“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” Ephesians 3:20 NASB
When we consider where things stand on God’s timetable, 2017 needs to be a year of unprecedented revival and growth. Maranatha – The Lord Cometh! While the world goes crazy and seems to be moving further and further from God, it should remind us that His coming is ever closer.
Our petition should be, “God, make us like the sons of Issachar. Give us not just an understanding of the times, but even more importantly, help us to be doing what we should at this time.” I want to challenge all of us to step out boldly for God. We should do so with the assurance that He can sustain our bold steps:
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us”
Ephesians 3:20 NASB
“Beyond” is the Texas District’s theme for 2017. Let’s set ourselves to go beyond, knowing that God is underwriting the trip!
To help us understand the greatness of God, Paul compares God to man. He declares that God can go beyond what a man can say or think. It is obvious that we as human beings can use words and or have thoughts that describe something that is beyond our ability to accomplish. We can, with words or thoughts, paint a picture—one that we have absolutely no power to step into in reality. But Paul points out that God’s ability to perform “goes” beyond what can even speak or dream of.
Men can talk or think beyond their ability to perform, but God can perform beyond man’s ability to talk or think! That’s why our faith, no matter how great it is, never goes beyond what God can do!
God actually wants to pull us into a world of possibilities that is far beyond where we are presently dwelling.
Before the day of modern navigational aids, ancient mapmakers created maps that literally had life or death significance for the mariners of their time. These mapmakers would painstakingly draw maps whose accuracy, as to the location of shorelines, as well as dangerous shoals and reefs, was critical to the survival of sailors who sailed the seas.
Most of these ancient mapmakers had a thorough knowledge of the Mediterranean Sea and some adjacent areas, but as they sought to depict the unknown seas to the west on their maps, they simply scrawled Ne plus ultra on the edge of the map. Ne plus ultra literally meant, “there is no more” or “there is nothing beyond.” On some maps, unknown waters were also notated with this statement, “In this region there be dragons.” Some ancient maps went as far as to depict sea dragons in those areas of the world that were unknown to the mapmakers.
Why statements like Ne plus ultra or “there be dragons?” They were talking about uncharted waters. They were talking about a place they had never been.
While these mapmakers noted that there was no more beyond, there was actually a whole new world waiting to be discovered. The continents of North America and South America, with more than twenty-five percent of earth’s land surface, lay in their unknown. The United States of America, a most exceptional nation in the history of all nations, actually sprang from this area where they said there was nothing.
The origins of the concept of “Ne Plus Ultra” evidently come from Greek mythology, which purports that Hercules constructed two pillars near the Straits of Gibraltar. These pillars were said to bear the inscription “Ne Plus Ultra” or “No More Beyond.” This was to warn sailors that there was nothing outside of the Mediterranean Sea so they should go no farther.
The concept of Ne Plus Ultra was so accepted that it became Spain’s national motto and was seen on their national flag for hundreds of years. But in the late 1400s, explorers like Columbus and Vespucci dared to go beyond. They discovered and claimed new lands for Spain where there was supposed to be nothing. Spain’s reality changed because they went beyond. They removed the “Ne” from their motto and created new coins inscribed with the words “Plus Ultra” or “More Beyond.”
God has said that He can take us beyond what we could ask or think. He is looking for someone who is ready to embark on such a trip! For those who will step beyond the confines of their normal existence. His call is to men and women of faith who understand and who act upon His abilities, which exceed our words or thoughts. He is looking for those who will step out boldly—in faith—and go beyond!
I want to challenge every minister and saint, every church, every department, every committee and ministry: do all you have done in the past, but look for a way to go beyond. We are racing the rapture. What can you do beyond what you are already doing that will make a difference in someone’s eternity? What new or expanded evangelistic effort can you undertake that will result into another soul being reached? Another church being planted? How can you go beyond? Let’s do it! God is waiting to respond in ways beyond what we can even speak or imagine!
Kevin L. Prince