God’s Immeasurable Power At Work Within Us

This morning I was reading the apostle Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus, when I noticed something I hadn’t caught before.  In Ephesians 3:20, he writes: “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….”

That line is often quoted about how God can “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”  But a lot of times it’s left at that.  So we ask God to do big, miraculous things.  We ask Him to bring a friend of ours to faith.  We ask Him to provide for a financial need for someone.  We ask Him to comfort someone who is hurting.  And we believe that He can do these things, because He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”

But this morning it hit me that the verse does not isolate that phrase.  It continues, saying that God can do all these great things “according to his power that is at work within us.”  This passage isn’t saying that God is sitting up in heaven being all powerful and dropping down these amazing answers to prayer.  Instead, it says that He does “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” by pouring out His power into His people.  His power isn’t some random force floating around the universe, occasionally materializing long enough to zap someone like lightning.  Instead, His power is actually at work within His people.

That means that if I want Him to bring someone to faith, I shouldn’t just sit back and wait for God to do the work all by Himself.  His power is in me, so I should model Christ and verbally share my faith.  If I ask Him to provide for someone’s financial need, then rather than waiting for a check from heaven to appear in their mailbox, I should let His power at work within me cause my heart to be generous so that I give to help meet the need.  If someone needs comforting, rather than just expecting a supernatural mending of the heart, I should be there for them and personally comfort them by God’s power at work within me.

This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t work without our help, because He often does.  But this passage is not referring to those instances.  It says that when I’m praying for God to do something greater than I could imagine possible, I need to expect Him to answer according to His power at work within me.  I can’t be aloof and disobedient, but must be pliable and open to His grace coursing through me so that it pours out into the lives of those around me.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 10:57 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post!

  2. Thanks!

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