"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..."
In times past I would often apply this verse to something physical and think...God will provide the money I need for this missions trip exceedingly abundantly above all...God will provide the money we need to fix our car exceedingly abundantly above all. It was a Faith Booster of sorts. A reminder that God's plan is far beyond anything I could imagine, and that I could patiently and prayerfully wait on Him to provide my physical needs. And while this is true and definitely not a wrong way to apply this verse, I have been challenged to go beyond the physical.
Lately, I have been reading and studying the subject of Biblical Womanhood. Something I thought I had a pretty good grasp on...and now realize, I very successfully do NOT. It was a little draining to think of all the things I am not and need to be to truly live my life biblically. Instead of feeling encouraged, I was feeling discouraged and not very motivated. I know my tendancy to fail, and it far outweighs my tendancy to do the dishes or vaccum the floor (which, obviously are the all-encompassing characteristics of a godly woman...that was a joke). And because I began to actually STUDY what Biblical Womanhood really is, I could no longer fall back on the "doing" of being a good wife and mother. I realized there was much, MUCH more to being a godly (not just good) wife and mother...it's not like I was reveling in my cooking and cleaning skills to begin with. Just ask my husband. I've used my vacuum like...6 times since we've been married (that was NOT a joke). So, all in all, I realized how much of me SPIRITUALLY needed to change...and it was a lot. I started to wonder if there was anything called DIgressive sanctification, because my PROgressive tank seemed to be running on empty.
It wasn't until Jim shared with me something he had been learning from scripture that I started to feel like there was hope for me yet. It was Ephesians 3:20. He said he was reading it to remind himself that "yes, God will provide for our physical needs" and instead read the context of the verse, beginning in verse 14... " For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 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."
If you really read the context, as Jim encouraged me to do, you'll see that it's really our sanctification...our spirtual growth...that God will provide exceedingly abundantly above all for. Boy, that sure takes the pressure off of ME, because it's not by MY power at all, but the power of God that works in me! Now...not to say there won't be plenty of effort on my part, but what an encouragment AND motivator to know that God will provide for my need to grow spiritually and to honor Him in my role as a woman.