“…More Than All That We Ask Or Think…”
by Paul Granger (www.wheredidyouseeGod.com)
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…” –Ephesians 3:20
On a crazy step of faith, our tiny team with few resources became a “Broadcasting ministry” that recently broadcast a week-long conference around the world. The general public doesn’t know what that means, but you do: tech/media folks like us know the planning, resources, expertise, and drive that is vital to broadcasting anything, especially an entire conference. The funny thing is, we didn’t ask for any of this, and we couldn’t imagine it happening if we had.
It all began with a willingness to believe verses like the one above; verses that indicate that God is up to things beyond our comprehension, and our invitation is to trust Him. So when God told our team leader, “I want you to broadcast the conference,” he was ready to respond, “I don’t have the team, resources, or expertise, but here I am.” Each step after had to be in that same vein of faith; as plans fell through or challenges arose, we had to choose to believe that God was still “Him who is able.”
Against too many odds, we produced 13 visually and audibly beautiful sessions. It was a clear display that God can do “far more abundantly than all we ask or think.” However, if you think that’s the moral of the story, you may be limiting the abundance.
It can be so easy for us to believe that broadcasting a successful conference, or church service, or ministry event is the goal, and that good outcomes are tied to the audio and visual quality. On a human level, you’d be right: if your job is to mix good sound or produce crisp video, then success is determined by the final product.
But you, my friends, are not doing mere human tasks; you are Ambassadors of Christ doing spiritual work.
When you show up to the service you are functioning in two realms. In the first, you have to use your skills and equipment to create something of quality; in the second, you are first and foremost seeking God and His Kingdom, and striving to represent Christ well. The first is measured by outcomes; the second is measured by faithfulness, even if the outcomes are awful.
Take the Apostle Paul. He lived in the first realm magnificently, standing out as “a Hebrew of Hebrews… a Pharisee… blameless.” He believed he saw the world clearly until God blinded him and showed him the second realm; this Pharisee then went from being a “success” to counting it all rubbish for the sake of Christ. He went from being poised for greatness, to being seen as a beaten, disgraced, imprisoned failure.
Yet here we are, in the midst of a devotional based on his words.
Success in the Kingdom isn’t measured by sound quality and visual clarity, but by an authentic willingness to love and honor God with everything we do. Our prayers for the conference stopped being, “God, make all the logistics work out,” to, “God, we want you to be honored, even if it takes our equipment failing and us looking like fools.” We then continued to serve with excellence, though the end goal wasn’t a “good broadcast”, but honoring a good God.
The work you do is important, but it’s true value is far more abundant than what you do or create. No matter how difficult the task, monotonous the routine, or unappreciated the product, your step of obedience can be to say, “Here I am,” and your pursuit, “I want you to be honored, even if I look like a fool.” No matter how many hundreds or thousands are in your audience, you are serving an audience of One, who is longing to say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
Sometimes you will have a good production, but that’s simply a bonus. The true joy is knowing that we did what we could to love God and love others, whether or not we see the fruit. And all this is possible through — and must continue to be based in — the part of this verse that too often goes neglected: “…according to the power at work within us.” Like us when God gave our team the invitation, this is not about you being equipped or skilled enough, but simply willing enough to invite and trust the Spirit to work within you. Afterall, while a bad broadcast can carry little value in the human realm, the Spirit can work miracles through even the least of things.
About the author:
Paul is an ambassador of Christ, using his shepherding gift to serve in his community, through YWAM and East End Fellowship, and through content creation, including his podcast “Where did you see God?“. He loves spending time with his wife and kids, and they see their home — which God gave them in a crazy way — as an important piece of how they love their neighbors as a lifestyle.