Beyond what we can ask or thinkBro. Ron Rupé
3/6/2005 6:00 PM
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 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 uses lots of superlatives when trying to describe what God can do. God can do above all that we can think. We tend to ask for what we can think of. God’s ability is above what we can grasp. Sometimes we limit our faith and our prayers to what we perceive as being possible. God is not restrained by what we can take in. What’s impossible to us is not a boundary to God.
And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Jesus didn’t limit his answer to salvation. The things we consider impossible are possible with God. There is a limit to what we can grasp, which limits our faith, but God is able to do more.
There are some thoughts that are limiting thoughts. And there are some miracles that exceed what we can take in.
There is no "window of opportunity" with God.
John 11:14-22, 32-44
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
There is no window of opportunity when it comes to receiving from God. Mary and Martha seemed to think that healing was restrained to a frame in time. They felt that they had missed their miracle. What is your Lazarus and how do you feel about it? God is able to do above all that we think. There is no "window of opportunity" with God. He can work a miracle now. You haven’t missed the opportunity.
There is no expiration date on God’s promises.
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
This man had a need for a very long time. How long have you had your trouble? This man had his for 38 years. It appears that this man had at one time been well. If you have had a trouble for a long time, it would be easy to think that the promise has expired for you. Neither God’s power nor his promise is limited by the passing of time.
God isn’t limited to giving relief. He can also restore.
And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
Think about what it would be to be blind. This man could have been satisfied with the first touch. He could have been happy just to see. God can give us relief in the trial, and we’re thankful for that. Sometimes relief is all that we can take in. While we may be thinking relief, God may be wanting to restore.
And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
God made these perfectly whole!
God isn’t limited to just restoring. He can create.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
This is a special case. This man never was well. He was born with this condition. We may have thought that since he’d never seen, there was nothing Jesus could do for him. God is able to create. In this man’s case, God created sight that wasn’t there before. God is able to do more than what I can take in or grasp.
God isn’t a specialist
And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
When it comes to doctors, they specialize in certain areas. If you don’t have the right need, they’ll either turn you away or refer you to someone else. Jesus said that he wouldn’t turn anyone away. Sometimes we treat him as though he were a specialist, and only bring certain needs to him. This is because we can’t grasp that he can handle other areas. God specializes in EVERYTHING.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
The miracles weren’t limited to Christ’s day. He hasn’t changed, even though many other things seem to have changed. He can still do more than we can ask or think. Trust him for whatever you need.