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
Exceed expectations just as God does.
We are to be imitators of God in love and life. He reached out to love us when we were unlovely, and He goes beyond what people ask or think and so should we. One of the things that should set Christians apart is that they exceed expectations. Because they have a mindset to meet the needs of people rather than be selfishly in pursuit of what they want, Christians can allow the love of God to flow through them to others. When we exceed the expectations of others, they are drawn to us and we enjoy success in relationships and other parts of life. Exceed expectations today. What do the people at work expect from you? Find a way to go beyond their expectations. What does your spouse or family expect from you today? Find a way to go beyond their expectations in some way. What does your community expect from you today? Find a way to go beyond that and show the love of God.
Let’s take a look at how God acts.
now to Him who is able to do: What is amazing is that the Awesome Almighty God who knows all things, has all power, and dwells in unapproachable light would pay attention to us at all. Yet the Bible says that this is true. He not only grants our prayers, but He goes beyond them to exceed our expectations. He does what is best for us, even when we don’t know to ask for it.
He could selfishly pursue His own agenda and plan but, no, He has condescended to work with us and minister to our desperate need. It is like a human listening to the cry of the cockroach and not just sparing it from destruction but instead granting its lifestyle requests. God is so far above us that the analogy of human to cockroach is insufficient, but you can get a feeling for the scale of incredulity that accompanies this statement. God, the almighty, holy, all wise, sovereign of the universe, bends the ear to humans and not just to spare them from the destruction they so rightly deserve but to grant their requests for lifestyle improvement and significance. It is amazing. It is unheard of. It is a powerful testimony to a real love that God has for us His creatures.
far more abundantly beyond: Does not just answer our requests but He goes beyond them to the root of the request and forward in time to the needs that we will have, and he grants those requests. Are you in harmony with Him who knows your future like you know your past? Are you willing to ask God for what you need and accept His answer back knowing that it will be exceedingly, abundantly beyond anything we could ask or think?
we ask or think: Notice that the apostle says that God exceeds what we ask or think. There is some linkage between our asking, thinking, and its answer. It is according to the power of God that works within us, but it must go through us. There is the plan and program of God that operates independently of us. But there is also some aspects of the plan and program of God that interact with us and exceeds our prayer, exceeds our dreams – but only if we dream them.
We must be faithful to dream big dreams and pray big prayers so that God can and will do far more abundantly beyond. The hard thing to realize is that if we do not pray and we do not dream, then those exceeded expectations do not realize in our lives. What are your righteous dreams? What are your positive holy desires? Are they being nursed and affirmed in your head? Are they being stated and prayed regularly so that God can set about the business of exceeding them?
Deliver more than people expect. We live in a day and an age when people expect others to do very little. People’s expectations are low. It is helpful to find out what people expect and then exceed those specific expectations.
according to the power that works within us: God is at work within us to accomplish His will. We must respond to that work or we will not ask or even move in the direction that He can bless. The question that we must ask is whether God will send the out-sized blessing or the radical help if we do not allow Him to be at work within us. How much are you resisting the grace of God? Are you even aware of what he would like you to trust Him for? Is there some big thing that God would like to do through you, but He cannot get you to respond to that direction? God wants to go beyond our asking or thinking, but many of us are unwilling to get on the path that activates that. We keep asking for bigger cars and houses and bank accounts instead of the stuff that God wants to do.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.