Good morning my friends. Sorry I am a little late this morning but my body actually allowed me to sleep in a bit this morning. Somewhat strange and my mind is trying to defog from the experience. I hope you had the same blessing this morning. We are continuing with Ephesians 3.
I want to look at the last couple of sentences in this chapter this morning. In Canada this is our Thanksgiving weekend. Along with the great meals we should be taking the time to remember all the blessings of our God and giving thanks for them. We need to do this every day but it is also good to have these special occasions when we gather together as friends and family and celebrate together. We have much to celebrate because we have a God who has been generous with us in all things.
I like reading these verses that were directed to the Ephesians and which the Spirit has given to all of us. These are words of great encouragement:
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. vs 20-21
Consider these words for a moment: "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine". Remember that these words follow Paul's prayer concerning their ability to grasp the vastness of God's love. If you examine this and think about it we are being told that we have not even scratched the surface of the possibilities with our Father. Not even our imaginations can match what he can do. It tells me I haven't been asking enough. It tells me I haven't been dreaming enough. It tells me I haven't been reaching enough. It tells me that I have been limiting God with my own limitations.
Look around. Do you see very much extraordinary about us or our churches? Is anyone sitting back and saying, "oh wow!"? Can we honestly say that we have let go of ourselves and allowed our Father to have his way with things? Or are we still trying to build his kingdom our way with our own resources? What is so inspiring about something that anyone in the world can do? So we raise a whole bunch of money and send it to other places. Anyone can do that. What about praying with that crippled man around the corner and expect healing? What about asking for the healing of the minds of the tens of thousands of people who walk our streets with mental illness? What about praying for and believing a great move of the power of God sweeping down our city streets?
Ask yourself, "What is the thing that pulls at my heart the most concerning the Kingdom?" Recognize the calling God has placed on you and join him in that thing. Doesn't matter if you feel trained or equipped, there are no professionals in the Kingdom, only servants. Now read again what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine". Do you have faith? Do you believe? Then trust him. Trust that he wants to do immeasurably more through you. Look at the next part of that: "according to his power that is at work within us".
You are filled with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. You are filled with the resurrection power. Yet, we put limitations on what God can and cannot do through us. We are a powerhouse! We are a clay vessel filled with the greatest power in all of creation. Yet we allow fear to limit him. We allow doubt to limit him. We allow pride to limit him. We allow selfishness to limit him. We allow disbelief and lack of vision to limit him.
What happens is that the further we go in faith the bigger the projects get. Our Father starts us off small and he builds. But it seems we reach a point when we begin to see all the reasons why we should not succeed instead of recognizing the power of God. We get tired and start thinking the work of God is dependent on our strength. We start seeing that it is impossible, we may even start to lose the desire. We fail to remember that it never had anything to do with us, that it has always been his work based on his strength and his resources. We have to stop limiting our God and get back to the dreams and visions and allow him to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.
Being a servant of our Father comes at tremendous cost. We have all been called to dream and have visions. We are all called as tools in those dreams and visions. He calls us to hard labour but at the same time he says it is light. It took muscle to pull up the miraculous catch. It took effort to hand out the loafs and fishes to over 10,000 people. It took preparation to drive our demons. It was tiring to walk throughout a country several times over three years. It took willingness to face shipwrecks, prisons and stoning. All of these things were the result of the power of God but it also took interaction with human sweat. The Father sustains and increases his children in his work but as his children we have to be willing to allow the immeasurable work of God.
Please, realize your limitations but also recognize our Father's desire to go beyond our limitations. Please, confess what you have been doing and ask God to renew you in your faith, dreams and visions. Then take that first act of faith and step out. Get your hand on the plow and allow our God to do the immeasurable through you. Expect that there are greater things yet to be done in our cities and villages. Let go and let God.