According To

5 May
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably 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.  Ephesians 3:20-21
 

First, a little bit of grammar and logic.  Stick it out, I promise it will be short and worth it.

The almost overlooked phrase according to forms a one-way bridge.  Two little words often glossed over between two hefty concepts may seem inconsequential, but they define the relationship between effect and source.  The Book of Ephesians has a bunch of them all pointing to God’s inexhaustible stores of every quality and force we need as His followers.

My favorite one is at the end of Chapter 3, quoted above.  Here’s why.

The first part of the sentence declares that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.  This phrase contains two words (huper and perissos) that mean over and above, beyond superfluous, abundantly surpassing what is necessary… you get the idea.  Megahugemungous ginormous!

That would be enough.  But the sentence goes on: according to his power….  The Greek word used for power is dunamis – the root for the word dynamite.  More big-ness!

And it gets even better: that is at work within usThe gargantuan deeds that God will do according to His explosive power will be… through us!  Fragile clay vessels, useless and powerless on our own, become conduits of unlimited power when He dwells in our hearts.

Why would He do this?  For His glory in the church throughout all generations.

Notice that this is a corporate, not individual, promise.  Paul uses the pronouns we and us, not I and me*.  Imagine local churches, and ultimately, The Church, allowing, embracing, and exercising this power– together, generation after generation.

This is the holy temple of the Lord.

This brings glory to the Father.

This is impossible without unity.**

The last few days I have been trying to understand, deep in my soul, that according to my seemingly inconsequential  attitude for or against unity, God’s colossal power can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine through my church– or not.  Make no mistake, this power and the results are not from me.  I merely have the opportunity to choose or reject them according to my attitude and actions.

What could be so important to me that I would choose disunity?  That I would throw away seeing God do immeasurably more than all I can think or imagine?

Right now?  Nothing.  I suspect, however, that the Holy Spirit will have an opportunity to show me soon.

——————–

Heart check for Sunday

Holy Spirit, reveal attitudes in me that lead to disunity and enable me to choose correctly!

Father, forgive me.  Change my heart and work through me with your explosive power to do exceedingly, superfluously, over and above all I ask or imagine… for your glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  May. It. Be. So.

——————–

*The entire Letter to the Ephesians is written to a body of believers, not an individual.

**Unity is a major theme throughout Ephesians.  See 1:10; 2:11-22; Chapter 4; and 5:21.

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