Ephesians 3: 20-21
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.
Acts 3: 1-8
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Even though they were now Jesus followers, Peter and John kept up the Jewish practice of going to the temple at set times of the day for prayer. This was obviously a habit and routine they found helpful in maintaining their devotion to God. I can imagine they did it most days without anything significant or miraculous occurring. However, on this particular day, God breaks into their routine and moves supernaturally through them.
In the same way, if we will put in place Godly disciplines and daily devotional practices, it creates space for God to intervene in supernatural ways. Some days we will experience little, but at other times God will move in our midst, His manifest presence will be especially tangible, He will speak specifically into our lives by His Word and through His Spirit. Develop daily disciplines that position you for God encounters.
On this particular day, Peter and John pass a beggar who had been unable to walk since his birth. We are told later that he's over 40 years old. After 40 years with the same disability, his expectations of life ever changing were probably incredibly low. This was how things had always been and would probably always be. The best he could hope for was that those walking past him would show some pity and compassion and give him a few coins. He asked Peter and John for money and "gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." (v. 5)
Something stirs within Peter. He commands the man to walk in Jesus’ name, and immediately he jumps up, doing Strictly Come Dancing all around the temple courts!
What did he expect? Some loose change.
What did God give him? Complete life change.
He almost settled for something so much less than God had available for him. He received immeasurably more than he could ever have asked or imagined.
What do you expect God to do in you and through you in 2017? William Carey was a missionary to India in the 18th century. His motto was this:
"Expect great things from God.
Attempt great things for God."
We need to stop telling ourselves why we can’t do great things. Raise the bar on your expectations of what God will do in 2017. Expect supernatural power and provision in every area of your life. He is an "immeasurably more than" God. Don't settle for anything less. As the 19th century preacher C.H. Spurgeon said:
“I make bold to assert that, in the service of God, nothing is impossible, and nothing is improbable. Go in for great things, brethren, in the Name of God; risk everything on His promise, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you.”