In Ephesians 3:16-19 Paul prays, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Wow! What a prayer. One thing I have come to realize is no matter where we come from, what we look like or what level of education we may have, we all need God’s Spirit to strengthen our inner man. He prays that we may know something that surpasses all knowledge. Did you catch that? He then wraps this all up in a love bundle. His focus seems to be on us knowing the love of Christ so we will be filled with all the fullness of God. In other words the more we receive and come to know the love of God the more we will be strengthened.
There have been countless times I have heard inmates say they just want to have contact with their loved ones. Truly there must be strength that they are receiving when they come to visit or talk with them on the phone. It’s as if life’s battery starts to run down without loved ones present. After a visit though, you can be charged up and able to face a little more time.
Paul wants the Ephesians to focus on their inner life, the life of the spirit. No matter where we are whether it’s prison or a far away country if we can learn to receive this strength by way of the Holy Spirit we too can stay charged up. If Christ dwells in our hearts through faith then we can get through anything.
What is it that gives us this strength? It is the knowledge of how much God loves us. Most of us know the Bible tells us “God is love.” Most probably know God so loved us he sent his only begotten son to die for us, and in fact as us. That is a love that truly can’t be fully understood yet the more we come to see and believe the immense love God has for us the more strength we receive.
We truly do have a treasure in our earthen vessel. It is the Spirit of God himself. It is the Spirit of love that longs to fill us to overflowing. We may know or understand lots of things, but if we don’t know the love of God we are merely a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. The love of God is what strengthens us and gives us the ability to handle people and situations we could never put up with without him.
It isn’t wrong to pray for someone’s health to get better, financial situation to improve or their family to be reconciled with one another. The real need though is for us to be strengthened in our inner man so we might be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Written by Louie