In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul is encouraging the Church in Ephesus. He’s been hearing about them and the work they’ve been doing. How their faith is strong and evident in the community and far beyond. The word is out! Paul lets them know he’s praying for and thankful for the work they are doing for God. He asks God to give them wisdom and energy to make a difference and keep their eye on the ball so that they will do God’s will and continue to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Paul reminds the Church that all of this that he prays for them to receive, comes from God and only God. The worldly things don’t matter and remember that God is really in control. Paul reminds them that the Holy Spirit is within them and Jesus is shown to others by how they live and act in the world. It is up to them to show the world who Jesus is.
When I think about this in today’s Church, how awesome would it be if when we hear something good about XYZ church, we called, emailed or wrote a letter to them and gave them encouragement for what they are doing to show Jesus in the world today. Tell them that we’d keep them in prayer and thank God for what they are doing in their community and world. I think that would be really cool!
This passage is also a reminder to me about making sure as a leader, I teach not only what we are supposed to DO as followers of Christ but that we need to be in prayer for ourselves and each other, asking that God gives us the wisdom and energy to carry out this calling. We are not in control. We can’t do it and only God can give us the knowledge and power to do so. Isn’t that a great relief?! Jesus certainly spent plenty of time in prayer asking God for strength. If Jesus needs to be in prayer, how much more do we need to be doing so? We would have to admit we are weak humans, God is in control and only through the power of our Lord, can we be of any help to anyone else. Easier said than done. As leaders we want to look smart and strong. We want those who count on us to think we have it all together.
Encourage each other, out loud. Pray for each other, all the time. Remember the wisdom and power you seek, only comes from God.