When You Wonder If God Is Able
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.
Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” Some three times, that question is asked in Scripture. But how would you answer it? Today we are faced with a quandary. Either we nod our heads and say, “Yes! God can do anything,” unsure of whether we really believe this, or else we are confronted with empty hands and hearts, wondering why God didn’t step in and reverse some troublesome situations confronting us.
Let’s back up for a moment. A man sitting in prison–or at least under house arrest for preaching the Gospel–known as Paul, the Apostle, wrote to the Ephesians. The theme of his letter was the church, and those of us who comprise that group made up of every race and culture on Earth. He closes one of his prayers saying, “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).
For a moment, let’s look at God through the eyes of Paul. He says first that God is able. Here let’s stop for a moment. The verb is able is incomplete. You have to follow it with something. You say, “My company is able to be competitive,” or “That person is able to make good on his word.” It is always followed by something that qualifies the ability of someone or something to perform or do something.
Paul is stressing the all-sufficiency of God Himself. Unlike ourselves, God isn’t limited or restricted by 1) time, 2) space, and 3) human limitations. That’s why He is God and we are finite. We were born at a specific time, but God is without beginning or ending. You are limited by geography and space but God knows no such limits. And certainly, there is a limit to what any of us can do. We’re only human, but is God limited?
Moses contended that “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” Then he asked, “Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). Isaiah said that God knows no limitations as he wrote, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1).
When Paul stressed God’s sufficiency, he said it is limited by only two things: what you ask for, and what you envision or imagine, and that leaves out about nothing.
Yes, it’s true that the Bible gives us parameters of what to pray for and how God answers but here He says, “Trust me. See if I will not respond on your behalf. Reach out and ask for a large measure, that your joy may be full.”
Making this intensely personal, why don’t you finish Paul’s statement; “God is able to (and finish the sentence, describing your need). Like what? Like saying, “God is able to bring my wayward son back to Himself,” or “God is able to bring healing and help to our marriage,” or “God is able to provide for all my needs according to His riches in glory.” Remember, you are limited only by what you ask Him, in accordance with His will to do, and what you visualize or imagine.
Friend, the more you know of Scripture, the greater will be your faith, and subsequently the more you will see God’s personal intervention in your own life. May I suggest you find a Bible and go to the book of Ephesians 3:20 and notice that this promise has your name attached to it.
As a paraphrase puts it, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20, Message).