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Above and Beyond

In Paul's closing of his prayer as seen in Ephesians 3:20-21 he says-

20 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,

21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Personally I love Paul's prayer here for those in Ephesus. This is a powerful and important prayer by Paul. There is a bold truth here as to whom he was praying and for us today. It is immensely important to have that same bold truth. My personal prayer each night as I go to bed is recognizing and praying to my God, whom I cannot fathom and certainly cannot understand. That always reminds me of Isaiah 58:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

It humbled me and reminds me that I am unable to impress God. At times, some might feel as if they could impress God with all they are trying to do for Him and His church. God has yet to be impressed with even the most grandiose of human aspirations.

Psalm 8:3–4 notes that-

3 When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place,

4 what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?

The Psalmist got it right and made a powerful and important declaration toward His God.

You will never set a goal so big or attempt a task so significant that God does not have something far greater that He could do in and through your life.

Saul of Tarsus worked harder than anyone else to impress God with his efforts, only to discover that his greatest achievements were but rubbish compared to God's will for his life.

Paul told the people in Philippi as we read in Philippians 3:7–8

7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ.

8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ

Our problem is that we become too easily enamored with our own plans. If we are attempting to do noble or difficult things, we assume that we must be experiencing the maximum potential for our lives and that God must, therefore, be pleased with us.

Until we have heard from God, we cannot even imagine all that our lives could become or all that God could accomplish through us.

Let me offer you a challenge today. A few things that you can and should do in your life as a Christian:

Remind yourself that the Father sees the “big picture,” that His power far exceeds your limited imagination.

Set aside your own agenda, however lofty.

Never become satisfied with your own dreams, for they are finite at best.

Ultimately, when you follow God's direction you will witness things happening in your life that can only be explained by His powerful presence. How could you be satisfied with anything less? Dream a dream so great that if God is in it, it is destined for failure.

In God's Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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