“Now to Him Who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20 (AMP).
“Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV).
I welcome you to the 8th month of the year of Double Portion. The number 8 represents a new beginning biblically. I decree a new beginning of joy, favor, abundance, breakthrough, and laughter into your life, in the mighty Name of Jesus. The God we serve is a God of new beginnings. “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
After singing and shouting Hallelujah in the month of July, I was not surprised when God said that the fruit that Hallelujah bears is always “Beyond Expectation.” As we delve into discussing this topic, first we will define man’s expectations and God’s expectations.
Man’s Expectation: Call it hope, trust, or confidence, this is the frame of mind needed for us to live the lives we long for. It is the single greatest difference between those who succeed and those who give up. Expectation is the fuel that the human heart runs on, without which the human spirit becomes paralyzed. Expectation not only motivates positive action, but it also has healing powers.
In a scientific study, 122 men who had suffered their first heart attack were evaluated on their degree of Expectation/Hopefulness and Pessimism. The findings of the study were indicative of the value of expectation. Of the 25 most pessimistic men, 21 had died eight years later, whereas, of the 25 most optimistic, only 6 had died. Loss of expectation increased the odds of death by more than 300 percent!
God’s Expectation: Our focus text, Ephesians 3:20, talks about God being able to do “beyond expectation.” In other words, He is able to go “above and beyond” our expectations. According to the dictionary, Above implies higher in rank, authority, or power; To be in heaven on earth, to be overhead or upstairs. Beyond also implies being superior, surpassing, incomprehensible, etc. I think God is up to something for His obedient children in this month of new beginnings. You will not miss out on this outpouring of the bounty from heaven this month, in Jesus’ Name!
In Ephesians 3, we read about the mysteries of the church being of the same body and joint partakers of God’s promise in Christ, who redeemed us. Paul ends his explanations, revelations, and prayers with a doxology (praise and worship) in Ephesians 6. He was desperate for you and me to know something about God that was previously unknown to us. As such, Paul describes the character of God in his opening phrase of Ephesians 3:20 saying, “Now, to Him Who is able to do….”
This opening phrase introduces us to two characteristics of God: His “now-ness” and His “able-ness.”
- The “Now-ness” of God: God is always NOW! He asked Moses, “This shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14). He is the same yesterday, today. and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is always standing ready to perform His character and goodness. He is never depleted of His ability to perform. We are talking about the LORD God Almighty, the LORD Mighty in Battle, El-Shaddai. The God Who is above all gods, the LORD of all lords, and King of all kings. He cannot be challenged. Expect more from Him this month.
- The “Able-ness”of God: He is willing and able to do what you request of Him, not simply think, or talk about it. God has inherent power (Dunamis) in Himself to do what He wants, when He wants, how He wants, and for as long as He wants (Psalm 62:11). He needs no permission from anyone to bless you, nor does He need to check with anyone before downloading His grace upon your life. In fact, He is able- to answer the prayers of all 8.05 billion people on Earth at the same time effectively and efficiently. God’s intent is to grant your request, and He has inexhaustible power, grace, and mercy to do so. He is able- to perform, complete, finish, uphold, and defend what He has promised.
The good news is that any expectation based on the promises of the Almighty God to you shall come to pass, provided you remain steadfast in following and obeying Him.
That Hidden Attitude (Serve Above and Beyond):
There is a hidden attitude found in the Scriptures that I noticed in several biblical accounts. This attitude impresses God: it moves God as our faith moves Him. It brings God to the edge of His seat when He sees His children behave in this way:
- Rebekah, the wife of Abraham’s son Isaac, lived a beautiful life of service. She would have never dreamed how her serving heart would open the greatest doors of her life, but she discovered that serving opens doors of destiny (Genesis 24:18-20). When the heart is willing, service is impelled not compelled, agreeable not disagreeable, executing rather than excusing. She did the job well and finished what she started. Her service was not convenient; therefore, she was blessed above and beyond! She became the ancestor of our LORD Jesus Christ.
- Solomon went above and beyond in his offering to God (2 Chronicles 1:6). In turn, God gave him wisdom, knowledge, riches, wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings who were before him had ever had, nor would any who came after him ever have (2 Chronicles 1:12).
- Peter yielded his ship to Jesus in Luke 5:1-7. Jesus did not need a mortal’s ship. The great God did not need to ask a man for his ship! It would have been a unique opportunity for God to display His greatness if He had stood mid-air above the waters to preach the mysteries of God. Since He did not do that, the question you need to ask yourself this month is: (i) Do I have a ship the LORD might need this month? (ii) Could that partnership be the key to ending the reproach of a protracted night in my life?
- By reading the text, you would have noted that Peter did this extraordinary service and received the above and beyond the blessing of a ship-sinking, net-breaking breakthrough (Luke 5:6-7).
- I pray for you this month that your many past pains will not kill your sensitivity to the pain of others who are still where you used to be, in Jesus’ Name.
Listen, “Nothing goes for nothing” – no service, no blessing! I dare you this month to go above and beyond in your service, offering, prayers, worship, and obedience and see what the “Now” and “Able” God will do for you and yours.
Why Does God Go ‘Above & Beyond’ Our Expectations? (Acts 3:1-12)
- That His Name alone might be glorified (verse 8).
- To make people realize that spiritual blessings far exceed the physical blessing of being given handouts, such as silver and gold (verse 6).
- He wants people to see you praising Him out of your own free volition – not being coached or coerced into acting.
- That all may know that this God can make His people a wonder and an amazement within 24 hours (verses 10-11).
- So, there is no doubt that it is all about Him (verse 12).
You must set yourself apart in holiness if you want to experience blessings that will exceed your expectations. “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.” Deuteronomy 28:1 (NKJV)
The “Now” and “Able” God is knocking on the door of your heart. Simply say yes, and He will save you. He will transform your life and make you Christlike. Then, you will begin to enjoy God’s expectations for your life and destiny.
- I praise You, O LORD. You are Jehovah-Jireh (The Great Provider). You are El-Shaddai (the All-Sufficient God). The Greatest, the “Now” God. The only One who has the ability to perform, complete, finish, uphold, and defend what He has promised. Receive my worship and praise, O LORD.
- Father, forgive me all my sins and clothe me with Your new raiment, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, I receive the attitude of service this month to go above and beyond in my prayer life, worship life, giving, assistance to others, service to God, etc. like Rebekah, Solomon, and Peter, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, I know there is good in the land. As from today, let the earth yield unto me its finest products, in Jesus’ Name. I will no longer eat the leftovers of the heathen, in Jesus’ Name!
- Father, fill my cup with Your abundance. Let my cup run over, in Jesus’ Name.
- SING: I give myself away, I give myself away, so You can use me/2ce. Here I am, Here I stand, LORD, my life is in Your hands, LORD, I’m longing to see, Your desires revealed in me (by William McDowell).