In light of God being our sufficiency for the development of godly characteristics, this benedictory prayer in Ephesians 3 becomes an appropriate and instructive response.
It begins with the most critical issue for living the Christian life: the ability of God: “Now to Him who is able.” Natural religious thinking would consider the ability of man as the most vital matter in developing a godly life. Such an approach would leave us striving vainly under the law, attempting to live up to God’s perfect standards by our own inadequate resources. Praise be to God, there is a heavenly, effective option: relying upon God’s ability.
Think of the immeasurable ability of the Lord. “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You” (Jer 32:17). He created the entire universe. Certainly, by His power He is able to strengthen us. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? ” (Jer 32:27). Our Lord rules over all of humanity. Surely, He is able to manage our lives. Actually, our God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Everything we could ask concerning His will, He is able to do far beyond that. Whatever we might contemplate but hesitate to ask, He is able to surpass that.
The most amazing aspect of God exercising His ability on our behalf is that He unleashes His power within our lives: “according to the power that works in us.” This is exactly how the Lord wants to develop godliness in our lives. He Himself desires to work by the power of His grace deep within our hearts. “For it is good that the heart be established by grace” (Heb 13:9).
Again, the Christian life is not affected from the outside in, hoping to modify our behavior by external religious pressures. Rather, it involves a true change of character within, affected by God Himself. This is how God is ultimately glorified in the lives of His people: “to Him be glory in the church.” He works a genuine transformation of life in and through us. Then, we give Him the glory for His exceedingly abundant ability.
Lord God of exceeding abundance, I worship You as the one who is able to do all things well. Forgive me for repeatedly turning to my ability. Lord, as I seek You in Your word, build my faith. Unleash the powerful life of Your Son within my heart, making me what You want me to be, through Christ I pray, Amen.
Today’s devotional is from “Day By Day Grace” by Bob Hoekstra