Paul says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and forever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20 21, (NKJ) In verse 20 Paul uses a double compound word. He is caught up in the BIGNESS and AWESOMENESS of God so he uses a new word phrase to make his point.
The Apostle Paul is making it very clear that God is not just “big” but He is – Big-uhmundo-huge-a-riffic. God is awe-Magni-great-more-big-fully. Super-beyond-erful beyond words. Paul is morphing all these words together to make his point. “Paul is saying that God is incredibly incredible. Extravagantly extravagant! Awesomely awesome! Outrageously outrageous! Fantastically fantastic! Amazingly amazing! Infinitely infinite – all the time!”
So the question you and I must answer is how will God connect with me so that I can become an “Above and Beyond” follower of Jesus in the British Columbia – better yet, in the community where God has planted me?
If we are going to be “Above and Beyond” people and be able to REACH our communities with a Christ-centered message of Hope and Wholeness we must invite God to work in us. Beloved He will have to change some things within us before He will change things from without. So, how does He do that? (read Ephesians chapter 3)
First, it begins when we are in communion with Jesus through prayer (v. 14) For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a prayer about enablement. Paul is seated with Christ (2:6), his life is built upon Christ (2:20), and is bowing his knees to the Father (3:14). This is what makes it possible for him to walk (4:1), to grow up (4:15), and to stand against Satan (6:14ff). Our position in Christ makes possible our victorious walk on earth. You want to change from within – Jesus will make it possible!
Secondly, He will change us through His Spirit (v. 16) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man - God does not give the Spirit’s power to us “out of His riches” but “according to”—which is a far greater thing. If I am a billionaire and I give you ten dollars, I have given you out of my riches; but if I give you a million dollars, I have given to you according to my riches. The first is a portion; the second is a proportion.
And, thirdly, through Faith (v. 17) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Something I keep on realizing as president of the BC Conference is that we need God’s power for inner strength (v. 16) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, - The presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives will enable us to live according to God’s will (Rom. 8:9) He strengthens us so that He can use us. An infested home cannot be occupied no more than an infested heart can be occupied. The Holy Spirit works to eliminate the infestations of those things that separate us from Jesus so that He can feel at home within us in order to work through us to build up others and bless our Heavenly Father. Our hearts must become Christ’s home. We cooperate; we collaborate, align, as we yoke up with Jesus. (Matthew 11:28, 29)
Beloved we need His power for understanding (vs. 18, 19) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height (19) to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
A modern translation says it this way - and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.
I am challenging the constituents (myself included) to go deeper spiritually than you ever have in the past. God has given us the ability to begin to understand just how much He loves us. The trials of life will test the depth of our experience. If two roommates in college have a falling out, they may seek new roommates, for after all living with a roommate is a passing experience. But if a husband and wife, who love each other, have a disagreement, the trial only deepens their love as they seek to solve whatever problems or challenges they face.
We need God’s power to take us beyond what we could ever imagine for our own lives (v. 20) Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
This post (Part II) has focused on our walk with God – God glorified in us. Part III will focus on the body of Christ – God glorified in His church! May God bless you as you allow God to work in and through you to REACH lost men, women, boys and girls with a message of HOPE and WHOLENESS!
Wayne Culmore, President