That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith
Ephesians 3:16-17a, NKJV
One of my favorite “superhuman” movies is Spiderman. There’s a famous quote from this movie from Aunt May that is applicable here:
Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them on, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.
Through the eyes of this movie, we get a glimpse of a scriptural parallel—as believers we have a wonderful hero that has redeemed us; lives in us; and strengthens us to live a God-kind of life.
Are you operating in your own, natural strength and abilities, or are you fully trusting in and relying on God’s strength? In Zechariah 4:6, Zerubbabel says, “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Our God is the all-powerful God. His might is never diminished or weakened. The same strength that brought the Israelites victory thousands of years ago has not waned or lessened. This same might is available to work in and through you today!
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians included that they would be strengthened in their inner man by the Holy Spirit. This is the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead, and He can also empower you! (Romans 8:11) This is more than knowledge about God—it truly is experiencing the power of God revealed in Scripture.
As we make room for the strengthening of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the Holy Spirit will make room for Christ. What is meant by this? When we live in full dependence upon and yielded to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will make space in our lives for Christ by eliminating self and sin so that Christ may have full reign and rule over our lives. The more dependent we become on the Holy Spirit, the more room is made for the rule of Christ.
This strengthening of God in our lives by the Holy Spirit goes beyond our salvation; but having believed in God, the Christian can be fully strengthened and empowered by the fullness of the Spirit.
You don’t have to face life alone or ill-equipped. The power of God is made available at all its fullest force. Today, as you meditate on this Scripture, think of this: Your life is like a fire hose either connected or disconnected to a fire hydrant. If you are disconnected—there’s no force of water available for the fires you face. If you are connected to the fire hydrant the force of water is dependent upon how much water you are allowing to flow through the hose. The more we yield and depend upon the Holy Spirit—the greater the flow of the water. Learning to become effective with the power of God released in us is the process of discipleship and learning to be pastored. Through this, we become mature in God and fully empowered!