Ask great things of God

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Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power. 2 Thess. 1:11

In today's devotional, I want to consider the phrase, "and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness." The ESV helpfully translates this as: "and may fulfill every resolve for good." This is a prayer that the good resolutions of godly people might be fulfilled. Sometimes, we have grand visions for our own lives or for our churches, and yet we can feel paralyzed and helpless and not know what to do next. All we can see are our own limitations and weaknesses. We can see things that need to be done, but we don't see how to do them, or to bring into actualization our hopes and dreams for the kingdom of God.

If you feel this way, might I suggest that you start where the apostle does, with prayer? In this prayer for the believers at Thessaloniki, the apostle asks the Lord to fulfill the good resolves of the saints. God is the one who can take what we see needs to be done and (if it is according to his will) make it a reality. God is the one who can open doors for saints with "little strength" (Rev. 3:8).

Now this doesn't mean that we just sit back and do nothing. Prayer is not a replacement for strategy and thinking and planning and doing. But prayer is an acknowledgement that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it (Ps. 127:1). It is a plea for help from God who is able to make the crooked straight and the rough places plain (Isa. 40:4). Furthermore, we know that the Lord loves to answer the prayers of his saints: "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Ps. 50:15).

Therefore, as we go forward and attempt great things for God and expect great things from God (William Carey), let us begin by asking great things of God.

By: Jeremiah Bass