By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
Paul closes the prayer and the initial section of the book with a doxology in which he first describes the One to whom he attributes praise. Paul uses seven different words that relate to power in the first three chapters of Ephesians. He uses them a total of sixteen times. Thirteen of these relate specifically to the power of God. The final three times occur in this verse (is able, power, works.) This is the power that is effectively at work in us. This is the power that enables us to love Him and to love one another.
The force of this doxology clearly looks to the One who possesses all power as it ascribes praise to Him. There is nothing that is beyond the capability of the One to whom Paul ascribes this power. The word translated exceeding abundantly beyond is “the highest form of comparison imaginable and might also be translated as exceedingly, infinitely or very in excess of.” So, how much power does God possess? Whatever we might ask, whatever thoughts we might think, whatever we might imagine; the extent of the power of God far exceeds them all. The power and ability of God infinitely surpasses everything that we could ever verbalize in prayer; it extends beyond our wildest imagination. He is the One who spoke creation into existence. He is never overwhelmed with our requests.
But wait a minute, God is in no way selfish in His use of this unfathomable power. This power is continually working in us at all times as the tense of the word works indicates. We might paraphrase this phrase as the exceedingly abundant power possessed only by God is constantly energizing us in the deepest recesses of our inner being. Don’t forget the power of love exhibited in the death of Christ on the cross. The power of love invigorates our ability to express God’s love to one another. This power is always at work within me.
But wait another minute as we might say, “If God is so powerful, why am I suffering through all this stuff?” I have two thoughts. (1) God has already done more in my life than I can possibly imagine. My understanding of eternal life is beyond my complete comprehension. I also lack understanding of all that He is accomplishing in my life right now. (2) There is an element of faith at work here as well. I received eternal life through faith even though I cannot comprehend all that it means. I walk now by faith. I know that His power is energizing me right now because He has told me so and I believe Him. I do not see all of His power but He shows me glimpses of it each day. I am saved by faith and I live by faith in the unlimited power of the One who has graced me with His love. This is unimaginable. The Creator of the universe not only desires fellowship with me, He enables this fellowship through the constant working of His power within me.