Strength for the Journey

05 Apr
Strength for the Journey

We’re continuing our study through the book of Ephesians. Paul is writing to us about the riches we share as the body of Christ on earth.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

Ephesians 3:14-15 NIV

Paul now gives us some insight into his prayer life. He’s constantly in prayer for the churches and people who have come to the Lord under his ministry. It was a great burden on his heart.

It’s important for us to see where this intercession starts. He doesn’t go right into the petitioning for God to bless these people. He starts out by kneeling before the Father.

That’s an important fact that we sometimes miss. Throughout the Bible, whenever worship is described, there are certain common elements. One of them is kneeling.

Whenever a body position is described, a worshiper is always kneeling down. Many times, they have their face to the ground. Most Christians don’t realize that this is the normal position for worship.

Because we call the songs before a service “praise and worship”, we think fast songs are praise and slow songs are worship. That’s an American church thing. It’s not the Scriptural definitions.

In reality, praise involves the body. It’s about what God has done. It could be music and singing, clapping, dancing, or loud declarations of thanks to God. Worship is very different.

Worship is about who God is. It’s an act of our spirit (John 4:23-24) with no body involvement. True worship is usually silent. It happens infrequently when a “holy hush” comes over the congregation. Most of the time we get uncomfortable and start to fidget, hoping the service will continue quickly.

Paul makes it clear that his prayer time starts with worship. He begins by quieting his heart before the Lord God. Only after his time of worship does he begin to lift up God’s people.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

Ephesians 3:16-17a NIV

Paul wants to see the church walking in the power of God. That’s how we can fully operate in the spiritual life God has for us. But, it’s important to note that this takes place through our spirits.

Again, it has a lot to do with our worship of God. We need to spend time praying in the spirit to see the power of God increasing in our lives.

The word, strengthen, in the above verse is not a one-time thing. That word implies an ongoing strengthening. We need to become spiritually stronger day by day. It’s a lot like becoming strong in the natural. I had to learn that lesson.

Now that we’re in the Spring season, my mind starts to think about hiking. Those who have read this blog for a long time will know that I love to get out and walk the Appalachian Trail. In order to be ready, I’ve been out walking whenever I can. I want to strengthen those lazy winter muscles.

Strength is a necessary part of the outdoors experience. When my wife and I started to add children to our family we stopped hiking because of the limited time we had. Since I’ve started back up again, I’ve lost 30 pounds. (Pounds that I had “found” up till that time!)

I can tell you by experience that out of shape people cannot enjoy hiking as fully as those used to the rigors of trail life. I remember well the pain in my legs and back when I first started. I had to stop every few feet while going uphill, just to breathe. Thank God, I’m starting to get in shape again!

More important than physical condition, however, is the shape of your inner being. The spiritual trail we’re on is far tougher than any wilderness trail. God wants to strengthen you for that journey.

It is going to take quality time spent in the presence of the Lord. That’s why prayer in the spirit is so beneficial. It builds you up internally. To do this you must free yourself from distractions so that you can concentrate on Christ.

As I’ve been saying, that’s what worship is all about. Spend time before Him just drinking in His Spirit. Take the time necessary so that your inner man is ready for the road ahead, no matter how rough the path.

Question: How strong is your inner man?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: