It has happened to many Moms and it happened to me this morning. Busy in another room, my son came to me and said, “I’m drawing Mommy.” Right away my mind begins to race. What pen, marker or crayon did I leave out that he got his hands on? What could he have possibly drawn on…the walls, the dresser, or his sister? I ask him, “are you drawing on paper” and he responds, “Yes Mommy.” I don’t believe him, I know him too well. I expect the worst. When I go into the other room, I am surprised and relieved. He was just drawing on paper! Sometimes our children exceed our expectations. We may expect the worst of them or underestimate what they are capable of accomplishing. This situation got me thinking about how God exceeds our expectations as well. Ephesians 3:20 says, “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.” Often we lower our expectations of what God is able to do because we are negative thinkers, we forget what He is capable of, and we forget that Christ is the one working in us.
WE ARE NEGATIVE THINKERS
It is easy to think, “We will never get to one hundred members” or “My neighbor is never going to be interested in a Bible study.” We let these negative expectations dictate how we conduct ourselves when working for the Lord. We have a defeatist attitude toward how God can use us. We may not realize that we are the ones who are standing in the way of God’s plans for us. Christian women need to remember to expect positive results for positive actions in their work for the Lord. We can be encouraged by Paul’s words in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who is against us.” We have God on our side and this should cause us to be positive thinkers! We can reach our goals. We can accomplish great things with God’s help.
WE FORGET WHAT HE IS CAPABLE OF
In Deuteronomy 4:9 the Israelites were warned not to forget what their eyes had seen and to make those things known to their children. They were eye witnesses to the power of God through the miracles He performed. It is easy to forget how powerful God is. We limit God to what we can imagine. We think small and ask too little. As we saw in the Ephesians 3:20, He can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” We cannot calculate or fathom what He is capable of. Our minds are finite and inept in handling the concept of His power. This should motivate us to remember that power. We can remember His power by reading His word where He has recorded countless events that prove it to us. We can remember His power by recalling the amazing things He has done in the past through us. Also, we can remember His power by observing His creation. In Romans 1:20 Paul says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made.” God is powerful and let us never underestimate what He is capable of doing through us.
WE FORGET THAT CHRIST IS THE ONE WORKING IN US
Christ’s power is at work within us (Philippians 1:6)! We can be assured and comforted by this statement. We are not alone in our efforts. We are Christ’s instrument for spreading His gospel and saving souls and cannot take the credit for what He is accomplishing through us. It is a familiar concept that we see in 1 Corinthians 3:6 where Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” Without God these men’s efforts would be pointless. The seed would be planted in the ground and watered, but it would never grow. This should also make us confident. We have Christ working through us to accomplish His will. We must give God the credit for what He accomplishes through us. It would be wrong for us to brag about our work for the Lord when we know that all the glory belongs to Him.
God exceeds our expectations. Just as a mother may expect the worst or underestimate the capability of her child, we often place limitations in our minds on God’s power and His ability to work through us. It is imperative that we stop thinking negatively, that we remember what God is capable of, and that we remember that Christ is the one working in us.
By Aimee Lemus
Aimee and her husband, Andrew, serve with the Conifer church of Christ in Conifer, CO. Her husband is the minister and evangelist. Aimee is a stay-at-home-mom to Andrew Jr. and Annabella.