More than this?
Have you ever thought you needed more? Ever wanted more? Have you ever prayed for more?
Take a look at this prayer:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV1
That’s the Apostle Paul for you, never a person for understatement.
Never a person to underpray either, by the look of it.
Because God is able to do more. More than we ask. More than we think. And not just more, abundantly more. Loads more as we say around here. God can do loads more than we can imagine by the power that is in us.
We should expect more, loads more.
But let’s step back and get a bit of context.
First is that the you here is plural. Here is a letter written to a Church. The you, in context, is the Church in Ephesus, and by extension, your Church. God is able to do loads more, loads more through the Church.
The second bit of context is that the letter is written from prison. A prisoner is not someone who you would expect to be saying things about how much God can do. That is because it isn’t about being happy, it isn’t about a bless up, it isn’t about the feel good fuzziness that some people believe is evidence of the presence of God.
An easy life?
Persecution was the norm for Christians back in the day. I was true back when Ephesians was written, and in many parts of the world it is still true. Paul wrote from prison, the idea that what Paul is saying about being filled with knowledge of the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, and being filled with all the fullness of God is about being given everything needed for a comfortable lifestyle does not work from this passage of the Bible, or from any other passage.
The power of god is in us so that we can work. Work at serving others, work at being a witness to Jesus in us, work at bringing more people to Christ, work at bringing the Kingdom of God into the world. There is no promise that this will be easy, or comfortable.
Now I am not saying that we can work our way into the kingdom of God. God forbid. He accepts people as they are if they turn to him. But once a Christian we are then filled with the power of God to do more, loads more, than we can imagine. It will not be easy, it may bring persecution, if you want to live the capitalistic dream of comfort and luxury look somewhere else, you will not find it here.
For what reason?
The passage quoted starts For this reason, echoing verse one. The reason is that all people, yes really all people, are able to become equal under God. (I sneaked a read back to the end of Chapter 2 to get this, check it out, context here is everything.) God’s grace, and power are available to all.
We are not promised the easy life, the Bible is too counter cultural for that. We are promised the presence of God. we are promised the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives both corporately as a church and individually (the individual bit is another blog). This makes it all worth it.
God in our lives is amazing. More amazing than you can possibly imagine.