Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20This verse has bugged me at times, because while God is able to do far more than I ask or think, I've felt like he frequently does much less than I ask for. I've come to understand that while his power can instantly resolve any problem, his wisdom usually opts for demonstrating I can trust him even as the problem persists.
This line comes from one of my wife's favorite verses.
O Lord, you know my dream. You know how much it is a part of me. And yet I have no guarantee it will come true. What shall I do? I must admit I don't deserve to have this dream come true. I cannot be sure that having it come true will make me a better person or will bring your kingdom closer. But it is a part of me, and you do not condemn me for it, for you are gracious and merciful to the longings of my heart. You may well want to give me this dream that I know anew your goodness. Yet you may well want to show me your goodness and your ability to encourage me without fulfilling my dream. Do what you will. Lord, help me trust you with this dream. Help me to remember whether you choose to make it come true or not, you are ever with me. When your kingdom comes in all its fullness, that will be the best possible fulfillment of all our dreams, the ones that really matter.
I just read a blog post by a worship leader that challenges my self-righteousness. I think of myself as a "mature ordinary Christian" who would never say any of those foolish things that worship leaders sometimes say. My least favorite thing, when the worship leader says "Good morning", then judges our response too feeble and says "Let's try that again." As if the problem of apathy of heart goes away as soon as we say "Good morning" or "Amen" adequately loud. His closing statement of what worship ought to be and how it just is not natural for any of us without God's grace is a good one:
At the end of the day, regardless of what side of the microphone we're on, we're all suffering from varying degrees of misdirection, and in desperate need of re-direction. We all come to church on Sunday faced with the dilemma of who we've been worshiping and whose kingdom we've been building all week. It's that humble truth that causes me to once again remember what I'm called to do this morning: magnify the name of Christ, confess our desperate need for him, and sing the truths of the gospel with people who are far too consumed with themselves. Like me.