Thursday, September 4, 2008

Inside Out

Have you ever struggled with the idea that God is able to do something and it seems He just won't? I have often. Babies dying at birth. Friends and loved ones sick with cancer. Unforeseen financial fall-outs. Broken marriages. Addictions that just won't stop.

It seems that since God is GOD and quite capable to fix things why doesn't He?

Let's look at the last verse in Chapter 3.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurable 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.

This verse has so often, and is most often, used when we are dreaming and praying about good and great things in life. We celebrate the idea that God is able to go beyond what our little minds can come up with. He can bring the lost to church, he can bring us fortune and unsuspected checks in the mail. He can open up ministry opportunity. He is able to do all those things and he does.

I like this verse. It makes me feel good for the good things.

But, what about the bad things. Is he still "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine"?

The answer is yes, He is able. But he doesn't always do it that way. We know it. And He knows it. But, there is something in this verse we need to look at closely.

he does the immeasurably more..."according to his power that is at work within us."

Within us.


The deep places.

It's not just or always circumstances that He's able to bring the immeasurable to.

Our prayer should be, although I admit it's not always my prayer because it requires something of me, it should be that God would do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine according to his power that is at work WITHIN me. Wait, isn't that what the Bible says? That's my point. I get so caught up in what he is doing on the outside in my circumstances that I often forget that His power is made perfect inside this weak body.

For the years before Christ, God was doing the immeasurably more on the outside: fire licked bushes, parting seas, angels guarding the garden, frogs, gnats, darkness, famine, stopping the sun, an angel speaking to a virgin. With her, it all changed. She birthed the New Way for man.

God switched His focus. The immeasurable more would now come inside man. His power would now be most recognized on the faces of humanity. And why would He do this? him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Glory. His glory. A changed heart is the strongest testimony to a Great God. Once again, this is our calling.

He might not do the things I so want Him to do. He doesn't. And it's not because He can't. He just doesn't. It's this broken creation that causes all this junk and pain, not Him. And just because He doesn't swoop in and save my day every day doesn't make Him less God. It should make me hang on tighter to the fact that He is God even in this broken place. It's always been this way.

Does God do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine in our outer circumstances. You betcha! I've seen it. Babies that were supposed to die have lived. People with cancer healed. Financial recovery. Healed marriages. Broken addictions. He is able and He does do it.

However, His goal for everything, for His followers, for His church is a changed heart, a transformed mind, a man or woman conformed to the likeness of His son. He knows what will draw us close. He knows our pain. He loves our joys. In all and through all He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.

He can do all of it outside or inside, but I've learned that much of what His heart is mine.


Kim Heinecke said...

so very good.
PL next week? thank you.

Shane said...

Thank you Natalie. Well said, or written. I have found that as I get to KNOW Christ more, I have to "let go" of always understanding Him. It's hard though, especially when its dealing with the bad. But as time passes and seasons change I often look bad and thank Him for not changing the bad, because that's when He changed me.

Shane said...

I meant to say... I often look BACK, not I often look BAD... However, maybe that's a slip to tell me to get in the shower and put on some make-up for once!

Tammy said...

as always a great post that makes me think...although the thinking thing this week has about wrecked havoc with my mind....hmmm maybe that means I need to sleep and have tea before I attempt it