The best application that I know how to make of this sublime message of God is the following passage from Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians: “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, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
1. It tells us that He is able “exceeding abundantly.” He is the God of boundless resources. The resurrection and ascension of Christ is forever the pattern of what we may expect Him to do for us.
2. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking our ideas are too low, our prayers are too small, our expectations are too limited—“above all that we ask or think.” He is trying to lift us up to a higher conception and lure us on to a mightier expectation and appropriation. How dare we put Him in derision!
3. There is but one measure here given for His blessing, and that is “according to the power that worketh in us.” God will do for us just as much as we will let Him work in us. His temporal provisions will be according to our spiritual experience. As much as we know Him in our hearts we may know Him in our lives and circumstances. As much as He works in us He will work for us. As much as He prays in us He will make real in His glorious answering providences.
4. The sphere of His mighty working is “in the church.” It is through His work, His word, the building up of His kingdom, that we are to experience the glorious riches of His power. He will not give it to us for selfish or worldly needs, but He will use it for the building up of His church and the bringing in of His kingdom. He is head over all things for His body, the church. All that He is and all that He has over yonder is for the completion of the church, the preparation of the bride and the evangelization of the world. There is no limit to what we may ask and expect of our glorious El Shaddai.
5. But to Him must be the glory “by Christ Jesus.” All this must be in the spirit of self-abasement, and Christ alone must be exalted. The way to glorify Him is to take much from Him and let Him do much for us.
6. Then the final phrase in this sublime passage—“throughout all ages, world without end.” Literally, it means through all the generations of the age of ages. We are living in one of those generations. God give us grace to be full of faith in our generation, for He wants to work through us as He has never worked before. May we understand the sublime significance of this final dispensation, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:7) to our generation as a shining exhibition of the power and glory of our King, and that through it and through us He may yet make known “unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places… the manifold wisdom of God.” (Ephesians 3:10)