I’m a sweet and savory girl.
Nothing makes me happier food wise than when it hits both of these things.
Recently I was reading Jen Hatmaker’s book For the Love. It reminded me of a literary sweet and savory experience. I’d be reading about something light-hearted and outright funny and then — boom — she’d drop in a deep thought and it stopped me in my tracks.
That’s what happened when I read this:
If it isn’t also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true. ~ Jen Hatmaker
Often times we pull scripture out of context to fit our world view. For example, if we read a scripture that says that God will meet our needs, what do we do with that?
It’s a beautiful promise, but if my needs are defined as a life without problems, no sickness, zero conflict or struggle, then it fails this litmus test.
If my needs are defined by material goods, it fails again.
A few years ago I traveled to Ecuador. This is a picture of me visiting a beautiful believing woman. She’s a mom of three, one with special needs.
God doesn’t play favorites.
He’s not a cruel Heavenly Father that defines my needs as a car and two-story home and hers as a tin-roofed shack built into the side of a cave.
I want you to keep this in mind as you read today’s passage.
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. Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT)
What is this power?
One more time (sorry, it’s really key), Paul is writing from prison. Dank. Dark. In limbo. Innocent but proven guilty.
The truth of what He’s saying has to apply both in the good and bad parts of our lives, because he’s in a bad part.
The “working of His mighty strength for us” is that we are offered internal power that is greater than our external circumstances.
This rings true for all of us.
The single Christian mom in Haiti.
The believer in prison.
The Christian who fears for his or her life due to persecution.
Those who are in ministry and those whose ministry is rocking babies and wiping snotty noses.
Those who are sick and those who are well.
Those who are embattled and those who are not.
On Monday we’re going to take this deeper. We’re going to find out what this power is, and how to find it if we haven’t already.
For today, we’re going to pause. Read the scriptures. Journal your thoughts. Answer these questions.
- How was this power working in Paul’s life right where he was?
- How does applying scripture to all believers (rather than our own worldview) change the way we read and understand scripture?
- In Ephesians 6:10, we are asked to be strong in His mighty power. How do we take hold of that power?
- Today’s graphic says “we don’t battle alone.” That can mean many things. What does it mean to you in light of today’s study?
- Share any other thoughts or questions that you have.