Have you had trouble lately maintaining your day to day Christian life? Has the worries and cares of this world weighed you down to the point you can’t see where to go or what to do? Maybe you find your self weak in areas of your life and wish those weaknesses would go away.
Whatever the situation, God wants to strengthen you and touch your inward parts to help you not only maintain your daily life, but to live above the circumstances you find yourself in.
Paul was in prison when he wrote a good portion of the New Testament. He was more concerned with the church and their condition then his own surroundings. He wanted to encourage them and pray for them.
Paul had to find something to help him maintain his daily life while he was in prison. He found it, and conveyed that truth in his writings.
Eph 3:16 – 21 (HCSB)
“I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, be strengthened with power the inner man through His Spirit in, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think–according to the power that works in you– to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
1. “[I pray] that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, ” (Eph 3:16)
“Strengthened with power through His Spirit…”
Have we let the Holy Spirit have His way in us completely? I believe it is a process of learning and growing with Him that brings us to a place of totally allowing the Holy Spirit to have His way in us.
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. He is our friend, and our Counselor. The Holy Spirit can do more in us (if we let Him) then a Counselor can here on earth.
The Holy Spirit knows every aspect of our past, present and future. He knows us intimately. He knows our personality, character, and what we think even before we think it.
“May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty powerin the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. (Eph. 3:16)
What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit indwell your innermost being? What does it mean to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit?
It means to not allow our flesh to be in control. It is a realization that we are crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us! (Gal. 2:20)
We have to come to a place where we want to please God more then our flesh! We can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit if we are full of our self. We have to decrease. We have to die to flesh. It is submitting to the Holy Spirit’s voice even when we want to do the opposite.
ACTS 2 (Pentecost)
The second chapter of Acts shows the infilling power at work in the Disciples and those present in the upper room. It was promised in Acts 1:4 – 8.
Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
They stayed in prayer, and were united and obedient, waiting together for this promise of the Holy Spirit. They had never experienced what they were about to experience before. All they knew was to wait for “the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4).
Acts 2:1 – 4 (NKJV)
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They were consumed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit wants to consume us daily. Do you spend time in the presence of the Lord daily?
Allowing the Holy Spirit to have His way in our hearts is part of letting the Holy Spirit indwell our innermost being, our “inner man.” This brings strength to maintain our daily life.
“…strengthened and reinforced with mighty powerin the inner man…” (Eph. 3:16) (Amplified Bible)
The Inner Man – Inner = eso ¯ in the Greek which means inside, or within. Inner man is also known as inward parts:
Inward parts – qereb – (BDB Hebrew and Greek Lexicon)
As seat of thought and emotion
As faculty of thought and emotion
Within self – heart, more than heart, it becomes your entire being.
Here are a few verses which speak of “inward parts:”
Psalm 139:13 “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Job 38:36 ” Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
Psalm 51:6 “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Proverbs 20:27 “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Hearts in Jeremiah 31:33 is translated from the Hebrew as; “leb” or “lebeb” – mind, will, understanding, midst (of things), thinking, memory, determination, conscience; as seat of appetites, as seat of emotions, as seat of courage!
Inward parts and heart do go hand in hand in the Bible, but more than the heart, it becomes a part of your entire being.
In other words, getting back to the original scripture;strengthened and reinforced with mighty powerin the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. (Amplified Bible)
God wants to strengthen us with His Holy Spirit, to totally indwell our inward parts, our inner being, mind, will, understanding, appetites, emotions, and everything we are, with His Holy Spirit. This will help us to maintain our daily life and help us to follow after Christ. It will help us to not be tossed and turned with every little breeze that comes our way that is contrary to what we think should happen.
Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith to serve God, and to do our duty.
Where Christ’s spirit dwells, He dwells.
2. “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love…” (Eph. 3:16b)
Love should be our motivating force behind all that we do.
There was a song out in the eighty’s by Lori and Harry Browning called, “Lord, Teach us to love You.” It was a prayer asking God to teach us to love Him with the Love He has given us. Then it turned the love towards others and asked God to teach us to love others with the love He has given us.
John 13:34 – 35 (Message)
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when you see the love you have for each other.”
This way of looking at love and reaching out to others will help us to love each other unconditionally. Our motto should be: “Loving like Jesus loves me!”
Also, with this love, we can look at Christ’s love and how intense it is for us.
3. “…may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:18 – 19)
The Message Bible reads…
“I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit–not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength— that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.“
There are so many dimensions to Christ’s love towards us. We have not even touched the surface of how much He loves us.
Our knowledge can’t comprehend His love for us.
What extent are His dimensions?
“…what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
The breadth (wide) shows its extent to all nations and ranks;
The length (long) continues from everlasting to everlasting;
The depth, (deep) its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery;
The height, (high) its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory.
God will go to great lengths to rescue us. He will reach down into the farthest depths to show us how much He loves us and for us to experience that love as we sense His presence.
He will reach down to our inner man, our inward parts, where we live and have our being, and will give us revelations of who He is and how much love He has for us.
Have you ever felt God’s love?
The Message reads…
Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
That love is there for us to live full lives.
You can live without things.
You can live without position or recognition,
You can live without a lot of things, but for one to truly live, we can’t live without love. We will die prematurely without someone to love and someone to love us.
It is true that people who are ill will recover faster when their loved ones are close by; talking to them and encouraging them to live.
How much more we can live with the knowledge of God’s love for us.
God wants us to experience His love to know the fullness of who He is.
Fullness, not lack.
The Amplified Bible reads…
“…that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!” (Eph. 3:19b)
…all the fullness of God!
It is hard to comprehend the love of God towards us. Why would He love us after what we’ve done? Why would He lavish His love on us when we deserve judgment?
It is hard to comprehend His mercy and grace.
Mercy: Not getting what we deserve
Grace: Getting what we don’t deserve
This is what Christ did on the cross for all of us. Love was crucified. This love is there for the taking. Do you believe it? Do you want it? It is already there for you.
He is the lover of our soul.
4. “Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think–according to the power that works in you– to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20)
What ever we can think of asking, God can do more.
The Message reads…
“God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
God is more than enough for our every need. God can and will do more than we could ever ask, think, guess, imagine, request in our wildest dreams. He is just waiting for us to recognize what He is doing.
Think for a moment what God has done for you this past year that has been beyond what you’ve ever dreamed possible.
This year ask God what He would have you do.
What you think of right now, He can do more and will as you trust Him and allow His Holy Spirit to flood your inner man, your emotions, your will, your appetites.
Resolve to soak in His presence and love more. Expect BIG things to happen in your life. He is a BIG God and has BIG things in store for each of us as we trust Him to give us strength from day to day.
Pastor Kris Belfils