I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 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. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
The incredible greatness of God’s power.
Think about that for a minute.
Paul is praying a Holy Spirit–inspired prayer for his readers (i.e., us). He prays for us to “understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”
Do you understand this?
I’m willing to go on record that I don’t. I mean, I get it at the level of my intellect—God is powerful. Yes, I have experienced the presence of God many times and I know the love of God in a deeply personal way. I would even go so far as to claim that I have experienced the power of God. These are great blessings, but I don’t think that is what Paul means here. Note how he qualifies the nature of the incredible greatness of God’s power.
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
I’m pretty sure I qualify as a true believer, but surely there must be more to the incredible greatness of God’s power than I have understood or experienced. You too?
So what do we do with this? One direction we could go would be to doubt the incredible greatness of God’s power. Many people slowly drift in that direction. It’s not that they stop believing in God, but rather they just quietly accept the status quo of reality as they know it, passively lower their expectations, swim in the shallow end of church, and do their best to make the most of their upper-middle-class life.
There is a better way. Let’s call it the way of holy discontent. It’s the path to awakening. Rather than allowing our experience (or lack thereof) to lead us to doubt God’s Word, we can stand firmly on the veracity of God’s Word and allow its authority to question our experience.
This is the way of holy discontent. It is a willingness to question and doubt everything but the Word of God. The way of holy discontent means we hold on and press in for deeper understanding. It means not giving up, never letting go, asking until we receive, seeking until we find, and knocking until the door is opened. And it means banding together with a few others who will walk this way with us.
Let’s call ourselves the Fellowship of the Holy Discontents.
Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who calls us out of our comfort zones and beyond the barriers of our experience, daring us to step out of the comfort zone of the boat and to risk walking on water. I want to understand and experience your incomparably great power. Forgive me for settling for less. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
Have you allowed your experience (or lack thereof) of God’s power to cause you to question texts like today’s?
Do you think there is more to the incredible greatness of God’s power than you presently understand or experience?
Have you allowed yourself to drift into a kind of passive doubt, or are you ready to join the Fellowship of the Holy Discontents?
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