Exceeding, Abundantly Beyond

Do we have the same vision of ourselves as God?

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

   - Ephesians 3.20

And I was not a worthy or fit person for what the Lord granted me, his minor servant: that after such calamities and such great burdens, after captivity, after many years, he should bestow on me, in relation to that people, so much that I had never hoped for or thought of in my youth.

   - Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century

I was once asked by a student whether I thought today’s church leaders were working up to the level of their ability. “Is this the best they can do?”

This came in the midst of a discussion in which it was clear the students were disappointed with the Kingdom progress they saw in many of their churches. I answered that I thought most church leaders had good intentions and more than adequate skills. But they were working up to the level of their vision, not their ability.

And that’s a problem for most of us. We just don’t have the same vision of what God can do in and through us as, well, God does.

He says, “exceeding abundantly beyond.” We say, “I’ve never done that before.” He says, “power at work within you.” We say, “Oh I could never do that.” He says “for the glory of Jesus Christ.” We say, “Get someone else, Lord.”

The witness of Scripture is clear enough, but few of us have the kind of vision or faith Patrick did, and so few of us ever achieve anything like his success for the Kingdom. We aren’t working up to the level of our ability, for we have unlimited ability, exceeding abundantly beyond ability, to see the Kingdom of God come in and through us in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit.

It’s not a problem of ability.

But we’re working up the level of our vision, which, alas, is all too often not in sync with God’s vision because it is not based on God’s Word.

So what’s your vision of what God can do in and through you? To what level of Kingdom service will you rise today?

Psalm 115.9-11 (Plainfield: “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus”)
All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to Your Name be glory!
Find in Him their help and shield – ever to Your Name be glory!
O, Israel trust the Lord! He helps us evermore!
Fear Him, obey His Word! – ever to Your Name be glory!

You Who are merciful and mighty, O Lord God! Come and lift me and place me on a wall, and use me for Your glory! Adapte from Patrick, Confession

T. M. Moore, Principal
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[1] Da Paor, p. 98.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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