14. Spiritual growth -my role, part I.
Ephesians 3:14-21, focusing on verses 17-19: “then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, … how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.” (NLT, emphasis mine)
My copy of the New Living Translation places a heading over verses 14 to 21: “Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth.” This powerful prayer paints a picture of the abundant life that Jesus offered, an intimate relationship with God, full of deep and satisfying love, supernatural power, and fulfilling purpose in life. Although God does the transformation in my life to make me more mature spiritually and experience more of His abundant life, I have a responsibility to cooperate with Him in that process and put myself in a position to be changed.
What do I, as a Christian, need to do and be in order to take part in this abundant life?
- V. 17 – trust Christ to be consistently present in my life. I need to pray for sensitivity to His presence in my life. And I need to really believe that His presence in my life will change me to be more like Him.
- V. 18 – understand the extent of His love. In order to understand any concept, I need to expose myself to information about that subject. In this case, I need to be in God’s Word; I need to ask Him to show me His love; I need to open my eyes to the way He is loving me – sometimes directly and sometimes through other people, books, messages, etc. Verse 19 states that God’s love is too great to understand fully, but that does not mean that I should not try to understand as much as He reveals to me. Yes, I need to put some mental effort into knowing the love of God, and Paul’s prayer was that God would give us the power to do so. Reminds me of the passages that say we need to exercise faith, but that God is the one who gives us faith. Mark 9:24 – “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.” Luke 17:5 -The disciples said, “Increase our faith” and Jesus answered that even a tiny bit of faith is sufficient if you act on it.
- V. 19 – to be continued tomorrow
Father, please help me use the faith I have today to believe what You have said. Show me specifically how I can exercise my faith today to make it stronger. Amen