Ephesians 3:20-21 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.
I have heard the first part of this quoted many times, and I have quoted it many times myself, but we still have trouble grasping the reality of it, precisely because it is literally true; God is able to do things we can’t imagine. Since we can’t imagine them, we can’t grasp that He can do them ahead of time! This is intimately tied in with the description of faith that is given in Hebrews: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Not only can’t we see it, we can’t even imagine it! There is a very moving, and beautiful, song about heaven called I Can Only Imagine. I like it very much, but Paul is reminding us that however much we can imagine, what God has planned is even better! This statement and doxology come at the end of Paul’s prayer for revelation to his readers of the magnificence of God’s love for them. That love is the basis for all that God does for us, and we must never forget it. As has been said, “Everything God does is love, even when it doesn’t look like it.” We tend to operate with a very shallow, materialistic definition of love, tending much more toward eros than agape. Parents sometimes have trouble understanding that loving their children includes disciplining them, because indulgence isn’t love. That happens because the parents themselves would rather be indulged than really loved! We often can’t imagine the good that God is going to bring out of difficult circumstances, but that is precisely what faith is all about. When we trust even when we can’t imagine, then our faith grows strong and glorious.
I didn’t expect to receive this message this morning, but then I didn’t expect the events of yesterday, either. I still have no idea of the details of God’s plan, but yesterday gave me a glimpse of the reality that God really can do far more than I can imagine. I am not to try to make things happen, but I am to walk in consistent, expectant obedience, looking forward to whatever God is going to do next, never doubting that His plans are wonderful. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Father, You have blown my mind, and I’m still trying to take it all in. Keep me from trying to be in control. Rather, help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have been telling me to do for years, so that all of Your plans may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!