce or use energy to do work a 200 megawatt Power Station produces 200 megajoules of electricity every second. This is greatness of power.
Power in political terms is defined as the ability to influence others so that you can enact a political agenda. Some rulers exert great power, either for good or evil.
God’s power is immeasurable. He created the whole universe and everything that is seen and everything that is unseen. All of this was with the command of his voice. He spoke and it came to be.
It is possible to estimate the mass of the Universe and therefore calculate the energy of the whole of creation. Divide that by the few seconds that it took to speak the words, and that is huge, unimaginable power. But it is still measurable.
The greatness of God’s power is even greater – it is immeasurable. We can’t even guesstimate his power, because it will always be greater.
And the God who has that much physical power also has immeasurable political power. He could bend every king and president, in fact every person, to obey his will and follow his agenda for the nations.
But he does not want to do that. Instead, he uses the power of love, providing and enacting an agenda based on his love for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
For all the power at His command, He lays it all down in order to love His people
Then He places this immeasurable power in us – the creative, restorative, reconciling power of the Holy Spirit is placed in people who simply choose to lay down their own lives and to follow him.
We see glimpses of this immeasurable power in us when miracles happen. Miracles are actions that seem to contradict the law of nature. A house is saved in an earthquake because people pray. A person is healed of a rare and incurable cancer because people pray.
This immeasurable power in us is meant to be poured out to others as a sign of Gods love.
The power of love placed in our hearts also transforms the world. As we receive God’s love we learn to love the poor, serve the needy, console the hurting, and accept the rejected. The healing power of love turns these people, who were once far off, back to the kingdom of God, spreading this unstoppable movement of immeasurable power right through the world.
All of this is “ according to the workings of his great might.”
In all of this, God remains sovereign. There are times when there is no healing, no miracles. There are times when our best attempts at love are thrown back in our face .
Should we conclude that God’s immeasurable power is not so great? Of course not! It remains God’s power and is released according to His greatness.
Should we give up on praying for the sick, ministering to the poor, or preaching the gospel because things don’t turn out the way we think?
No! The power is God’s and remains subject to His will. The power is in us, but not ours to use as we wish. We are containers for the power of God’s might and His love, not the operators or owners of it.
We can make ourselves available to God for Him to work in the world. We cannot determine what He should do with that power. It remains “according to the working of his great power.”
The activity of God’s power remains a mystery, and out of our ability to control. We pray for this one, serve that one, and sometimes miracles occur. Sometimes they do not.
We should thank God that it is this way. Imagine the mess we would generate by being able to channel that “immeasurable power” to meet our own selfish purposes.
Key points in this verse:
- God’s power is immeasurable, beyond our ability to even imagine
- God’s power is physical and can restore, heal or destroy
- God’s power is also persuasive through the power of His great love
- God’s power is in us, but subject to his own control