May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. (Ephesians 3:19-21)
I do not know if you have been around young children lately, but as they acquire new skills, they usually want to show others these new accomplishments. If asked if they need help tying shoes, combing hair, or dressing themselves for instance, they typically assert, “I’ll do it myself!” Normally it is admirable to do things on our own. We hope to stand on our own two feet, but what about those times when we can’t do it ourselves? Would we admit it, if we needed help? To whom would we turn?
It is widely believed that the Apostle Paul was in prison when this letter to the believers in Ephesus was written. He was hardly in a position to advise the church as he would have had he been with them in person. Instead Paul had to count on people delivering his messages in his absence and he had to rely on God’s power and love for the church to be even greater than Paul could offer. Truly he understood that the church could not or should not try to carry on by itself – for Christians to simply rely on their own ingenuity, goodness, and wisdom to “do it themselves.” Rather, Paul urged the Ephesians to invite God’s power and love to fill them, because God can accomplish so much more than we can ask or hope.
I wonder how far we could go if we were counting on God and not just ourselves? What could God do through us if we were filled with his life and power as Paul suggests? I guess we’ll never know until we try.