Hey friends, I have begun to settle back in now that the craziness of July is over! 3 conferences at the end of July has left me in a conference coma. Until the dust settles from being away from home 10 days, I wanted to share this post from Kimberleigh Daniels on a familiar verse: Ephesians 3:20. You can check more of her posts out at https://rootedgypsysite.wordpress.com/. Enjoy!
– Mary Anne
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
I once understood this verse to mean that God could double all of the good that I was asking for. In my very Western world view, “every good gift and every perfect gift…” and Ephesians 3:20 were very related and very…good. Good to me meant absence of want, absence of pain, absence of loss, absence of any GREAT discomfort. A perfect life was a trouble free life.
If you have studied World History or early World Literature, you understand the plight of the Germanic tribes and the British Isles in the centuries following Christ’s death. Monks made a brief appearance, but for various reasons, these people groups found themselves again without guidance and only a basic understanding of Christ.
Evidence of this history is laughably clear in “Beowulf”. At the opening, references are made and glory given to Yahweh alone. They enjoy many happy years, and then a “fiend out of hell” begins a twelve-year assault on the kingdom. It is a daily, bloody, unrelenting assault that they endure. By line 175, they have begun to doubt God whom they know little of. They do not willfully defy Him, or completely abandon belief in Him; but because their understanding is finite, they begin to revisit their pagan ways.
Before a battle, they take part in a paganistic ritual immediately followed by prayer to The LORD declaring any victory to be to His glory. When they could not reconcile a good God that is able to do “exceedingly abundantly…” with twelve years of unanswered prayers, they began to doubt Him. In their doubt, not wanting to leave this good God they had come to know, they straddled the fence between Christianity and paganism. They did not abandon what they knew of Christ, they abandoned what they could not understand about Christ in their circumstance. Feel familiar?
My misunderstanding of God and Ephesians 3:20 has left me in a very similar place. The places in my life where head knowledge set me up for failure made this verse hurt. Why would a God that is ABLE to do exceeding abundantly above ALL that I ask or think let my friend die? Why let us pray for a decade over a marriage never healed? And why am I still walking around these walls?
When I look at the God of the Bible…not the God outfitted in Western mantras; I have a better understanding. God does not work for just my pleasure today or my earthly wants. He is not even working in me for a battle that will be won in my lifetime. We run a relay race that began when God breathed into Adam and will continue until His return.
To finish this race strong, we must look at our circumstances through the lens of the Bible, and not look at scripture or God through the lens of our circumstance.
This is all a part of Satan’s plan. If he can distract us from knowing our Savior and His plan, if he can keep us from understanding we are running a relay race for eternity and generations to come, not a sprint that begins and ends with us, he can convince us in our pain that God is able, but unwilling to bring Ephesians 3:20 to reality in our life. When we buy this lie, we begin to question if He really is good and if He really is able.
The Word is always true; it is our understanding of it that is sometimes faulty:
- If you are still running, He hasn’t failed you.
- You are a part of something much bigger than you will ever understand in this life.
- Jesus and Paul saw God’s plan, and chose to endure because God’s good plan was worth it.
- We have to run faithfully so that we can successfully pass our baton…eternity depends on it, the next generation depends on it.
All of our loss, hurt, and rejection is temporary, but the goodness of His plan for our lives is “…exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”