By Alex Anderson, Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church
Time for a bible lesson…I promise it will not be boring.
This is how I understand Ephesians 3:20 after I have studied it in the Interlinear Bible.
“To the one who has power over all things and constructs, beyond our present situation, that we ask or think through the physical power that is active in us…”
And this is how it reads in the New American Standard version of the bible.
“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…” Ephesians 3:20
Not bad huh? I’d even say very encouraging. Think about what the verse is saying. The one who has power over all things (that would be God), constructs or makes for us the things we ask for (this is called prayer) or think about (another form of prayer).
Not only do the things we ask for or think about get “built”, they get built bigger than they currently are (beyond our present situation).
I also think it is very interesting that it doesn’t say that these things are good or bad; it just says they get bigger than they currently are.
That bothers me. Does it bother you?
What if what I’m asking or thinking is not what I really want? Does it get bigger too? Maybe this is what happens to those of us who don’t stop to think about what we “say and think.”
Things like, “No matter how hard I work I just seem to get farther and farther behind,” or “I always get sick about this time of year.”
I know there could be a lot of natural causes behind both of these situations, but what about the person who just seems to be lucky all the time. I do believe that 99% of the time, the harder we work the luckier we get. But what about that unexplainable 1% of those who seem to never have any good fortune?
Life or Death?
I believe that God is a spirit (John 4:24), indwells Christ-followers (1 Corinthians 6:19), and is standing by to take our prayers, dreams and imaginations to another level. That’s what I believe Ephesians 3:20 is saying to us.
I don’t believe that God takes our negative words, thoughts and imaginations and amplifies them so they hurt us. Satan will do that (John 10:10).
So it all boils down to which stream we play in. The river of life or the river of death, and that seems to be about our words and thoughts (Proverbs 18:21).
The title of this lesson is “Super-size Mine, Please.” My way of saying, “Immeasurably more.” What do you want immeasurably more of? Would that be what you are currently living? If so, is there a connection to your words, thoughts and imagination?
What if you wrote “My Negative Word Count” on one side of a 3×5 card and on the other side, “My Positive Word Count.” Now here’s the fun part…for one day, you get to define what a negative or positive word is based on if you feel good when you say the word. Then start counting by writing those words on the appropriate side of the card.
At the end of your twenty-four hours, read over both sides of the card and see how you feel. If you feel great, then you probably have more positive words than negative ones. If you feel rotten, well, then you can count the words and see what happened.
It’s just a thought, but if you want to have a better day the next day, add more positive words to your spoken diet…on purpose.
I know this takes a little intentional effort, but it works. As a matter of fact, it will work “immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine,” because, well, that’s the way it works; through what you ask and imagine.
The secret seems to be the realization that when we are “self-talking,” we are also asking. And we picked our self-talk up as children. We got it from those big people in our lives. We pick up things like “Don’t you know money doesn’t grow on trees?” And as silly as that sounds, it can stick to our soul and when we grow up, cause us to have a “poverty” mentality.
Now before you go throwing those big people under the bus, consider that they aren’t around now making you think, imagine or say that stuff. So you can quit any time you want. Just saying.
I do have a novel idea about what to do about that. What if you take control over the self-talk they gave you and create your own? Don’t you think that’s a great idea? Me too!
As matter of a fact I did it myself. Yes sir…in my twenties, I decided to create my own self-talk. I started using life-giving scriptures and quotes from famous and successful people I admired.
It changed my whole life…even my bank account went up.
So if you would like “immeasurably more” in your life of some of the better things in your life as opposed to more of the same, change your thoughts and words on purpose. There is a living power inside you that’s listening and wants to help.