Devotional: May 18, 2021
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 20-21 NRSV
“God is able to accomplish more… than we could ask or imagine!” My paraphrase of Paul’s words to the church of Ephesus underline just how big our God is: bigger than we could possibly imagine! In Paul’s mind, there is no doubt about how much larger God’s imagination is than our own. For the Apostle Paul, God is not able to accomplish “just a little bit” more than we can conceive and dream. No! God is able to do FAR MORE than we could possibly ask, or imagine…
There is probably a reason why Paul is not shy about boasting of God’s power and imagination: he had experienced it firsthand! Paul was once one of the most notorious Christian persecutors. He was a zealous Jew named Saul (the Lord later changed his name). It seemed as though nothing would dissuade him from his mission of persecuting Christians… until he met God.
He was on his way to Damascus to persecute more Christians when the Lord stopped him, by blinding him. That got Saul’s attention! Then the Lord asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Suddenly, Saul realized that his version and picture of God was completely wrong. With this awareness, as well as the guidance of a Christian inspired to speak to him, Saul converted to Christianity a couple of days later, and his eyesight was restored. Saul the Christian persecutor became the Apostle Paul. This changed not only his life, but also millions of other lives, as the Christian church has been immensely blessed by his missionary efforts. Truly only God could have imagined it!
Do you believe that God is able to do and accomplish more than you could possibly ask for, or imagine? This is a good question for us to ask ourselves, as it might result in us stretching our faith, and our view of the Lord.
The theme of expanding our view of God is prominent in a song by the Christian group, “Mercy Me”. The song is “Say I Won’t”, and is currently playing on K-Love, and other Christian radio stations.
I was struck by one line of the song which captured this “mind-and-imagination expanding” aspect of Paul’s thought. The lyric from “Say I Won’t” is as follows:
“Yesterday I didn't understand Driving 35 with the rocket inside Didn't know what I had”
How many of us are just tooling along life’s highway, going only 35 miles per hour? It is so tempting to just play it safe, yet we have access to the powerful and unlimited power of God! God offers us a strength and unlimited capabilities. However, we often limit ourselves from accessing Him. Imagine: power giving you the momentum to go faster than a rocket ship, sharing and living a life with the Lord! So many of us do not even come close to imagining or accessing the power of God available to us, through faith in Christ.
Rather than confining our view of God to our limited abilities and minds, we need to step back, and to embrace the big picture. It is high time that we all tried to expand our view of the Lord. Paul was pointing us in the right direction here: we ought to realize that however much we might think of God’s capabilities, He is able to do far more than we could possibly conceive, or dream, or imagine. Therefore, dream big, for we worship a big God! Amen.
Help me to seek You out, rather than be content with my safe life. So often I underestimate myself, and You. Therefore, let me accept the challenges that You offer to me, realizing that You know better than I know myself. You know the right “speed” for me, in my relationship with You. Jesus, let me let you take the wheel, and put Your foot on the accelerator. Rather than tapping the brakes all the time, embolden me to step out in faith, leading others to want to know You personally. May I be faithful in what I do, and humble when I do not know the way. I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, and my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen