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Exceeding Abundantly Above All That We Ask
(October 2, 2000)

      By Fern Horst

"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 3:20-20)

Have you ever asked God for something, and then wondered if He would ever give it? What happens when you keep on praying, and find that prayer still unanswered? Does this doxology ring a little hollow in such cases?

Note that this verse does not say, "Now unto him that is able to do exactly what we ask or think". No, it says *above* all that we ask or think! We serve a God who is waiting and willing to do far more for us and through us than we could ever comprehend.

Sometimes our desires are rather small. We tend to desire and ask for specific earthly things which we think will bring us fulfillment and blessing, rather than allowing God to choose the avenues for His blessing and — far more — that which will further His Kingdom through us. As we submit to what He has to give us, His power is free to work in us, and to do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think". Many times He does not give us the particular avenue to His blessing which we have asked for, but if we are willing, He gives us a different avenue which brings far more blessing than we ever thought to ask for.

I had lunch today with a lovely 90-year-old lady who is a living testimony of these verses. Through years of faithful service to the Lord she has touched many, many lives, including my own. She admits that some of her normal human desires were not met, but that what God has given her has far exceeded those human desires. She begins the foreword of her book, written a year ago, with these words:

"Except for the grace of God, I could have lived a life of sin. My heart has all the capabilities of sin that anyone else's has, but that grace was and is sufficient to forgive and cover all shame and regrets. His grace has brought me a life of abounding joy and satisfaction. When I lie down at night, there is a singing in my heart and at times during the day when I have time to reflect, there are such surgings of joy that I can only praise Him.

"True, I didn't have a husband or children, but the Lord gave infinitely more than enough to compensate and I could not ask for more than He has given me. Not that I despise those things. I am human, and, I believe, a normal woman, but spiritual joys far surpass temporal ones."1

1Dora Taylor, As He Leads is Joy (Morgantown, Pa.: MecPublishing, 1999).

© 2000 Purposeful Singleness
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