He’s In Control
God has something for you. Learn to count on the surprises of God -- up, over, out of, and way beyond anything you can ask or even imagine. He’s able to do that.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You’re doing alright today? Well, it’s your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you sitting opposite you at the table in the kitchen, or riding with you in the car on the way to work or on the way home, or whatever you happen to be doing. Just you and I, together, with the Word of God. That’s a nice combination, isn’t it?
Has it ever occurred to you that you get tired of people aside from the extra that God puts into the equation? Get stuck in an elevator with some nice people; after 14 hours some of them don’t seem quite so nice, right? You get tired of people and you may very well get tired of me. Perish the thought. [chuckle] Don’t even think about it. [chuckle] You get tired of people unless there is the extra of the presence and blessing of God and that’s what makes these radio broadcasts meaningful, at least to me, and I know to many of you.
We’re in Ephesians 3 and I wanna stay in the 20th verse, of that third chapter for a little while before we move on. Paul says, “Now unto Him, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end. Amen.” What a wonderful benediction that is. I’ve often used it when I was in the pastorate in dismissing the congregation after a service, “Unto Him that is able… ”
Interesting construction in your Greek New Testament. He starts with the power of the familiar word “dunamis” now from which we get our word “dynamic”, or “dynamite.” Power over all able to do. And then he’s got some superlatives that are piled one upon another. There’s a word that’s a compound. First, you’ve got the prefix “huper” which means up over then you’ve got another prefix “ek or ex”, which means, “out of”. And then you have a word that means generally being all around. Over and out of and an all around. Exceeding abundantly, in other words, above. All that we ask or think, according to the… There you have the word power again, “dunamis”, “dunamin.” The one energizing in us. To Him, be glory in the church through Christ Jesus, unto all of the ages and the ages of the ages. What a verse that is. [chuckle] Now think about it for minute will you?
Now it says, “We’re gonna give glory to Him. Unto Him be glory in the church.” Now why? Because He’s able to do. The only one in the universe, that can permanently change things, is Almighty God. Everything else that you and I may do is subject to change. Remember the old hymn that says, “Change and decay and all around I see.” That’s a phrase that you might well use at your 50th high school reunion. The beauty queen who at 18 was radiantly beautiful and elected the most beautiful in the class, now has a face like a prune. “Change and decay, and all around I see.” Everything changes. You cannot make it permanent in this world. The only one who can permanently change things is Almighty God. And He can work a permanent change in people’s lives, a permanent change in attitudes and in our approach to living, and in our ultimate destiny as well. He said in this same book, “You who were strangers and foreigners, and having no hope and without God in the world, now, you’re fellow citizens with the saints and you belong to the family of God.” He makes the difference. Hallelujah.
Now, He says He’s able to do. Have you taken that concept into daily life? I find that there’s a dualism in our thinking. We profess that God is all powerful, and then we approach daily living with the assumption that we have to work it out ourselves and yes we’ll pray about it, but what if nothing happens? The “what if” syndrome enters in. I find that all the time in my own life. I’m sure it must be true of you as well. We have some very real needs you and I. Sometimes they can be measured in dollars and cents, and sometimes they can be described in terms of interpersonal relationships with people, and sometimes they are part of the situations that we face. Real needs, and some of them are quite stubborn. They don’t seem to move. And so I find that I get down and pray and seek God and I do my best, I’ll assure you to exercise faith and pray not toward the problem, but toward the answer, I learned that years ago from a little thin, paper-covered, red-colored book that someone sent me, ‘The ABCs of prayer: Ask, Believe and Receive’.
06:13 DC: I do that, and I’m sure you do too, but inevitably human nature enters in and I think well now what if it doesn’t work that way, what if? Well, at that point the “Hallelujah anyway” has to come in, like the three Hebrew young men, who said, “King, our God, whom we serve is able to deliver us, and He will deliver us, but if not, be it known unto thee, we will not bow down or serve the image which thou hast set up.” But if not, hallelujah anyway, you know. That is something that you and I need to work on. I do believe He’s able to do. Have you decided that God can handle the situations?
Someone said to me rather facetiously many years ago, something that I have sort of caught on to and use as my own. “The only time you need to worry about anything is when you’re not quite sure that God can handle the matter.” The only time you need to worry is when you’re not sure that God can handle the matter. Well, He can handle it, He does, He’s able to do, He can work. In answer to prayer, He says, “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” And people call me up and they say, “Brother Cook, I’ve been praying about this and look what’s happening.” Somebody’s praying for a husband or a wife, and nothing happens, and then they find someone they think is the right choice and they pray so hard and then the whole business falls apart, and they’re left with an aching heart. And they call me up, or they write me, and they say, “Look at what happened.” “You told me to pray and I prayed and now look.” Yeah, I know, bless your heart. And my talking with you doesn’t make it ache any less. I know that. Bless you.
But I have to tell you that through the haze of your own tears, and heartache, through the confusion of circumstances that don’t seem to be working out like they should, today, you can look up and trust God and say, “Hallelujah, anyway. I belong to you, Lord, and I’m gonna do what you tell me, and I know you’re able.” Never doubt His ability to meet your need. He is able. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus.” You know that He’s not in receivership today, He’s got it all. And they’re yours. “All things are yours, and you’re Christ’s and Christ is God’s,” said Paul there in Corinthians, alright. He’s able. Chew on that for a while, beloved. Turn it over in your mind, don’t just dismiss it and say, “Okay Cook, let’s go onto something else.” No, turn it over and over. Chew on it a little. Meditate on it. And God is able. What do I face today? A business problem? God is able. What do I face? A family problem? God is able. What do I face? A prodigal son or a wayward daughter? God is able. And you may not see the answer today. God doesn’t pay all His bills at 10:00 on any given Tuesday.
But what you will know is when you commit it to God, you’ll know the perfect peace that passes understanding. When you commit a matter to God and let go of it and and turn it over to Him while… Remember while obeying what He tells you to do, “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work,” says James. When you turn the matter over to God and let go of it while continuing to obey Him, you’re gonna have His perfect peace, even though circumstances seem to be contrary at the time. Now, it’s the only way I know how to live in. Of course I lived a while and I found that there is only one answer to the problems and the dilemmas and the heartaches and the unanswerable questions of life. Why did that young mother die at age 38 and leave three children and a grieving husband? Why couldn’t she have been healed in answer to prayer? I don’t know, I don’t know. I only know that God does the right thing and He’s still on the throne, and He’s able. And if you’ll call on Him, He’ll answer. And when He answers, you’ll know in your own heart, that God is doing the right thing. And He has plans for you. He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desire to.” So, God isn’t done with you yet, beloved.
Somebody needs that today, I don’t know who you are, but somebody needs it. Take hold of it and make it your own. Will you, beloved? Make it yours and God will intervene in your life situation and you’ll be able to rejoice and sing the doxology. He’s able. He’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Now, take what you ask, and then take what you think what you could imagine, and then multiply that by eternity. Exceeding abundantly above all. It’s up over and it’s out of it, it’s way beyond. That’s the construction of the word there that you have in your Greek New Testament. Up over and out of and way beyond. Anything that we can ask or think he’s able to do. A small thought here, learn to count on the surprises of God.
If you live your life solely on the basis of what you think should happen, you end up with a very constricted situation because human nature is limited in every area. And human strength is limited. And human mentality is limited, so learn to count on the surprises of God. Learn to count on what God has for you growing perhaps out of disappointment or even failure, God has something for you. Learn to count on the surprises of God. Up over out of a way beyond anything you can ask or even imagine, He’s able to do that. Oh, I just wish that could be piled in upon your own life situation today, beloved, some of you need so much just to be relieved of your own worry, and fret, and care and to realize that God is still on the throne, and he’s able to do way beyond anything you can imagine. Count of the surprises of God as you call on Him, and then as you believe Him. Let go of the problem and keep on obeying God, that’s a good formula to follow, believe me it works.
Father God, today, do the surprising thing in our lives in answer to prayer. I ask 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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