When I rose from my knees, having drunk deeply from Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21, I was in awe – that I “might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Since I am so limited in my scope, such a thought surpasses my wildest expectations of what God has for me in Christ. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall that before understanding this truth I ever considered asking for such a thing.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
Certainly I knew of His indwelling presence, yet I had always passed superficially over these words,
“Be strengthened with might by his Spirit”
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”
“That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints”
Here is not simply the promise to the unbeliever of the prospect of uniting with Christ in salvation, but Paul’s awe-inspiring prayer that believers might enter by His Spirit and by faith into the reality of the fullness of Christ in them! What are the marks of the fullness of God in a believer? They are:
• “being rooted and grounded in love”
• Comprehending “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of that love
• Knowing “the love of Christ which passeth knowledge”
Do we recall that the fruit of the Spirit is, first, love? The natural outgrowth of His fullness in our lives will be magnificent, radiant, self-sacrificing, Divine Love. The fullness of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21) changes everything about the way we act toward others. He changes our speaking, our singing, our daydreaming, our attitude, and our desire to submit to others. Wives stop struggling against their husbands faulty leadership, husbands stop neglecting the needs of their wives, children stop talking back, fathers stop frustrating their children, and employees stop dishonoring their employers behind their backs. Suddenly, believers are overwhelmed with the great need of a perishing world around them, and individual souls become precious – so precious that believers can hardly contain their desire to win them to Christ.
“But,” you say, “that’s an impossible utopian ideal! At best, we can only hope to gain a little more footing in each of these relationships every day. We hope that we will become less and less irritable, nagging, and disrespectful as we ‘grow.’ No one can simply ‘start loving’ as Christ does. Isn’t that supposed to be a process over a long span of time? Isn’t that a state we can only hope for in heaven?”
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17
Oh that we would take hold of God’s promise by faith and let the Spirit of Christ fill us with His perfect love in this world! Such love demonstrated by the Church would lift up the Savior for all to see and would draw all men unto Him.
“Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Written by Colin Richards. This article was published in the Summer 2007 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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