Monday, April 18, 2011

How's Your Imagination? (Ephesians 3:20,21)

“Now to him who is able to do limitlessly more than all that we ask or imagine, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

This climactic statement at the end of Paul’s prayer tends to be overlooked or underestimated at the very least. It is one of the more amazing truths communicated in the Bible, but even when this is recognized, it tends to be overblown in some ways.

Paul is writing a prayer, but he is teaching too. What he is reminding the Ephesian believers (and us as well) is that God is God and He is choosing to work through people. That means that: (a) God is powerful. He is dynamically able to do what He wishes. (b) That power that God exercises is also limitless. He may choose to not do things, but only as that falls in line with His wishes. There is nothing that He wants that will not be done. He does not limit His actions to the abilities of the tools He uses. (c) The things He does are not based or prompted by our requests. He can and does far more than it ever occurs for us to ask. Finally, (d) He does more than we could ever imagine.

On the one hand, we can imagine just about anything. So if God is powerful to do through us limitlessly more than we can ask or imagine, then we need to be prepared for some major amazing things.

On the other hand, God does things in ways that it seldom occurs to us to ask for, things that we would never think of in our most elaborate strategies. That means that we need not only be prepared for major amazing things, we need to recognize that if we are not looking for them, we will miss them. That is sadly the case more often than not.

We look for the things we can do. We look to plan things that WE can do FOR God. Meanwhile, God is busy doing things all around us. He is doing things through us. Sadly, we are often too self-focused and busy to really notice the things God is doing. The things that matter. If we could develop the ability to see those things, perhaps we would be better prepared to work with God, cooperating with the only source of power available to us that can make a difference.

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