Earlier this year, I started studying רוח הקודש (thanks Rabbi B) and I taught a 13 week bible class on it. I also started fasting. Around the time I was doing the study I started praying that God fill me to greatest extent possible in this dispensation with the Holy Spirit.
I was brought up in a church where God and especially the Holy Spirit were taught on in terms of what they do not, can not and will not do. In short, if the Holy Roller, speaking in tongues and swinging from the chandler crowd go for it, God ain't doing it.
This point of view has a great deal of intellectual merit. There are a number of fakers and false faith healers. Still I wondered if there might be something I was missing out on.
I wasn't looking to become one of those "spooky" Christians. I cringe when I hear people say things like, "God gave me a message for you". Oh really? Did He now? How do I know? I've never done it, but I want to ask them if they are familiar with Deut. 18:20.
I'm unhappy to report, that there is nothing spooky going on in my life. No gibbering incoherently, no rolling around on the floor and I'm not laying hands on sick people and having them see or walk or anything. I can't even walk on water. Think how much fishing I would get in if I could. I don't have a boat and being able to walk out to a good spot would be awesome.
What does any of that have to do with Eph. 3:20?
Nothing. It's all background.
I still have
That's where Eph. 3:20 comes in.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine,"Eph. 3:20 can facilitate a crisis of faith. At least with me it can. I can imagine a lot. I'm not above asking God for it either. Not overly spiritual of me, I know. What can I say? Sometimes I get in a good prayer, or at least a good phrase into a prayer. Like when I started praying for God's best for my life. That phrase has some merit to it. Most of the time my prayer life is a to do list for God.
I've gotten a little more spiritual. At least some times.
"God gimme...." I've been known to add an, "If it's your will". See. I'm getting more devout. Every once in a great while I rise up to the exalted heights, the pinnacle of supplication, and say:
"God gimme....", PLUS "If it's your will", PLUS this is the clincher word, "please". I always say, "In Jesus name, Amen", because I'm a good Christian and that's the magic phrase. Oh, I almost forgot, I always promise to at least tithe back. If God gives me a billion bucks, the least I can do is spread around a $100 million to the less fortunate.
How could the Creator of the universe not open the flood gates of heaven when He hears prayers like those?
Forget a new job. With that kind of piety and sure thing praying; Publishers Clearing House, the Lottery and Bill Gates should be showing up to hand over all the cash they can find.
"able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine,"It says "able". Not ready willing and egger to by my personal cosmic ATM. OK, I get that. Yet "exceeding abundantly beyond" is still in there. It's gotta mean something and have some application beyond Sunday school.