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-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Rodney Hogue <rodhogue@aol.com> http://www.restorationdepot.org
Editors: Donna King, Harriette Osborn, Petru Prinsloo, DeAnna Torres, Teresa Seputis & Leona Ward Transcribers: Roberta Capps, Virginia Norris, Linda Selby

Prayer-School Course #21

A Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Warfare

Lesson 5

God's Strength And What That Means To Us

By Rodney Hogue

We have been talking about God's strength from Eph 6:10. We see that this is were we get the power and authority for warfare. The verse says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might."

We began breaking it down in the last lesson, looking at the greek to understand just what God's strength is and how it can be applied to our lives. Let's continue that breakdown...

"... In The Power ..."

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power" -- the word "power" there is the word 'kratos.' It means, "dominion, might, power, and strength." It denotes the presence of strength. It refers to the power that is available because the power has been invested in it. It is also translated, "to have authority or power over his kingdom." Invested power -- the word "democracy"--you are familiar with that word. "Democracy" comes from two words: 'demo' and 'kratos.' 'Demo' means man; 'kratos' means ruler -- e.g., man-ruled. The United States is man-ruled. We elect our officials; we invest in them the authority, the power; and if we do not like them, we vote them out. We vote somebody else in. The authority and the power come from the people. Theocracy would be God-rules ('theo' is God, 'kratos' is rules). That is how He set up His church, not as a democracy but as a theocracy. God rules -- that is the "power" used in this verse-- God's rule, God's dominion, God's authority, God's power. We are to be strong in the Lord and in His power, His authority, His dominion, and His rule.

The word "power" is used in a couple other places. Hebrews 2:14 says, "Because God's children are human beings -- made of flesh and blood -- Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death." That is the same word "power." The devil had an authority, he had a dominion, and he had a rule over death. Jesus came and broke that. He removed that, He rendered him powerless. He took it aside and He took it away. Jesus did that!

Colossians 1:11 states, "We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need." God will strengthen you with His own great power, His authority, and His dominion. He does that so that you will not give up when trouble comes but you will be patient. How many times have you wanted to give up? Have you ever daid, "I am tired; can we leave?" or "Is there another game that we can play?" We need His power; we need His authority; we need His rule and His reign. God will empower you and strengthen you with the authority that He has.

"... Of His Might ..."

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might" -- the word "might" there is the word 'ischus.' It means, "to be able." It comes from the root word echo which means, "to be forceful, to force something, and have great force in that." The word means, literally, "the ability, the might, the capacity, the power, or the strength." It is used in the negative sense in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless." That verse says that salt has lost its capacity to be salty. In other words, it has lost its ability; it has lost its power. In the positive sense, it is used in Philippians 4:13, "For I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." I can do, I have the capacity, I have the ability and I have the power to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do it all. I have the 'ischus;' I have the capacity -- the ability -- because it comes from God. This verse is an admonition to the people of God to be strong and let your strength be in the power that only God has -- the power that is according to the ability of God. How great is God's ability? Just what can God do? Be strong in God's capacity, in His ability to do.

"... The Power Of God ..."

Let's ask a few questions that would be pertinent questions about the power of God. First, just how great is His power? We are supposed to be strong in God's power. Just how strong is this power? Look at the beginning of Ephesians. That is a good thing since we have been looking at the end of the book of Ephesians. See if we can find the answer in the same book where Paul talked about that before he said "finally." Ephesians 1:18 reads, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." In other words, "I want you to know this in your heart. I want you to know this down deep through revelation. I want you to see this." See what? A couple of things are here in verse 19 -- "and what is the surpassing greatness of His power ('dunamis') toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might" -- the authority of His capacity. This is what God is saying: "I want you to see this power that is in Us and I want you to see the power that is working in you. I want you to see this power -- this power that is working right in your members."

What kind of power is this? It is described in Eph. 1:20-21. "... Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come." He described His power. You have in you the power that it took to raise Christ from the dead, place Him in the heavens, and put Him at the right hand of the Father.

How much power does it take to do that? How much power does it take to raise somebody from the dead? On a one-to-ten scale, would you put that toward the high part? Not only just to raise Him from the dead, but also to give this body a glorified resurrected eternal body, and to raise Him into heaven and place Him at the right hand of the Father above all rule, above all authority and all power in the whole universe. How much power does it take to do that?

This passage says that this same power is in us. Working within us is the same power that it took to raise Jesus up from the dead, raise Him into heaven, and place Him on the right hand of the Father. God goes to great extremes in this book of Ephesians to say to us, "Church, you need to understand what kind of power is available to you; what is in you; what is working in you. It is a power beyond your capacity, beyond your imagination." This is available to you. This is God's capacity and it is yours because He is in you. So, do not be strong in your strength; be strong in His strength, and this is what His strength includes.

Why does God give us this power? He gives us this power because He has a relationship with us. His relationship with us demands that He supplies what we need. He is our heavenly Father, we are His children, and He supplies us whatever we need to do what He has called us to do. God goes to whatever extreme is necessary to make provision for us. The cross is an example of that. The cross demonstrates just how far God will go to meet your needs. Whatever it takes to remove sin from your life and to give you the grace and the power to function, God will do it -- whatever it takes! Do you see your worth and your value in that? The value of something is always determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. Your value is determined by what God was willing to pay for you. And He was willing to pay with His Son -- to give up His Son for you. That is your worth and that is your value to God! It is all because of your relationship. God makes provision because you are His child.

We went on vacation, and I did not make my kids pay their way. When we were going down the road, I did not ask them for gas money. When we went to a restaurant, I did not say, "Hey guys, let's go Dutch today." I did not do that. They are my kids. I let them order anything they wanted on the menu. We went to a steak house. The kids ordered what they wanted on the menu. I took care of them; they are my kids.

Likewise, We are God's kids. When we enter the family of God, God is entering into an obligation to us, that He will meet all our needs. It is not like when these little guys get out of the house. I may not meet all their needs all the time, but God will always meet our needs. He will always be our heavenly Father Who says, "Whatever you need I am always going to be meeting those needs." Phil 4:19 says, "And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

That is God; that is the way He operates. He gives us this power because we are His kids. He gives us what we need. That is what grace is -- giving what we need when we need it and as much as we need.

-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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