Ephesians 3:20 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, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)
The Christian life, if we consider it in the whole, is one of extreme, over-the-top, working of the living and true God. We get glimpses of it from time to time, or perhaps, it is more that it happens all the time around us, and we’re just aware now and then of how splendiferous it all is. That we are made aware of these things on occasion is God’s encouraging of us in our walk. If we were aware of the ten thousands upon ten thousands of wondrous things happening right now around us we might grow too accustomed to them, and then, it all grow humdrum for us.
There was a Scottish farmer named Fleming who lived in Lochfield, a farm outside Darval in Ayrshire in the 1890s. One day he heard cries for help coming from a bog. When he ran across he saw a small boy sinking into it. He prayed, lay down and reached out snaking across the surface until he managed to catch the boy’s hand and save the boy from a horrible death. The next day the boy’s father called at the croft. He had a title and he owned much land and wanted to give the farmer a reward, but he refused to take a penny. Then the man noticed the farmer’s son. “Is that your boy?” he asked him. “Yes,” the farmer said (he was in fact the third of his ten children). “I insist on paying for his education – an education as good as my son’s.” Alexander was in fact seven years younger than the boy who had been rescued. He was as good as his word and young Alexander Fleming went to grammar school and then to St Mary’s Medical School in London. He became a specialist, a brilliant medical scientist, a bacteriologist, and in 1928 he discovered Penicillin. What an extraordinary response to rescuing a boy from a bog, but the story does not end there. The man who paid for his education was in fact Lord Randolph Churchill, and one day in the 1930s, Winston Churchill, his son (who had been saved as a boy by the father of Alexander Fleming) was saved again as a man by doses of Penicillin when he contracted pneumonia. Sometimes we look at an example like that and know that God is opening a window into the ways he is working and saving us; “This is how I do things and I’ll show you that this is so just once in a while to encourage you.” The answers to our prayers are never according to how much and with what earnestness we’ve prayed, but much more. That Scottish farmer Fleming as he asked God to help him rescue the boy never prayed, “And if I can save him cause this boy’s father to pay for the education of my son, and let my son discover Penicillin.” The answer is always more than our praying.
The resurrection power that brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead is the same power at work in us who believe. It is given to us by God, to every one of us in Christ. Do you see why it’s so important that you praise God for that power? Because it is so hard to believe sometimes that that power is really at work in me and in you. We look at ourselves and say ‘Come on, Paul. Look at me. I’m struggling with sins that I was struggling with twenty years ago. I’m not as loving to the flock as I ought to be. We’re not as caring for one another as we ought to be. The church is a mess, Paul! What do you mean, the power of the resurrection is at work in us?’ And the Apostle Paul says ‘Yes, it is. It is the very power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God the Father Almighty that is already at work in you.’ It is truly exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever hope or ask. Even if that power is imperceptible to you sometimes, do not doubt that it is his power that is at work. It will prevail. It raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in glory, and it will accomplish everything that he intend to accomplish in you. And so we’re to praise God for that power.