Summary: The church faces many difficulties and obstacles while serving the Lord. While these are unavoidable, we do not have to allow them to defeat us. We must maintain our focus on the Lord and follow the vision He has provided.
A Vision of Purpose
Ephesians 3: 20-21
The church at Ephesus was dear to Paul. His ministry among them spanned three years. The church there began with just twelve believers (Acts 19:7), but through faithful effort they experienced amazing growth. Knowing the success in Ephesus, Paul desired them to remain focused on the Lord, while maintaining their priorities.
Our text today remains relevant for believers in every generation. Regardless of where we are in our journey with the Lord, we too must keep our focus on the Lord. It is easy to allow various circumstances hinder our labor for the Lord. These hindrances may result from struggles, adversity, or even perceived success in ministry. Regardless of where we are, and what we are currently facing, we must maintain our vision as we strive to follow the Lord.
I want to examine the details of these familiar statements as we consider: A Vision of Purpose.
I. The Source of our Vision (20) – Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. In case there was any doubt, Paul again reminded them of their dependence upon the Lord. He alone was their source of strength and wisdom. He had provided for their redemption as He died upon the cross; He rose triumphant from the grave for their justification and eternal life. The blessings they enjoyed had come from the Lord. If they were to remain vibrant in ministry, they must continue to rely on the Lord, being fully submitted to His will for their lives.
We too must be aware of our dependence upon the Lord. He alone provides the resources we need to continue in the work we are currently engaged. Were it not for the Lord’s strength and provision, we would have nothing to boast in. He is the source of our salvation, our hope for the future, and the strength of our days. Every blessing we enjoy comes from His gracious hand. Every victory we have experienced is the result of His grace and favor. The growth we have experienced at Fellowship is not the result of our wisdom or effort, but the result of the guidance and provision of our Lord and Savior. Were it not for Christ, we would remain desperately hopeless, without direction. We must never forget the source of our vision! Rom.11:36 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Col.1:16-17 – For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
II. The Strength in our Vision (20) – Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Paul well understood the limitations of men. Although the desire may be there to accomplish certain tasks, the ability to perform it was lacking. These bodies of flesh lack the strength and wisdom to accomplish that which is needful. Many of the believers desired to see great things among the church, but they were unable to accomplish their desires within themselves. Paul encouraged the church to recognize that they were not responsible to provide for and sustain the church alone. Where they were weak and lacking, the Lord was strong and able.
This offers great comfort and assurance to me. I have a burden for our church to grow and become the light upon a hill the Lord desires us to be. I realize that if we are dependent on my efforts, or even those of this congregation, we would never reach our potential. Thankfully the church does not rise and fall on our ability. I am not trusting in the strength or wisdom of myself or others. I am resting in the supernatural ability of our Lord. If the Lord is in it, He will perform it. Matt.16:18 – And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Rom.4:21 – And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Phil.1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
III. The Sufficiency of our Vision (20) – Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. The church in Ephesus faced many challenges. No doubt many of them desired greater things for the Lord. There were countless needs that were impossible with man. They could not change men’s hearts, deliver from sin, heal broken lives, or offer unquestionable wisdom. The challenges they faced were daunting, and doubt and despair were certain if they depended solely upon their abilities. Paul encouraged them to rest in the sufficiency of Christ. He was able to accomplish more than they could possibly dream. The Lord was not lacking in any area, and He would provide. With Christ at the helm, nothing would be impossible.