Filled with power
To be filled with power is to be endowed with divine ability. God made man to be powerful. He made him to be like him, to have some special abilities. He made him to creative. He gave him a task to name all the animals that he made. He was a co-creator with God. Man defined the functions that the animal should perform because he shared God’s perspective and that was the source of his power (Genesis 2:18-19).
But when sin came him, he lost his connection with God, and at the end he lost his divine position and also the special abilities that came with it, along with the rights and privileges (Genesis 3).
As Amos wrote that can two walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). The ability of man was tied to his walking with God, hearing his words and acting based on them. Man was made spiritual and was without limits as being made in God’s image, but with sin, he was caged. But Jesus came to set us free (Luke 4:18).
When Jesus casted out demons demonstrating his power and dominion, he was accused by some of being in league with Beelzebub the prince of demons (Luke 11:14-20).
He, however, showed them how illogical their thoughts actually were. He said: how can Satan cast out Satan? To inform them of what really happens when he cast out demons, he said: if by the finger of God I cast out devils then the kingdom of God has come near to you. In a different book of the gospel of Jesus, the finger of God was replaced with Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28).
The expression of dominion over the works of the devil is a manifestation of the kingdom of God- nothing less. Jesus said that he will build his church which will be demonstrating the kingdom of God on this earth and he also said that the gates of hell will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18).
God is set to make a set of overcomers and that is the shape the church is meant to take. The church is the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), it is meant to express the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers (Ephesians 3:10). God has called us to so much more. We are called to so much more power, light and glory.
Paul wrote that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or think, according to the power that is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20). That promise is for the church, which is populated by people who have the power of God working in them (Acts 1:8).
Stop saying the church is a place, the church is a people. The church are the people who experience no limits, who have embraced the divine call to shine God’s light forth.
The bible says that we were buried with Jesus but not only that, we are also raised up with him, raised up far above principalities and powers and every name that is named (Ephesians 1:20-23; 2:6). In Christ the church reign in this life (Romans 5:17). The church are people in the divine crucible being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, covered with his glory and imbued with his power.
Filled with the Spirit of the Lord
The writer of the focus verse did not stop at saying he is filled with power, but also that he is filled with the Spirit.
There are different sources of power in this world. Of Jesus, it was said: how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed of the devil. The manifestation of power through the life of Jesus was unprecedented (Acts 10:38).
But in the book of Acts we read of another man who was called the great power of God (Acts 8). He was a sorcerer. The power that he manifested was not linked to the Holy Spirit and it was condemned. Actually the people of Samaria, where he lived, became trapped by the supposed power. And when Peter diagnosed his spiritual condition, he said he is entrapped by wickedness. He said that his heart is not right.
In another scenario, when Paul and his team were in the Ephesus, they encountered a girl possessed by the spirit of divination, and because of the ability to supernatural know things that she had, as a result of that, she made a lot a money for her master (Acts 16:16-18). She operated not by the Holy Spirit though she exhibited some powers. And Paul’s response, as stirred by the Holy Spirit, was to cast out the devil operating in her. So supernatural can be satanic in origin, so we need to find out if the power is from God or not.
Filled with justice and might
Power is good, but it needs to be targeted. And that happens through justice and might. Justice is about the right thing coming, and might about the wrong thing going. And the two find expression in the place of prayer, which as exemplified by the life of Elijah, is the place of power (James 5:15-18).
In the book of psalms we read: let the saints have the double-edged sword in their hands to declare the judgement written (Psalm 149). That is the call to spiritual warfare.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul spoke of spiritual warfare. Remember it was in the same Ephesus that he cast out the python spirit, that spirit of divination, from that young girl (Ephesians 6:10-18).
He wrote to the church about the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, while talking about the need to put on the whole armour of God, so that we might be effective against the wiles of the enemy, that we might effectively wrestle against principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this world.
There is no need for might except in the context of opposition. We need to operate by the Spirit of might (Isaiah 11:1-2) to punch back on the advance of the enemy in every way. Jesus said that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
Paul once asked for prayer saying that though he had open doors for the gospel before him, but the devil was all over the place trying to mess them up (1Corinthians 16:9). In another place he said Satan resisted him (1Thessalonians 2:18). Hence he called on churches to pray for him (2Thessalonians 3:1).
To tell us of the need to pray and not to faint, Jesus gave the parable of the widow who sought the help of a judge (Luke 18:1-8). She called on higher power to help her gain victory over her adversary. That is what we do in prayer.
The devil is called the adversary and God has not called us to lose out to his machinations but to be victorious. For that Paul said we should put on the whole armour of God praying with all manner of prayers in the spirit. Justice is about the will of God and to enforce it we need the expression of might. They go together.