Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Have you ever put a cat inside of a box and close the top? There is normally a small space going the length of the box where it isn’t pushed together. If you run your hand over the box, often you will see the cat’s paw reaching out trying to get hold of whatever passes by. It’s darn cute to see the cat struggle to get out (maybe that’s just me).
Another thought; if you put a dog in a box, they will struggle to get out. Eventually, they give up and just lay down. They are not dead or gone, they are just laying there till you let them out. However, when you pass by, they will get back up and try to get your attention in hopes that you will let them out.
Take those same scenarios and replace the pets with God! None of us want to admit that we place God in a box. It’s much more comfortable to think we have it all right and that God moves freely in and around us. We have mastered the art of cliche’ and deception – for others to see and for ourselves..
God makes great BIG promises for those who love Him. He has plans for us, wants to give us great gifts, and says that He will do anything for us. He created us for the purpose of loving us and us, Him.
When you throw in that He created everything, I would say He is a Big God capable of huge things. A giant Sequoia Redwood tree grows to a height of about 164–279 ft (the largest measured 311 ft) and up to 56 ft in diameter. A Redwood in Northern California is so big they built a road through it. God created this! But don’t stop there, those trees grow from a seed about the size of a tomato seed. Then the root system has to grow to the proper length and angle to support this massive tree. How amazing is this?
Let me take you down another trail… we believe that Satan has the power to manifest himself, to deceive us, to walk around, trick us, make us do things we shouldn’t, to… well, you get the picture. We give Satan all kinds of credit and power. Yet some say that God no longer speaks, He doesn’t give or work through gifts, He doesn’t speak to us… ADD YOUR OWN LIMITATIONS HERE! He has the power to do all of these great things, promises to be with us and love us forever, He calls us His children, then just quits caring! I don’t think so. That would be like me saying you are my best friend forever… you know… BFF… We will always be best friends and I will always do what I can for you… now, go away. I want to see you struggle and won’t really do anything.
I don’t know about you, but I would do whatever I could to help my children and show them they are loved. I have always tried to do what I thought was best for them. And, I always want them to know that they are loved. I admit, I am limited in that I am human and don’t do everything right. Since God calls us His children and co-heirs with Christ, but He is not limited in knowledge or ability the way I am – it only makes sense that He would do the same for us… only better… He’s God – we’re not.
I often wondered when I was a young Christian, why in the world did God give us the power to make up our own minds. It is obvious He could have programmed us to automatically believe in Him, to do what He chose for us to do, to believe what He wants us to believe. However, He created us for Him to love us and us to love Him and if He programmed us, that is not real love. That would be like a computer repeating commands that they were programmed to do.
Instead, He tells us in the Bible who He is, what He is, what He wants for us, and how far He is willing to go for us… John 3:16… For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. We are made to live for eternity in one place or another. God wants it to be with Him… but He won’t force you.
He demonstrates through creation what He is capable of and yet we put Him in a box and close the lid. Once per week we open the lid just enough for Him to get a breath of fresh air… but careful not to open it too far. Occasionally a little finger slips through the crack and we hurry and close the lid tighter. I don’t get it. Here is the one that says He wants to do everything for us and love us beyond anything we can comprehend – and actually can – yet instead of embracing His power and love and accepting that we can’t understand how He does it, only that He does, we box Him up to keep Him manageable.
So here it is, the buried lead… OPEN THE BOX. Put on your creative hat for a second and think about all of the possibilities you have been missing out on. You long for love, In 1st John 4:16, the Bible says, God IS love. You long for friendship, Jesus said He no longer calls us servants, but friends.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:14-16
Here’s a big one… John 14:12-14… Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
In Ephesians 1:18, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
These are not the promises of someone who wants to sit idly by while we falter through life. No, these are the promises of someone who wants to actively participate in your life and to share His life with you. He is not a part-time God but rather a God who is only a whisper away and available to you at a moments notice.
God is so much more than some far-off, unreachable, uncaring entity that demands everything and gives nothing in return. When you open the box and let Him out… truly let Him out… you will see power and love like you have never seem before. And, it will all be directed toward you and for you.
The next time you are told, “God can’t…,” “God won’t….” or “God doesn’t…,” compare what that person is saying to what Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Let me conclude by saying, you have a choice… God gave you that choice… you can dictate what you will allow God to do in your life, or, you can accept His promises and allow Him to be free in your life. Open the box and set God free to do what only He can possibly do. Remember, man does not get to dictate how big God is, only how much of that “Bigness” he wants in his own life. He says He wants every part of us, in exchange, He gives us every part of Him.
I pray that you receive all of the love, peace, and joy that God wants you to have through Him. Amen and Amen.
Next week: We will talk about communication with God. How we communicate with Him and what to expect in return. How to listen and know it is Him talking and not our enemy.