“Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
When driving on the streets or highways, we frequently see speed limit signs along the way. The number on the sign informs us what the maximum speed our vehicles are to legally travel until we reach another sign indicating a different speed limit, higher or lower. Most definitions of the word limit expresses a point or level beyond which something is not to extend or pass.
The key word in the definitions and descriptions of limit is the word beyond. This may be reference to a boundary that ceases to be possible, a measure, which cannot be exceeded, an amount that cannot be calculated, or as understood in a speed limit sign, a maximum amount allowed.
The end of Chapter 3 (verses 20-21) in the Book of Ephesians is anchored in Apostle Paul’s explanation of the salvation accomplished and the privileges afforded us through the death of Christ (2:11-18) and what was birthed or created out of God’s wisdom regarding the Gentiles in the mystery of Christ (3:1-13); then followed by his prayer for the Ephesians church (3:14-19).
A thesis from Paul’s theological thoughts in this passage is everything about God is beyond us, including our expectation and thought. He specifically highlights that there is no limit in God’s capability and capacity.
He establishes as fact what God wants us to know. God wants us to know him as the God who is capable to do, although his capability is beyond our comprehension. Sometimes we may humanly wonder can something be done. With the help of God it can because with God all things are possible. God is so able to do all that we ask, think or imagine. God’s ability to do is unlimited. The reason why is because God is the Lord who is strong and mighty (Psalm 24:8); power belongs to him (Psalm 62:11). He is of great power; one abundant in strength (Psalm 147:5).
Paul also establishes that God’s capacity, or extent, for doing far exceeds our capacity for asking or imagining. In other words, God’s capacity is not limited to our thinking capacity. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts … and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT).
To what extent then is God able to do? Paul encourages us that God is able to do exceedingly, or more than, abundantly, or much more than, above all! God is able to do immeasurably far more or beyond all we have the capacity to ask or think for he is the God of super abundance.
Because of God’s capability, he is able to do all. Because of God’s capacity, he is able to do above all.
From a practical standpoint, how should the reality that God can do above all impact our lives? Should our prayer life change as we become more confident in God’s unlimited ability? Ephesians 3:20 possibly suggests that our thinking should affect our praying.
If God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, why not believe the Lord for more? To experience God’s unlimited power, take the limits off your prayers. Take a little time to think before you pray.
Rev. Johnson A. Beaven III is pastor of Citadel of Faith Church of God in Christ. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jbeaven.