Easter is a wonderful time to be in a church community. There is an overwhelming sense of hope because of the work of Jesus in forgiving our sins and rising from the dead. It is a faith building time as we reflect on not only the victory over the grave, but also the corresponding promise that this power is now at work in us. Part of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18-20 is that we might now know the incomparably great power for us who believe. Apparently this is the same power exerted in raising Christ from the dead. Just stop and reflect on that for a moment. Is Paul saying resurrection power now lives in us?
This might be an incredible promise for us to hold onto, but all to often the reality is that we find ourselves trying to live as Christians but with the same problems, afflictions and worries as the rest of the world. We find ourselves lowering our expectations of the Christian life. Maybe it is all future hope for when we die? Maybe it is more a story of suffering than of transformation? Whatever the case, I think Easter leaves us wanting more.
As I reflect on this tension, I aware in my own life that I need to access this power. It reminds me of a story of a chief who is given a fridge by a wealthy relative in the city. He knows the basics of how it works to keep his food cold and fresh, so he puts all of his produce in his new fridge. Subsequently he is called away to settle a dispute in a neighbouring village. A few days later when he returns he begins to smell a foul stench as he approaches his house. He opens the fridge only to find rotten produce decaying and emitting this foul smell. He calls his relative to tell him that the fridge does not work and that he should come and take it away. A few days later the relative arrives and immediately notices the problem… the chief had never put the plug into the power!
If there is a similarity in that story to our own lives, it is that we too have been given an incredible gift of a new life but we need to access this power on a daily basis. In other words we must learn to co-operate with the Spirit/power of God for us to be refreshed, transformed and healed. Paul will say in Galatians; “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Practically this means aligning ourselves with the promises and power of God. We need to create space in our lives to read the bible, pray and let the Spirit be at work in us. We cannot expect resurrection power if we are not plugged into the source! Let me challenge you to think of one thing in your life that needs powerful transformation – maybe a broken relationship, a habit or an addiction, something that needs healing or refreshing, maybe a destructive thought pattern? Ask now for the Holy Spirit to come… stop and wait… ask for more of his power to be at work in you… align yourself with the promises of God… be filled with the Spirit, feel this power at work in you!