by Tad Lindley
If you live life behind the Wall of All, the scripture that I present to you is going to be difficult to believe. Even though I am writing this column, I have trouble at times believing it.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Ephesians 3:20). Let’s take this verse apart. Look at the word all. It refers to our own abilities to ask or think.
The human mind is truly amazing. Without even the aid of the computer, the human mind was able to design qayaqs that could flex and bend with the waves, and the combustion engines that would eventually make them obsolete. People were able to spread out across the planet living in even the most extreme environments. Music, art, and languages resulted from human thinking. If the Lord delays his return, it is possible that human minds will think up things we cannot even imagine at this place in time.
The limit of “All”
The human mind is truly amazing. Nevertheless, there are limits to what the mind can think. We will never, even through the most brilliant thinking, be able to take the elements from the air and the earth and turn them into a living being. We will never be able to fly without the aid of machines. There will always be things that lie outside the realm of human possibility. We generally refer to things that lie outside of human capability as impossible. Whenever things happen in that realm, we either deny it, or we consider them to be miracles.
Aside from an inability to lie, the Lord knows no limitations. His reality extends beyond ours. Now the scripture could have been made to say simply that he is able to do more than all that we ask or think, but it doesn’t say that. The word of God raises it to a much greater height. The Bible uses three words to show how much higher his actions are than our thoughts: exceeding, abundantly, and above. He is not able to do just a little bit more than we can imagine, he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
The Wall of All
As humans, we can have difficulty believing this. We build a wall at the “all” and will not believe that God cannot operate beyond that. This is why some people do not tithe. They cannot see how they can make ends meet on 90% of their income. They will not believe that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above our own mathematics. Until we acknowledge that God can operate outside of our “all”, we limit him.
Faith climbs the Wall of All
It requires faith to climb the Wall of All. Faith realizes that our greatest thinking is not really all that there is. There is something that is exceeding abundantly greater than the place where our ingenuity and resources run out. When we get there, we have climbed the Wall of our All, and can see into the realm of impossibilities.
Reverend Donald Hanscom was a missionary to Sri Lanka for twelve years. Having the opportunity to visit the island nation after the devastating tsunami (Dec. 2004), he traveled past miles of destruction. There were entire communities with nothing but concrete pads where the houses had once stood. Coming to the former location of a small town, a lone house still remained standing surrounded by concrete pads where neighboring homes once stood.
Unless you have climbed the Wall of All, you will have a hard time believing what follows. As the tsunami rushed landward, the owner of the home had no time to flee. There was literally nothing that she could humanly do to save either herself or her home. Facing imminent destruction, she climbed the Wall of All. She cried out from the human impossibility to the great God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all, “Lord Jesus, I have been faithful in coming to your house, now I need you to be faithful and come to my house”.
The wall of water overtook the village, and swept it away, except for the house where the lady prayed. There is no human explanation for why her house stood. In faith, she climbed the Wall of All, that place where all of her capacity, all of her brilliance, all of her finances, all of her wisdom ran out, and she found that there truly is a God who is exceeding abundantly above our all.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.