Beyond Expectations

lenox-mall-tornado-2We were up and early this morning for our trip to Atlanta. We arrived about 11:30 a.m. EST. We picked up a car and met Stephanie and Nathan and kids at the Lenox Mall. They have the infamous “flying Pink Pig” that is an annual and historic Christmas attraction. After lunch and before pictures with Santa and the flying pig, we experienced a severe weather warning. So we dutifully obeyed instructions to go to the basement of the mall. By the time we got there the threat of a tornado was over.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… 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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20,21 NIV

It is always nice when we are commended for going above and beyond expectations. It is nice to be the recipient of someone who interfaces with us going above and beyond expectations. When we look at Paul words we see….

God’s love is beyond our expectations. In Ephesians, it seems Paul is constantly praying and pointing out a God is above and beyond our expectations. He prays for “eyes to be enlightened” with supernatural understanding of what God has done for us in Christ. He tells the Ephesians about God’s love that is higher, that is wider, that is deeper, that is longer that we can grasp. While we can’t fully comprehend God’s love, we can experience this great love of God.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” (Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV)

God’s power is beyond our expectations. In this grand benediction above, Paul says that God is able to do more than all we ask or imagine. This above and beyond expectation power and working, is experienced in our lives by the power of God’s Spirit, who is at work in us who believe. This reality should challenge our faith and call us to greater fervency in our prayers and expectations of God’s desire and willingness.

God’s Church is to function beyond expectations. Paul says of this “beyond-expectations-God” “…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” God’s people united together has been and always will be the agents of manifesting His power and glory.

It is all too rare when God’s people reflect this “beyond-expectation” reality. I think of Paul’s words to the Corinthians about the Macedonian Church:  “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.” (2  Corinthians 8:3-5 NIV)

I recall a church pastored by a friend of mine was involved in  a capital campaign to raise money for a new building. He told me they presented a goal and a “miracle goal” if people really committed themselves. When the effort was complete the people gave one million dollars over the “miracle goal” that had been set. They certainly went far beyond expectations!

That same can be reflected in God’s people not just giving but, serving, in their unity, in their spiritual commitment and passion for the things of God.

I am thankful that we can experience a God who is a “beyond-expectation” God. And when our hearts are full of this kind of God, we become “beyond-expectation” people.

Prayer for today… Lord, thank You for the ways you surpass our understanding and expectations. May we never limit You or view no bar too high for You to conquer. May the dedication and faith in our lives, reflect the work of this “beyond-expectation” God as we serve Your purposes in our world.