Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
I wrestle with the balancing act of; “How much does God control in my life?” I realize that God is creator, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, etc. But, just how much is done in my life by His power and how much is done by my power?
I could spend pages of thought around this whole concept and still not be much closer to an answer. There are those who lean toward the philosophy that God created us and then has turned us loose to live in His Kingdom with very little intervention on His part. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who believe He is involved in every decision and every aspect of what we do. Most of us fall somewhere in between.
Ephesians 3:20 appears to advocate both. Notice that Paul acknowledges the source of power…God. Notice also, where the power is at work, within us. I really believe that we as conservative, western Christians, we do not acknowledge God the Holy Spirit enough. We have the power to do what we do within us, given to us when we have claimed Jesus as our savior and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Again, I could go on page after page over-analyzing how much or how little God is involved on a daily basis. The point of this devotional is for us to recognize that power we have within us to accomplish our daily tasks and projects as well as our work in God’s Kingdom. So many times for me, I tend to discount compliments toward my abilities. I feel guilty for taking any credit for work I have done. I feel as though I am not glorifying God if I take any credit. According to this verse, I have the power, it is given to me. I can feel good about any of my accomplishments and that I did what it took to get then done. I am still glorifying God by having pride in using His power. As long I know from where the power came, I glorify God.
What I am getting at here is that we should not sell ourselves short in what we have the power to accomplish in our lives. We are created in God’s image and He has given us the power to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. The power comes from both Him and us. As one preacher said, “You have to ability to do immeasurably more because the power resides in you…placed there by the Holy Spirit of God.”
The challenge is to first recognize the power within you to do God’s work. Secondly, recognize who instilled you with that power. Finally, do not sell yourself short, and allow fear and feelings of inadequacy keep you from doing immeasurably more.
1. How have you viewed or interpreted this passage of scripture in the past?
2. In what ways have your thoughts been moved or changed after the above interpretation of this passage?
3. Name some areas where we as westerners do not acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s power and work in our lives?
4. What are some instances where you felt proud yet guilty for accomplishments in your life?
5. What is one measurable step you can take this week to challenge or stretch your thinking in this area of your life? Ask God to reveal this week to you this stretch.
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