MY NAME IS DUNAMIS,
AND I LIVE BEHIND THE WALL
TEXT: Ephesians 1:15-23
By Mark Hardgrove
By Mark Hardgrove
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (KJV)
Exegete verse--This is one long sentence. Paul tells them that he is praying that they receive wisdom and revelation so that they might understand and know three things (vv.18, 19):
1) What is “the hope of His calling” that is, the wonderful future that God has prepared for believers.
2) What is “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” that is, the rich and glorious inheritance that is available for the children of God.
3) What is “the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe.” What power is this? It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and raised Him to the right hand of the father.
I want to focus today, and for the next several weeks on the third point of Paul’s prayer, “the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe.” Look at that phrase. Notice the adjectives that modify the word power—“exceeding, greatness.” Paul wants the church (and that includes us) to have our minds enlightened, he wants us to receive revelation and to understand the exceeding greatness of the power of God.
Why is it so important that we understand this power? Because, without the power of God we are no match for that attack of the enemy. We aren’t strong enough to confront Satan by our finances, our facilities or by our flesh. But with the power of God the weak become strong, the foolish become wise, the peasant becomes a king’s kid, and the church becomes the greatest force on the face of the earth.
Unfortunately, there are so many churches that know so little about the power of God. Without the power of God we are already defeated. But with the power of God, one can put a thousand to flight, and two shall put ten thousand to flight.
About four years ago I was sitting in my easy chair, drifting off to sleep when a sharp crack on my head jolted me awake. I opened my eyes and suddenly two more sharp cracks produced a sharp pain on my head. I jumped up from the chair and saw my baby boy standing there with a heavy solid plastic egg in his hand. He was only one year old, and certainly no match for his 200 pound dad, but with that heavy egg in his hand he might have beat me to death if I hadn’t gotten up. Church, if we only knew the power that God has placed in our hands, we would be putting the enemy to flight and we would be turning our city inside out for Jesus.
I) UNDERSTANDING THE POWER
We need to understand the power of God because “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Cor 4:19). The kingdom of God is a kingdom of power and God intends for His Church to be a church of power. In fact, if we are not a church of power Paul would say that we have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:5).
If we don’t have the power of God in the church then we are in error. Jesus told the Sadducees, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt 22:29). We are in error if we don’t know and live by the Word of God, but we are also in error if we don’t operate in the power of God—even if we have our doctrines right.
There are several words that are translated “power” in the Bible, but the most prominent in the New Testament is from the Greek word “dunamis.” This is the word Jesus used when He said, “tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” Dunamis is also the word Jesus used in Acts 1:8 when He said, “And ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” The word dunamis is the word from which we get the English words, dynamo, which is a generator that produces electric power; dynamic, which refers to someone who is energetic and who motivates us to action; and of course, dynamite, an explosive outburst of power.
II) POWER UNDER-USED IN THE CHURCH
The New Testament Church was birthed in dunamis and the early church operated in dunamis. But why is it that the modern church seems to be so void of the power that gives us the ability to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. Why is the divorce rate in the church no different than in the world? Why is teen pregnancy as big a problem for church kids as for the world? Why is homosexuality becoming as big of a problem in churches as in the world?
I would suggest that reason we have so many people defeated in church pews; why so many church are so impotent in their communities; and why Satan seems to have his way in the media and world governments, is because the church has a form of godliness, but they don’t have dunamis.
We know that God gave the church power. We know that God is the source of the church’s power and that His power is limitless, so where is that power in the church of the 21st century? The dunamis of God, the power of God, is still available, but the church has built up a wall and hindered the flow of that power in our midst.
The Holy Spirit is pictured as a dove, He is a gentleman who will not force His way into the church. We are told that the Holy Spirit can be “vexed” (Isa. 63:10), can be “grieved” (Eph. 4:30), can be “quenched” (1 Thes. 5:19), and can be resisted” (Ac. 7:51). We can either open the door and let the Holy Spirit come in and fill us with anointing and with power, or we can build walls that keep the power of the Spirit at arm's length.
III) BUILDING WALLS BETWEEN US AND THE POWER
What are the walls that we build? According to Scripture there are at least four things that will hinder the operation of God’s power in our church: sin, doubt, a lack of devotion, and pride. Let’s explore these:
SIN—Isaiah said, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (59:1-2).
Joshua 7:13 “Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
DOUBT—Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus was that they might know, “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”
James said, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man ask anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (1:5-8).
Heb. 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
LACK OF DEVOTION—When the disciples could not cast the demon out of young boy they asked Jesus why they were powerless to gain the victory. Jesus said, “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21).
PRIDE—Proverbs 16:18 states it well, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Samuel told King Saul, “When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? (1 Sam 15:17).
V) UNCOVERING THE POWER
God gave us the key to tearing down the wall and seeing the release of His power in our lives and in His church. It's found in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, which are called by my name,
- shall humble themselves,
- and pray,
- and seek my face,
- and turn from their wicked ways;
Do you want to see God’s power in your life? Do you really want signs following you? Do you want to lay hands on the sick, and the sick recover? Do you want power over demons and demonic attack? Does this church want power? Do we want the power to march up to the enemy’s camp and take back what he stole from us?
The power of God is not in short supply. The power of God has not diminished or waned. The power of God is available, the question is whether or not we really want the power or if we are content with the form of godliness. If we want the power then wall are going to have to fall. If we want the power then we’re going to have to have our feet on the rock with our minds made up. If we want the power, then we’re going to have get real with ourselves and with God and confess that we don’t have the power, like we ought to have the power. We don’t have the power, like we want the power. We don’t have look like a New Testament church, and we’re tired of trying to accomplish in the flesh that which requires the power of the Holy Ghost.
How about it church? Will you help me tear down the wall? Will you help me release the dunamis of God in this place with an explosion of Pentecost and a dynamo of power?
My name is dunamis, I live behind the wall. Who will let me out? Walls are going to fall, power is going to be released, lives are going to change, this church is going to change the spiritual climate of our county and beyond because the wall is coming down.