Promises: More Than I Asked For
The God we serve is awesome. He has so much for us and we read in Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) that “…[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” His promises are so much richer and deeper than our human understanding assumes them to be, and when we allow Him to move in our lives, we can experience the depth of His power and lovingkindness.
Let us look at an account in Mark 2:1-12 (NIV): “A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up, take your mat and walk”? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ So he said to the man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”
There is a lot to chew on here, from the fact that the teachers of the law were so angry about Jesus saying your sins are forgiven that they almost missed the miraculous healing that Jesus did, to the friends who went to great lengths for their friend to be healed, to the man rising up well again. God’s promises are multifaceted and so much is packed into them. Often when we are leaning on a promise we think oh, I just need this, but God wants to give us what we need and so much more. Let’s not block ourselves from receiving the fullness of God’s gifts to us.
The Promise of More:
- More is found in God’s presence. Mark 2:2 (NIV) declares: “So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door…” When we get into Jesus’ presence, we experience the fullness of joy and true peace. It is when we are in His presence that we experience the depth of what God has for us, and it is so much more than we can imagine on our own. We need to pursue Jesus’ presence in every season – it is what fills us with life, hope, and direction.
- More is found in God’s word. Martin Luther said, “When the word of God is preached, that’s when God speaks.” In Mark 2:2 (NIV) we see that “So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.” God’s word is powerful, and those people knew that hearing Jesus’ words was going to be life-changing. There are layers and layers of revelation in his word and when we read the Bible, we get our mail read. How many times have you opened the scriptures and thought, “Wow, God is speaking directly to me through his written word”? When we read the scriptures, they change us and connect us with our Father. God’s infallible word is what changes us on the inside and fills us with faith. The opposite of faith isn’t unbelief, it is certainty – certainty that puts our need for God out of the picture. When we are standing in faith, we are saying, “I don’t know what will come up in the future, but I know God is with me.” In God’s word, we find the faith we need to accomplish what God has for us today – and we need to go deeper into the word to connect with Him and His will.
- More is found through God’s people. Mark 2:3-4 (NIV) says: “Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Our friends often indicate what direction we are headed – and who we spend time with greatly impacts the trajectory of our lives. When we are with God’s people, we are pushed to new heights by our fellow believers. Good friends don’t let you settle for less than all the Father has for you.
- More is found through our prayers. We may be asking for and praying to God for one thing, and He might end up giving us something even more essential than our request. Mark 2:5 (NIV) continues: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” He didn’t go right to healing the man – He first touched on a much deeper issue than the man’s lameness. Imagine for a minute how that man felt, desperate for healing but instead hearing that his sins were forgiven. Not at all what he was asking for, right? Whenever our experience doesn’t line up with our expectation God is often trying to do more than what we’re asking for. Our own shortsightedness would cheat us of the fullness of what God has for us – so the next time an experience doesn’t live up to your expectation, ask God what He is trying to work in your life through the situation. Jesus doesn’t just fix the surface issue – He gets to the heart of the matter and brings life. And while He does that, He meets our needs where we are. Mark 2:11-12 (NIV) says: “‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’” Just as Jesus told the man to get up and pick up his mat, He encourages us to get up and leave behind our past so we can walk into our futures – and He gives us more so that we can walk in all He has for us.
God has so for us, more than we think to pray for. He goes beyond what we think we need in order to lift us up into all that He has for us – His love is boundless and his promises are even more than we ask for. Be encouraged – God’s promises are powerful and so beyond your expectations, and He’s just getting started.