19 I…pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.
Ephesians 1:19-21, NLT
The Lord has a way of showing his unbelievable greatness in our lives. The Apostle Paul literally had to be blinded before he could see the greatness of God! (Acts 9:9) Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they too would comprehend the incredible greatness of God’s power. As I was reading this and contemplating just how I could grasp the greatness of God, I realized that Paul, in his prayer, gives us the answer...
When you attempt to describe something that is seemingly abstract, you try and use comparison to something concrete. This allows your audience to grasp and picture what it is that you are trying to convey without necessarily having been with you to see I themselves. Many of you might do this when describing that “huge” fish you “caught” (We all know it wasn’t that big) Paul physically saw the resurrected Christ. How then could he describe this greatness to the people at Ephesus? When presented with how to express the greatness of God’s power, Paul expresses that this power is the same power that raised Christ, as the conqueror of death and ruler of all things. Although this may seem like another abstract comparison, the more that I pondered Paul’s description, the clearer the picture became.
So how can I see God’s greatness?
The answer is in the transforming power of Jesus on the heart of those who believe. Paul makes the assumption that only those who believe can understand because faith is present in believers; a faith that allows for belief and submission to Christ without physically seeing the resurrected Christ. Paul believed in the resurrection because hesaw the resurrected Christ. Though this was his own personal experience, I think what Paul was asserting here is, “God’s incredible greatness (the greatness I saw in Christ’s resurrection) is demonstrated in a Christ-follower’s complete submission to Christ.” Think about it; what greater sacrifice can someone make than to give their own lives over to another? When Christians claim Christ, we are saying that He has dominion over us. Now our testimonies are the concrete (no longer abstract) demonstrations of the greatness of God to those around us who may have never experienced Him.
As trivial as the mundane times may seem in our lives, when we make even the smallest decisions in light of Christ and broadcast that we are no longer the rulers of ourselves, people have to ask the question- What would it take for me to give up my life? The answer is overwhelming, astonishing, and incredible greatness.
“I…pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”- Ephesians 1:19