God Can Do Far More Than You Could Ever Imagine
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
We have now come to a biblical passage that has made a huge difference in my life. In 1991, when I began my work as Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, I used Ephesians 3:20-21 as the basis for my first sermon in the church. Sixteen years later, in 2007, I preached my last sermon as the pastor of the Irvine church. Once again, I used Ephesians 3:20-21. If I could have bequeathed anything to my beloved congregation, it would have been a vision of God who "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (3:20). Now, I hope to pass on this vision to you.
This vision of God appears in what we call a benediction, a prayerful statement of blessing to God. Yet, you'll notice that God is not named in this benediction. Rather, he is referred to as the one "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." No doubt here about the subject of this phrase. Paul is clearly speaking of God. But what a way to think and speak about God! No matter how great our requests of God, no matter how expansive our imagining of what God might do, God is able to do far, far more.
How does this truth strike you? Does it puzzle you? Does it encourage you? I respond in two different ways. Honestly, my first impulse is to feel bad about my lack of faith. Though I have seen God do great things, and though I sometimes ask him for great things, too often I relate to God as if he was limited by my fears, by my puny vision. So, as I read this passage, I want to repent of my lack of faith and ask for both forgiveness and the gift of greater faith.
Second, as I reflect upon this passage, I am encouraged to believe more of God. I am emboldened to ask him for more than I usually would, not primarily for myself, but for those around me, for my colleagues and family members, for the organization I serve (Foundations for Laity Renewal), for the church, and for the world. I lift my eyes above the spot just a little in front of my feet to see the grand horizon of God's power and glory.
Here's truth to expand your mind and transform your heart: God is able to do far more than anything you can ask or imagine. He really is! Let this truth change your life.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you respond to the fact that God is able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine? If you really believed this, how would it change your prayers? How would it change your life today?
PRAYER: Gracious God, when I read this passage, I am reminded of how little I trust you. It is so easy for me to shrink you down in my own mind, to limit you by my expectations and fears. Forgive me, Lord. Expand my mind. Transform my heart. Embolden me. Empower me.
And may it be for your glory. May I live all out for you, holding nothing back, trusting you, seeking you, glorifying you with every fiber of my being. To you be all the glory! Amen.