He Surprises Us

Don’t pray for a teaspoonful, don’t pray for a cupful, pray for an ocean full, trust God for big things, trust God for great things.

Scripture: Ephesians 3:18-20


Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Yes, it’s your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you, feeling fine, happy in the Lord, hope you are of the same. Well, I wish we could sit down together over a cup of coffee in your kitchen, that’d be pretty nice wouldn’t it? The old song says, “Though sundered far by faith we meet around one common mercy seat, blessed be the tie that binds our hearts, yours and mine in Christian love.” Hallelujah for that, I’m glad, aren’t you?

Well, we’re looking at Ephesians 3 verse 18, that Christ… This is verse 17, I have to get a sort of a running start, “That Christ may dwell,” means feel at home, “In your hearts by faith.” All of your dealings with your Savior are by faith. You don’t try, you don’t agonize, you don’t promise, you don’t pay. You believe Him for it. You ask and you believe you’ve received. Jesus said, “What things are we desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and ye shall have them.” The formula for prayer is desire, ask, believe, receive. Jesus said it, that’s the way it works, and that’s the only way it works, that Christ may feel at home in your heart, how by faith, open the door by faith, let Him in to every room in your heart house.

The dynamic of that life then is his love, “rooted in love” means it’s a source, the source of life, the source of dynamic, just as a root is the source of the life of the plant that lives above it, and “grounded” is the architectural term that means it’s built this way. The plan and schedule that God has for your life, has worked out as His love is poured into and out of your yielded life. And then he said He wants you to be able to comprehend. That’s the idea of taking hold of it for yourself. I want you to get hold of this for yourself, to know the breadth of the love of Christ, the length of the love of Christ, the depth of the love of Christ and the height of the love of Christ. And then to know it personally. Last time we got together we talked about that word breath, I guess wasn’t it? And we were exploring the concept of what is the spread of the love of our Lord in ordinary things in your life.

On the same concept can be applied with the next word then, the length, how far will it go? Is there a point of no return beyond which you just are not willing to go? No, I think this is true in some settings, in some situations, and some relationships, isn’t it true? And we need, constantly, I think to review our own attitude along this line. How far are we willing to go with the love of Christ? Are we willing to go farther than our human predilection might indicate? Are we willing to go farther than our feelings might indicate? Are we willing to go farther even than common sense and human custom might indicate? How far are we willing to go in this matter of showing the love of Christ, the length of the love of Christ? And then he says the depth of it. How deep does it reach, does it reach down into the recesses of my heart where nobody else knows about it? Does it reach into the deep, deep areas of my thoughts and my hopes and my aims and my regrets, and my desires? Does it reach all the way to the bottom of my life? And then the height, how high does it reach? These are things that God wants us to know about.

He says, “I want you to know the love of Christ,” and the only way you can know it is by letting it spread through your life and letting it reach out from your life and letting it dig into the depths of your life and letting it rise into the heights of your life and your vision. And then when the love of Christ has suffused all of these areas of your life, you’ll know something about the love of Christ, which really can’t be described, after all. Why? Because you only know it if you experienced it. Try to describe how an orange tastes. Describe it to somebody who has never tasted or seen an orange. Is it sweet? Well, yes, but kind of not so sweet. Is it sour? Well, yes, but not so sour. Is the juice of it smooth? Well, yes, but it has some pulp. Well, is it grainy? Well, no, not really, but it has some substance. Well, and does it have a feel like an apple? No, not really, it’s got a different feeling when you bite into it. Try to describe how an orange tastes, it’s a little sweet and it’s a little tart. How can you describe it? Try to describe a sunset to a person who’s never had sight, an unsighted person.

Try to describe a sunset. Well, it’s pretty hard to do, isn’t it? Well, it’s got some warm colors, warm like the stove. Now I know what a sunset is. No, not quite. Then it’s got some cool colors, like blue and gray, and cool like the ice box. Now I know what a sunset is. No, not quite. Then it’s got some living colors like like green and yellow, and orange, and that’s living like the trees and the grass and the flowers. Oh, like the trees. Now I know what the sunset is like. No, not quite. See, you don’t know the love of Christ until the experience his presence, his blessed touch in your life. But when you do, you’ll never forget it, and you’ll be different as a result that you may know the love of Christ. And then what happens, he says that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God, the love of Christ which passes knowledge and that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. And that means filled to overflowing. The love of Christ that passes knowledge has got that huperballo verb again, the home run kind of a thing.

God gives us His home run power, and He gives us the exceeding greatness of His riches of His glory, and then He gives us the home run fullness, the seeding fullness of Christ that passes knowledge. Everything God does, I said this the other day but I’ll repeat it because I like the taste of it on my soul. [chuckle] Everything God does is in the superlative. He never does anything that’s just, as the Japanese say, just a sukoshi, just a little bit. Where sin abounded their grace did much more abound. God is able to supply all your needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus. My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness. The exceeding riches of His glory, verse 16. And the love of Christ that passes knowledge. The home run kind of love that you just can’t describe but it’s there, it’s so great. Could I suggest lovingly that there’s so much more of God that you and I can find out if we just go after it? He does everything in the superlative. Everything God does is wonderful, that’s his name. Job said, “I know that whatever God does, it is forever and nobody can hinder Him.” They said of our Lord Jesus, “He hath done all things well.”

See? So in your praying, beloved, and I don’t know who needs this but maybe somebody needs to be encouraged. Don’t ask God for a spoonful, ask him for an oceanful. Think big and pray big. Now, we’re coming to this verse in verse 20, “Filled with all the fullness of God,” means the overflow, God ministers out of the overflow not out of the scrapings. You can constantly be overflowing, spilling over. See the size of the container is not what counts, it’s how much it can overflow, isn’t that true? The size of the container is not what counts, it’s how much it can overflow. And so filled with all the fullness of God means filled to overflowing with all that God can pour into and pour out of your life. And then he says now, verse 20, “Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power, that works within us to Him be glory.” He’s able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that we ask or think. That’s wonderful. To him that has the power, that’s the word dunamis again, but the verb form dunamenon, dynamite, dynamic, the one who has the dynamite over all able to do over all that we can ask or think. According to the, same word, dunamis, the dynamite that works in us unto Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus in all of the ages of the ages. I’m just reading there from my Greek New Testament literally.

Oh, the power of Christ, the overflow of the love of God. The ability that God has to do so much more than we ask Him to. Don’t pray for a teaspoonful, don’t pray for a cupful, pray for an oceanful. Trust God for big things, trust God for great things, trust God for something that will be surprising to you. And the prophet Jeremiah, he says, “Behold I will do a new thing, shall let not spring forth won’t you know it when you see it.” God is the God of surprises, He’s the God of innovations, He’s the God of different ways of doing things. He takes a little boy with a sling shot and kills the giant that’s covered with armour, the only place that wasn’t covered was his forehead, and David aimed the stone right there, threw it with such force and accuracy it says the stone sunk into his forehead and killed him. The last thing that giant thought was, “Nothing like this ever entered my head before.” God does things differently, but he does them pretty big trust God for big things. I’ll get back to this 20th verse the next time we get together.

Dear Father, today, oh thank you for the oceans of possibility there are in your power, pour it out on us today I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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