Summary: God promises to move in ways greater than our imagination. What a promise!
Ephesians 3:14-21 “Beyond Imagination”
Julies Verne, a famous writer in the late nineteenth century was known for his science fiction and his ability to envision things beyond imagination. In a world before flight, Verne wrote of space travel and a trip to the moon. Ships were just converting from sail to steam, but Verne wrote of a submarine that was powered by a strange force—he foretold nuclear power. The people of Julies Verne’s day did not believe that any of the things he wrote about would ever happen, because they were beyond imagination.
Paul is a Christian, Theological Julies Verne in the book of Ephesians. He writes of things beyond imagination. He’s not like the writer of Revelation who writes of spiritual warfare, seven headed dragons, and global destruction. Paul writes about the cause for amazing examples of faith under fire, world changing prayer, and creative love.
What Paul envisions in his letter to the Ephesians is not your everyday religion.
American society is made up of people who want to be rejuvenated. We pay billions of dollars for weight control programs, botox injections, personal trainers and fitness machines, and clothes cut in the latest style and made with the most fashionable fabric. We are into looks—outward looks.
The transformation that takes place in a Christian’s life goes beyond surface changes and looks. Christians are changed inwardly.
The first thing that Paul prays about and imagines for the Christians at Ephesus is that they will have the inner strength of the Holy Spirit. Paul is envisioning the inner strength of an oak tree that enables it to withstand the forces of wind and nature. Perhaps Paul is even imagining the structural core of a skyscraper that enables it to stand straight and tall even during earthquakes. Through the Holy Spirit, Christians have a core strength that can withstand and overcome all of the opposing forces that Christians might encounter.
Paul envisions Jesus Christ in the heart of the believer. God no longer dwells on the fringes of the universe. God has pitched his tent in the hearts and lives of every Christian. God is present in the center of the individual at the seat of the individual’s will. God is present—guiding, instructing, comforting.
Paul understands that the Christian life is deeply rooted in love. The picture he paints is that of a tree whose roots go deep in the good soil of God’s love. From that soil they provide strength and security, and also the energy and ability to love and produce the fruits of the Spirit.
Paul always had trouble fully comprehending God’s love. He identified himself as the chief of sinners and couldn’t understand why God would love him and so dramatically invite Paul into the family of God.
Each and every one of us have experienced the unimaginable love of God in our lives.
· God loved us when we were still God’s enemies.
· God loves us when we like Judas betray him, or like Peter, deny him.
· God loves and forgives us before we even ask.
· God accepts us for who we are, and where we are at. Neither of those are qualifications for God’s love.
God’s love fills us with the fullness of life, and enables us to experience the abundant life in a manner that is truly beyond our expectations.
Paul envisions that there will be surprises in store for his Ephesian readers—and also for all the Christians who read his letter.
God’s abundance is beyond imagination. God will pour out God’s blessings in our lives in overflowing proportions. If we ever harbored the idea of keeping God’s blessings for ourselves, we would discover that we couldn’t because they were coming in too fast and furious a manner. This truth enables us to give freely, trusting that we will never run out of blessings.
God will move powerfully in our lives. God will move in a greater manner and more powerfully than we can ever imagine. In the words of a Josh Groban song, “You lift me up to be more than I can be.”
God will move in our lives and in our world in ways that we cannot possible comprehend at this point in our lives. In what ways do you imagine God moving in your lives? Deeper prayer? Greater love? God will do more than you think and imagine God will do.
God will move in our congregation. Many of us imagine great things for our congregation, Desert Streams. God will surprise us with what God will do. We think that we are pushing the envelop on what God will do in and through us, and in truth we haven’t even dented the surface. I must confess that when I begin to ponder the truth of this verse, I get excited. I get pumped. Wow, if I’m impressed with what God is doing now, just think how “bowled over” I’m going to be in the future. It’s going to be a fun ride experiencing God’s power at work in and through us.