God can do anything! Now that is a message that I like to hear. When I am struggling or in need, I have found great comfort and confidence in those simple words. They are true. God can do anything. Paul reminds the Ephesian church of this good news. He says,
God can do anything, you know– far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. – Ephesians 3:20 (Message)
It is interesting to me, however, what Paul says just a few verses later at the beginning of chapter 4. He says,
1 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk– better yet, run!– on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. 2 And mark that you do this with humility and discipline– not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, 3 alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. – Ephesians 4:1-3
God can do anything, but it also appears that God wants to do significant things both in us and through us in an on going way… not just in those moments when we call out to God when we have reached our wits end. Paul challenges those to whom he is writing to stop sitting on their hands and follow Jesus. Instead of just wandering around in every which way, Paul implores them to stay true and develop disciplines that lead to a consistent expression of life where the presence of God who can do anything is known in and through the way they love each other. That is a big long sentence, but these are good words for us too. There are definitely some areas in my life where I need our God who can do anything to do something. There are some pretty significant things like selling our house in North Carolina and the thought of being a part from from my family for an extended period of time where I need God to be big. If I’m being honest, there are times when these and other things weigh heavy on me. In fact, there are times when the weight of it all gets the best of me and my confidence and faith wanes. That being said, for some time now I have been committed to a regular discipline of reading scripture, prayer and daily looking for opportunities to express God love to others through simple acts kindness. What I find is that through these disciplines I am consistently drawn back into faith and trust and confidence in who God is and what God wants to, can do, and will do in my life.
My point isn’t to just write a simple prescription or formula. My point is to encourage us to not sit idly or rely on a random hope. God (who can do anything) never stops being with us. Are there disciplines that you might put in to practice that would help you become more consistently aware of God with you?