Ephesians 3:20-21. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
When we first started this short series based on Paul’s prayer for us in Ephesians 3 we said that this was the likely most glorious prayer in scripture (with our apologies to the Lord’s prayer). Let’s take a step back to see exactly what is being prayed for. What does Paul envision? It is nothing less than a whole new way of living. A new human society. A community who are genuinely experiencing Christ’s love and the fullness of God. That’s quite the prayer. When’s the last time you prayed like that?
It might seem like this prayer is just too big. The pile up of superlatives is unreal. I mean I can honestly say that I’ve never heard someone really pray like this at the church prayer meeting. Not even close. Spiritual power? Christ’s indwelling? Love beyond knowledge? And again, the fullness of God? It would take a huge God to answer such a huge prayer.
And that is the God to whom we pray (v20):
He is able – God is not dead. He is at work.
To do what we ask – God is listening. He will do what we ask because this prayer is nothing new. He’s already done it all in Christ.
And think – We don’t even have to verbalize it, he reads our minds. He causes us to experience it as we believe it in our minds and hearts.
All of it – Nothing that we ask for in Christ is beyond God.
And far more – God goes beyond what we are thinking and believing. We haven’t even scraped the surface of his glories for us in Christ.
Abundantly – God does immeasurably more than all we could ask or think. There are simply no limits to what God is doing through Christ in us.
OK I know so far you’re thinking, “Yes! God is awesome. To him be glory in Jesus and the Church forever, Amen.”
But the shocking part (or not so shocking if you follow this blog) of this benediction is what Paul says next – according to the power at work within us.
“Don’t think you are, know you are.”
Do you see it? Everything we just said about God above, his super abundant hyper power, is IN US. We’re not praying for God to blast us with more power or a magical surge of strength. We’ve already got it. God’s ability do do all we ask or think and then much much more is yours and mine, right now! In Christ. This is why he prayed this way back in chapter 1:
Ephesians 1:16-20. I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…that you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
We have all the power we need to live abundantly, experiencing the love and fullness of God every day. We have everything we need to be a society of Christ’s love towards one another. The love that sent Jesus to the cross, the love that breathed life back into his dead body, and the love that exalted him to the throne of heaven, that love is in you and it’s in me. And there is absolutely no reason why we can’t be experiencing it today and every day if we really want to.
Do you believe this?
“To live is Christ” is far more than just thinking and asking God for things in prayer. It is having all that we could ask or imagine and much much more in us already and forever by the indwelling life of Christ. God’s super abundant hyper power lives in us. To God be the glory in Christ and the Church forever.
God Can and God Did.