In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul prays that the believers in Ephesus will have their eyes opened to understand the authority of Jesus and the enormity of his victory. While his audience came from a pagan background, they had come to faith in Jesus Christ. But this didn’t remove their fear of evil spiritual forces. Paul prays that they’ll see things from God’s perspective. Then they will see that Jesus has overcome all of the evil spiritual forces. This will allow them to follow him with boldness.
Modern readers are often deeply skeptical of the existence of spiritual forces of evil. Yet there are powers at work that pull us in directions that are different than what Jesus has commanded us. Materialism, militarism, tribalism and sometimes patriotism make claims in our lives that can be contrary to the authority of Jesus. We must ask ourselves how we should respond to these pressures if Jesus is Lord in our lives.
Questions for Reflection
- How does Jesus change my relationship with money?
- Does Jesus change the way I think about violence?
- How does Jesus change who I identify with?
- How does Jesus affect the way I think about the demands of the state?
- Can I think of other forces that seem to control me and pull me away from serving God?
Go back and watch last week’s sermon on Ephesians 1: 3-14