Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
“The power of God is the central theme of Paul’s praise in this doxology… To heighten their perspective on the active power of God toward the readers, Paul says that God can accomplish more than they ever ask Him in prayer. He then takes it a step far beyond that by asserting that God can do more than they can even imagine… What is even more amazing is that God uses His power for the benefit of His people.
Paul says that God works “according to the power which mightily works within us.” He has already displayed this power by raising Jesus from the dead and exalting Him to His right hand in a position of authority over all the forces of evil… This assures the readers that what He has promised — especially to bless them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ — He is able to fulfill…
This is the only doxology that explicitly refers to the church as the medium of His glory… As the church maintains its vital unity with Christ, becomes more like the Father in holiness, defeats the influence of the power of the supernatural enemies, fills the world with the good news of the Son resulting it its numerical growth, and offers continual praise to the Father, the church brings glory to God.”
Clinton E. Arnold in Ephesians (ZECNT; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010) 219-220.
It is only fitting that my last post of 2018 (and my last post on the theme of abundance) would have a doxology from Scripture as the biblical text. This doxology celebrates the matchless power of God, reminds us of the amazing privilege of prayer, and sets forth our collective role as the church to glorify God.
Notice that the doxology proclaims what is true, that God is “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” Does God work like we expect? Rarely. Does He work wonders we could never imagine? Often. Why say this? If God answered every prayer the way we asked, we’d get the glory. There’s something bigger at play and we have a role in it. It’s God’s glory.
When we abide in Christ, and live in the reality of His power, God works in amazing ways through us. We are humbled to realize we are part of something bigger than ourselves, though our prayers often revolve around our troubles or situations. In the midst of all this, we bring Him glory through our generous living, giving, serving, and loving, that can only be credited to His power and fueled by His abundant and gracious provision.
Father, bless us to be a blessing in 2019 and beyond. Work abundantly beyond what we could ever ask or imagine by your Holy Spirit. Do all this through us collectively, as your Church, so the world sees You right now, in this generation when so many have lost hope. Work generously in and through us and be glorified right where you have placed us we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.Read more