Saturday, April 25, 2015

More Than You Can Imagine

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. According to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen!”
Ephesians 3:20-21

Last summer my family hiked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.  (You can read about our adventures starting here).  Many of the cities we traversed had massive, old cathedrals at their centers.  These ornate, burgeoning structures were literally awe-inspiring.  It was not difficult to see what had captured the imaginations of these ancient artisans; on every available edifice you could find paintings of creation, biblical battles, and Mary the mother of Jesus.  And in numerous alcoves along these massive walls stood statues depicting the apostles, the prophets, and Jesus Himself in various scenes.  All one had to do was look upward towards the ceiling to see the entire story of the Bible unfolding before their eyes. It was if the brushstrokes of the painters purposed to draw your eyes heavenward in reverence.  The story of God captivated these devout people of old.  Does it still capture us today?

I don’t think so.

I think, today, that we are wowed by the glitz and the glare and the general glamour of everything that sparkles.  The story of God has been put on the shelf.

But, we get excited about CrossFit.

And March Madness.

And politics. Especially when an election year is approaching.

We are passionate about vaccinations. Or lack of them.

And GMOs.

And homeschooling.

And public schooling.

And grass fed beef.

We consume ourselves with perfect parties for our one year olds.

And social media.

And furniture from IKEA.


Does this seem strange to you?

The Westminster Catechism can assist us with this.  It asks the question, “What is chief end of man? (or in today's language, "What is our purpose?) And to help us, it also answers and tells us, “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

So…if we are supposed to be glorifying God, but yet we are fascinated with everything but God and, in fact, we think that God is outdated, archaic, even distant, then we are neither ENJOYING HIM nor GLORIFYING HIM.

That means we are not fulfilling our purpose.  Do you understand the problem here? The problem is that WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME!

In Romans 1:21, Paul says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Do you see the irony?  This is like us.  We know God.  We don’t glorify him when our minds are occupied with everything but him.  We don’t give thanks to him because we don’t meditate on the grace he has given.

We need to stop.  We just need to STOP.  And we need to look long and lovingly on the majesty of God.  We become what we behold.  I don’t want my thinking to be futile or my heart to be darkened by distraction.  I want to behold the holiness of my Savior. And I want to become like him.

The focal point of our interests has become OURSELVES--selfie anyone?—but we need to focus on the One that actually is God, not on those things that have become our “gods”.  When we place anything in the spot that God should inhabit, that thing is our idol.  God commands we aren’t to have any of those…but I do, don’t you?  Because I get wrapped up in the here and now and forget that it’s only a vapor.  But what I really need to do is look up, like our fathers of old, and remember that the old, old story is not about me.


Friends, please listen.  I plead.  It’s foolish to run after other fulfillment.  God knows what is best for us.  It’s Himself.  And He’s already given everything we need.  Let’s be captivated by his lavish love and caught up in his grace. 

He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.  He’s already done it.  It’s called salvation—when he took our sin and gave us his righteousness—remember? 

Think about it. Let it capture your imagination.

It’s awesome. And mind blowing.

He’s just that kind of God.


Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
Colossians 3:2

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 

Psalm 84:10

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