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Your God Is Too Small

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

My father in-law has Huntington’s disease. It is one of the reasons why he lives with us. Huntington’s can rear it’s ugly head when a person is in their mid 30’s but it didn’t show up in my father in-law until he was 60. The scary part is that it is genetic and it has never skipped a generation which means that my husband could very well have it, as could my kids. I pray regularly that God would take this disease out of our family but I fail at believing that God will do it. This request just seem too big and so I change my prayers sometimes and pray that maybe God could keep it at bay until Joe is 60.  I am guilty of praying and then not believing that God will answer my prayers. It stems from fear; fear that God will do the opposite of what I ask. It also comes from unbelief. I don’t always believe that God is generous. It all comes down to the fact that my view of God is too small.

Paul ends Ephesians 3 with a beautiful doxology, a hymn of praise to God. In it he tell us about the grandeur of God. He gives us a picture of God that is so big it inspires awe, emboldens faith, and grants courage. Here are four things we know to be true about God in Eph. 3:20,21.

God is Able

“Now to him who is able”

How do you know if your God is too small? Let me ask you, does He threaten your comfort zone? If not, then He is probably too small.  Do you view God as a kill-joy? Do you pray but then think that God won’t answer?

There are beautiful passages in the Old testament that tell of all the things God has done, and yet His power surpasses even those things. God’s power is extensive. It reaches into every nook and cranny of the universe (Is. 40). There is nowhere we can go where God’s power is not at work. God sustains the world through the power of His word (Heb.1 ) He forgives sins, restores broken souls, raises the dead, forms babies, wakes you every morning, causes crops to grow, keeps the world spinning and the stars from crashing to earth.

Can you begin to grasp the measureless power of God above everything else? It’s only as we know who God is, what He is like, and what He does that our view of God will be larger than life itself– and correct.

Because God is able, we can rest in his power; his ability to act not only for his glory, but also for our good. And there’s more.

God is Generous

“…. to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think”

I bet many of us believe that God is stingy. We wouldn’t say that out loud, of course, but it creeps into our thoughts and actions. When things are going really well do you feel like it is too good to be true? Are you always waiting for the hammer to fall and for God to “zap” you? Are you afraid to come to God with your requests because you feel like you have asked too often, and so now God is going to cut you off? Do you feel that God will turn you away because you have ignored him for awhile, or have sinned “to much?” All of these thoughts stem from a belief that our God prefers to withhold good things from his children.

But consider the story of Solomon. God told Solomon that he could wish for anything his heart desired. Instead of choosing riches and fame, Solomon chose wisdom. God was so pleased with Solomon’s decision that He not only gave him amazing wisdom and understanding, but also the things that he did not ask for such as riches and glory. (1 Kings 3)

Our God is overwhelmingly, embarrassingly, generous. He wants to bless us (Ps. 115:12-13, Jer. 29:11).

Because God is generous toward all, especially his children, it is impossible to ask for too much. The “Father’s giving exceeds our capacity for asking or even imagining.” (via Sam Storms)

God is Active

“according to the power at work within us”

Some of you might get caught up in the lie that God is so busy with everyone else that He just doesn’t have time for you. It may seem that your prayers are taking forever to be answered and that perhaps God is lallygagging around somewhere. Rest assured that our “able” and “generous” God is also always active, never sleeping (Psalm 121:3), nor running out of energy (Is 40:28). While you sleep, God is on the move.

Do you remember who you are according to Eph 1? You are chosen, redeemed, forgiven, adopted, and immeasurably loved as a child of God. He does not ignore his precious people. In fact, He blesses and cares for us collectively and individually. He wakes us in the morning, He provides everything we need for us to get through the day both physically and spiritually. He protects us from Satan’s arrows (2 Thes 3:3), and is always teaching, comforting, forgiving, guiding, strenghtening, convicting and sometimes disciplining before He causes us to fall asleep at night. Even then He is watching over us (Ps. 121:7).

Because God is ever active, accomplishing His will, answering our prayers in the best ways possible, and, as Paul says, powerfully working in us, we can have confidence that He is with us, in us, and for us in all that we face in life.

God is First

“to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever”

God’s goal in all things is His own glory. God is first for God, and He must be first for us. As the Puritans so beautifully said, our “chief end” (or purpose in life) is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Whether we recognize it or not, He is first, and everything else exists under Him. We must live to reflect and experience His firstness.

It is only as we recognize God as first, and ourselves as second, seeing that everything begins and ends with him, that our view of God can begin to change the way we see life and persevere through our calling, questions, and the chaos in this world.

Looking To Jesus,

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks Jen! I too pray today He removes this disease from your family. God bless you all, sue

  2. Isn’t it funny how we feel like we need to help God out by covering for his decision not to answer our request? I’ve often caught myself giving him an option B, just in case. He’s so much bigger than that!

  3. OH Jen – so powerfully written and convicting! Thank you for this encouraging word today! And I pray with you this morning that God will do a miracle in your family and remove this disease! I love you!
    Courtney

  4. Very powerful words! You are never alone when you’ve got Jesus! Praying for you and your family! God Bless!

  5. You are so right! I love your thoughts today! Our God is not too small! I want to be a better prayer warrior. I will be praying for your family.

  6. Loved this blog post! Read it first this morning then just got a few more minutes to sit down and go back over the scripture. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll be praying for your family.

  7. Oh Jen, what powerful reminders!! I am humbled beyond words at the absolute truth that you cling to as you live in the midst of this terrible disease. What in the world do people do without the hope of Christ? Thank you for serving, for loving, and for obeying Jesus through it all. Praying that God continues to use your family in big ways for His glory!!

  8. Thanks for all your kind words. I hope you all have a great weekend and a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow! – Jen

  9. Jen, I hope you still read these comments. HD has been in my family for generations. My grandfather and his sister are my oldest memory of the disease; then my aunt passed away from it, my uncle has it, my father only has a few weeks left they are estimating. I have been praying for a long time for God to remove this disease from our generation. Now my cousin has it. I have the same fear for me/our children. We were thinking of not even having biological children and just adopting so the disease wouldn’t spread. But God surprised us with 2 beautiful boys and I wouldn’t change a thing..I just wonder what God has in store.

    A couple of years ago I had started a little page on facebook just for family and close friends to stand with us and pray. This is what I posted:

    We can’t just wait for a better drug, wait for test results, wait for this disease to continue multiplying, wait for more families to be destroyed, wait for nothing to happen; we have the GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, the Creator of every good thing, the Savior of the world, available to us so let’s join together and ask Him to still be the Miracle-worker from the New Testament and heal this disease from our generation on! He blesses faithfulness so we must continue praying even when it seems He’s not answering yet.

    Here’s my cry: (won’t you join me and watch God move?!)

    You have said “Call on Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3) so I am calling on You and I am boldly asking You to show me great things which we have never seen before. Oh God, what an opportunity to show the world (scientists, doctors, families) who You are. Your glory would spread beyond our churches and into a place where many souls could be reached and lives changed for eternity! You are able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine so Father I humbly ask You to be BIG and show us more of Yourself. I am on my knees, placing myself at Your feet and saying “Lord, if You are willing, You can” (Luke 5:12) and are able to stop this disease before our generation–all for YOUR glory!!

    We praise you Jesus! Amen.

  10. AH – I am sorry that Huntington’s also runs in your family. You are right, we need to be constantly in prayer asking God to heal and we need to believe that he will do it. We need to be bold in our asking! I will be praying for you. – Jen

  11. This is such a powerful post for Ephesians 3:20 – 21. I loved how personal your connection to these verses are. It helps me understand how awesome and amazing our God is and we should never forget. Your story has really touched my heart and I will be praying for you & your family.

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