Have you ever contemplated the idea of infinity? Maybe you looked up at the stars, or stared out over the ocean. Perhaps you have tried to comprehend the idea of eternity, or numbers that go on forever. (I suppose that you might have also checked the count of messages in my Inbox!)
Personally, I used to hang upside down from the swingset and wonder what would happen if I fell up into the sky. Conveniently, gravity didn’t reverse during my childhood.
I think that it is a good idea, from time to time, to ponder things that are bigger than we are. When we are limited to our own selves, we’ll get stuck on problems, and miss out on opportunities that are bigger than those we regularly think about.
Consider these well-known verses from the book of Ephesians:
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT
These verses are a good reminder that God has the power to achieve great things (through us, no less!). This is more than just a “cat poster”, though, it is a reality that countless events have demonstrated, as the results of God working through His followers exceeded the bounds of time, space, physics, and probability. The results were greater than any mere human being (or even a group of us) could achieve.
In addition, I also wonder if there might be an opportunity for us, here. The passage seems to mainly be focused on glorifying God. However, letting Him work through us (and, in fact, asking Him to do so) provides even more opportunities to give Him the glory, and to point people to Him. We might think that we’re pretty smart, and that we have things figured out (especially about how God should intervene, in order to develop His Kingdom here on earth), but our very best plans, programs, and priorities are just a shadow of what God could do when we don’t constrain His work through us.
Here’s the challenge: What if our prayers were for God to do “infinitely more” through us, our families, individual congregations, and the Body of Christ around the world? What if we prayed that God would not just meet our requests (even those that could only be accomplished by Him), but that He would go ahead and apply His infinite wisdom and power through us?
Are you willing to pray like that, today? I’m not a big fan of prescribing rote prayers, but could you ask God to do things that you haven’t even thought of yet, for the good of His Kingdom?
I’d tell you to imagine what God might do with a willing community of His followers who asked Him to work through them, but this verse shows us that, even if you can imagine something awesome and incredible, God can still do far more than that!
This isn’t a prayer to be prayed reluctantly or hesitatingly, though. If we ask God to work through us, we should be ready to take action when He calls us to do so. We must be prepared to speak or act when the Holy Spirit directs us, which means we must be listening for His instructions. By praying this prayer (or just choosing to follow Jesus), we also have an obligation to keep our eye out for God to take action, and to be ready to give Him the glory (especially if that was what we prayed for in the first place).
Praying for God to do His will in our lives, and to accomplish things we can’t even imagine, is an invitation for things to be turned upside down. If we let God act in our lives according to His will (rather than our own), our lives may not look like they were before. In fact, our path might not go where we expected. But, isn’t that a small price to pay for being part of something unbelievable?
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.