Thanksgiving and Prayer – Ephesians 16-23
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked 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 above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
To know the attributes of God is to know God as He has revealed Himself to us in the Scriptures. One cannot walk with someone, love someone or have a meaningful relationship with someone unless we know all there is to know about that person. Knowing God, walking with God and having an intimate relationship with Him is no different. The omnipotence of God is one of those attributes we need to fully understand because it is the very power of God to do all He has done and will do for His creation. It is an Almighty God that has guaranteed our salvation. It is the Creator of the universe that has promised us “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” This would be an empty promise if He did not have to power to effect it.
Too many times our perception of God diminishes His attributes. Many times we have a low view of His power, His trustworthiness, His ever presence in our lives. This, in short, is a lack of faith pure and simple. In Deuteronomy 31:1-8 Moses assures Israel of the constant presence of God with them. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” The Israelites are about to enter into the Promised Land yet they feared what was ahead. They feared a people that were their enemies, were numerous and mighty, with some of them of a gigantic stature, their cities strong and well fortified. We need to think about not only what was in their minds but also what they had witnesses as a people.
God had done miracles in their sight. He had revealed Himself to them as “the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.” He had parted the Red Sea for them, He had vanquished Pharaoh and his armies, He had “went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.” For these people He had already rained bread from heaven for them which they gathered a day’s portion every day for forty years. They had seen the power of an Almighty God, they had seen how He provided for them, cared for them, cherished them as His people. They had witnessed His power first hand and yet they had no confidence that this would continue as they entered into the land He had promised them. Aren’t we the same at times?
We have an omnipotent God. He has the ability and power to do anything. He exercises this power effortlessly. He is El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One, the “One mighty to nourish, satisfy, and supply.” Whenever we hear God speaking of Himself in the Bible as ‘God Almighty’ we are hearing the Hebrew name El Shaddai. This is our omnipotent God. This is the God of the Bible capable of effecting all that He wills. Our faith will be enriched and strengthened if we understand and take to heart God’s sufficiency as our all-sufficient El Shaddai. We must realize our own insufficiency to realize our need in His provisions. To experience God’s fullness as He has revealed Himself through His Word we need to understand, believe, and take hope in an almighty God, capable to accomplish all that He pleases. He is capable of delivering on all of His promises. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).