The Power of Christ
Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
The apostle Paul frequently wrote about the need to rely upon Jesus Christ’s strength. He passed on to his readers a promise that the Lord had given him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul was a great Christian leader, but in God’s eyes, he was no more deserving of grace than any other person. You and I can have the same confidence in the Lord’s power that this courageous first-century missionary did.
When Paul received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he was adopted as God’s son. Therefore, he had all the privileges that go with being reborn: His sins were forgiven (Acts 2:38), he was set apart for the Lord’s service (Gal. 1:15), and he received the Holy Spirit (John 14:17). Paul was an effective servant because the Spirit would release power into his life whenever God had a purpose for him to fulfill.
Consider Paul’s jail time. To help him withstand the rigors of imprisonment, the Holy Spirit provided physical and mental stamina. And at the same time, He burdened the hearts of other believers to provide for Paul’s material needs (Phil. 4:18). Most importantly, God’s Spirit expanded the apostle’s ministry by giving him the courage to speak of Jesus Christ with his Roman guards (Phil. 1:13).
The apostle Paul relied upon the Lord for strength and consequently never gave up on his faith. We serve the same all-powerful God, which means we have no excuse for running away from His plan, either. His Spirit dwells in us and is ready to release power when we obey our Father’s call.