Last month our fellowship announced that we were going to be reading Ephesians together, repeatedly over the next five months. They gave us a schedule so that we could all be on the same page (literally! ha, I used that word correctly. You’re welcome, husband), but I have to confess that I will probably never be on the same page because . . . stitches. And torn ligaments. And vet visits. And basically just LIFE. But I am reading, I am taking my sweet time and trying to savor and see things that I haven’t seen before and already, Paul is rocking my world.
Ephesians 3:8 “Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.” (NLT)
Other translations say, “I’m the most usless Christian of all”, or “the worst Christian.” To which I have to say, “Um, Paul? You are in the bible like a thousand times and we pretty much get most of our theology from what you wrote about so I think that I’m probably the most useless Christian there is, but thanks for comin’ out.”
But what Paul is doing, whether on purpose or not, is relating to all of us human people with the brains and the guts and all the feels. Do you ever feel like you are the worst Christian on the planet? So did Paul! And look at all that he accomplished for the Kingdom!
Next, Ephesians 3:20 “Now glory be to God who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (TLB)
I’ve read this verse a hundred times at least. Usually it’s the “to Him who is able to do immeasurably more . . .” translation, but the Living Bible, which I’ve heard is out of print, is still one of my favorite versions to read because I’m not a biblical scholar and I need things to be spelled out for me s l o w l y. I love how this translation pushes the point of the verse home just a little further, and this is honestly the first time I’ve stopped and meditated on it. Here’s what I wrote today about this verse:
We come to you with our greatest needs, the deepest desires of our hearts, begging for you to meet them as if they are a nuisance to you. “Please God,” we cry in desperation like it will be your greatest act of kindness to grant this one request. You are capable of so much more. Even if we step up our requests, we can not reach what you are capable of. You are amazing.
This verse says to me, “the sky is the limit.” It says, “Ask anything in my name,” and “Nothing is impossible for me.” But yet, we beg for our health, the health of our families, for provision, for opportunities as if this is our last chance, and I think the Father smiles on us and whispers, “Dream bigger.”
I know that it is His great joy to bless us, the worst Christians in the world, and grant the answers to our requests, but I also know that as a human with the brains and the guts and all the feels, I often doubt that He will do what I ask of Him. I limit His ability to meet my needs by limiting my trust in His perfect plan and provision. But Paul tells us that the Father is able to meet us “infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.”
If that’s not grounds for a party or a simple exhale of relief, I don’t know what is. We can come before the throne of grace with confidence. We have the ear of our Creator and whatever we ask of Him, He is able to accomplish in ways far beyond our wildest dreams. What is your request? How can you beef it up today? Exercise your faith and put God’s limits to the test, and then watch Him be exactly who He says He is.
Stay tuned, Ephesians is fun!