He’s able, He’s able,
I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able
To carry me through.
He healed the broken-hearted
And set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see.
He’s able, He’s able,
I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able
To carry me through.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly
beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us”
God is able! He is able to do what you ask. He is able to do ALL that you ask. He is able to do ABOVE what you ask. He is able to do above all that you ask or think. He is able to do ABUNDANTLY above all that you ask or think. In fact there is more: “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or even think.”
The apostle Paul gives one of the greatest statements of the immense ability of God to answer our petitions. Our God is able to give us far more than we could ever desire or even dream!
But now we are faced with a dilemma. If the Lord is so able—and we know He is—why do so few people experience this wealth of answered prayer? An answer is found in the relationship between God’s ability is linked to the exercise of our ability. The measure of answered prayer, Paul says, is according to the ability at work within us.
Now, this is the verse in a literal translation from Greek:
“God is able above all measure to do super abundantly all that we ask or think, according to the ability that is operation in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Notice the words: “God is able” linked with “we are able” by a the prepositional phrase “according to.” In other words one thing conforming to another, or of one thing being in proportion to another. It expresses the limits within divine ability that will operate on our behalf. It conveys the sense that God is able, but His working on our behalf cannot exceed the working of certain ability which is in us.
There is no limit, of course, on the power of God itself, which is boundless. He is Almighty! But the outworking of that power in your life will usually be in proportion to the use of your own power. The exercise of His ability depends upon the exercise of our ability. So, this verse could also be rendered:
“God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, in proportion to the ability that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Put your ability to work, and you will see a corresponding working of God’s ability!
Abilities that allow God’s power to work in us
Now, what is that ability at work within us? Let us make it more personal. What are those abilities that you have (and I have) that will make it possible that God’s power works in you?
The power of choice
Yes, you and I have the ability to choose. The ability to make a truly and intelligent choice is unique to man. No animal has this power. It is true that animals can choose to go here or there, to walk or to run, to kill of spare a life.
But their choices are mainly instinctive. They are incapable of moral choice.
But man have been given the supreme prerogative of the highest level of intelligent moral choice. Man possesses a power of choice that even the holy angels do not have. We can choose to raise ourselves into the highest heaven or to sink ourselves into the deepest hell. We can choose to live in a noble and dignified way or in a despicable manner. We can choose to be ruled by faith of by unbelief, to create or to destroy, to love or to hate, to war against God or to serve Him with a joyful heart and strength.
If you think for a moment, you will realise that our life is a succession of choices. We are constantly being forced to decide between two courses of action, to determine what attitudes we shall adopt, what character we shall display, what emotion will dominate our lives. Likewise, all our dealing with God begin with a choice. That is why the Great challenge was given to Israel:
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
The same challenge was issued by Joshua to the people of Israel:
“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
In the same way, Paul is presenting a choice before us. He sets before us the tremendous strength of God. He says “God is able.” In other words, you can step towards a miracle, first, by accepting and believing that God is able, with a strong conviction in your heart. Then to decide that you will depend on Him to do abundantly what you ask.
Choose to believe that with irresistible might He can and will meet your need; and refuse to accept the possibility that the Lord is unable or unwilling to hear your cry.
The power to hold to your choice
Making a right choice is important. But is even more important, to stick to that choice. Many people decide to believe God’s promises, but then, because the answer is delayed or there are oppositions against them, they waver, turn aside and change their minds. The Bible warns us about this attitude.
“But let his ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. Being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8).
This fact must be faced: “a double-minded person” full of faith one day but full of doubt the next, praying with great boldness today but grumbling against God tomorrow, will receive nothing from God. By contrast in the face of delay, of setback, of opposition, the person of faith will stand firm, refusing to be shifted from a joyful expectation that the promise received from God will be abundantly fulfilled.
We pray, we believe, then comes the testing.
In 2 Samuel 23:8-12, we read a very encouraging story.
The army of Israel went to fight against the Philistines. When they saw the huge Philistine army, Israel became discouraged. Terror seized them and they all fled for their lives. All fled except one man: Eleazar. Eleazar stood his ground, drew his sword and cried, “I believe in God!” Then he fought until his enemies were defeated and the Lord God gave Israel a great victory.
One man believed in his mighty God and a miracle occurred!
Exhausted and hungry in the fierce wilderness, the Lord Jesus scorned Satan’s temptation saying:
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Our Lord had made His decision to obey His father and the angels came and comforted Him.
The power of a right confession
As human beings we have the ability of speech. This ability, like the power of choice, is also unique to man. So if you boldly affirm faith in the promise of God, if you declare your decision to believe that promise, then you will open a channel of blessings.
Speak out your faith in the power of God
Many people have faith in God’s power. However their faith is weak, vague and uncertain. They are aware of God’s rulership over earth and heavens. But there is no certainty. So what is their problem? In general terms, they believe is God’s power, but they fail to apply their faith on a personal level.
The power of God must cease to be a theory: it must become a living reality.
This is illustrated in Jesus’ encounter with two blind men (Matthew 9:28). They came to Him crying out for their sight to be restored.
The first thing Jesus did was to ask them: “Do you believe I am able to do this?” Only after they replied “Yes, Lord” did Jesus touch their eyes and say: “It shall be done to you according to your faith,” and they were healed.
Notice the question Jesus asked. He did not enquire merely is they had faith in the power of God. He simply said: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
Jesus wanted them to say, clearly and strongly that they knew Jesus had the power to heal them. In just the same way the Lord wants to hear from you and from me speak out boldly your faith in His ability to meet your particular need.
Now in our daily walk with the Lord there is a passage that will give us a new revelation of our Lord.
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1).
These verses tells me that God Almighty has chosen His Son Christ Jesus, the Messiah, to be our Apostle and our High Priest. We are called ‘Holy brethren’ partakers of a heavenly calling, we are bound by our Lord’s saving sacrifice. God Himself called us. The expression “Consider Jesus the Apostle” is used of Christ only here. Apostle means “one that is being sent.” Jesus was sent by His Father. As our apostle Christ has been given mighty power to act on our behalf, to meet our needs, and to bring us the good news of God’s mercy and kindness.
Christ is power
Jesus Christ can loose us from every bondage. He can restore us to fellowship with God. He can do these things because God has made Him our Heavenly Apostle and eternal High Priest.
But there is a vital condition. Christ will act as our apostle only as we make a right confession of Faith.
If we speak in harmony with God’s will and according to his Word, then all the treasure of apostolic and priestly ministry will be released into our lives. And we will be able to say as Paul said:
“For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).