‘I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being’ Ephesians 3.16
I don't know if you follow any exercise regime, but one of the aims of exercise is to strengthen us so that the more we push ourselves the stronger we become. However Paul is talking about something quite different here. He is saying that spiritual strength does not come by our own efforts but by a release of power from the Holy Spirit who dwells within us; we cannot achieve it for ourselves and we need God.
There are implications in this; for example, we all know what it’s like to be tempted. Often our response to temptation is to redouble our own efforts to resist, but all too often we fail. Paul's advice to this problem seems to be to stop and call upon the power of the Holy Spirit that God has put within us, so that his power can give us the strength to resist.
It is not just about temptation, but also about the courage we need to face the situations that may present themselves throughout the day. It is not a matter of gritting our teeth and getting on with life, but about calling upon God’s wonderful power within us.
God is passionate about relationship and he longs for those moments when we turn to him, for whatever reason, rather than trying to win through on our own. To call out to him is not a sign of weakness but a response to his love.
As you ponder the day ahead, what strength do you need? Bring your day to God and ask his Spirit to give you the power you need that you cannot find for yourself.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission