For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge’that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19)
Did you catch those last ten words from today’s text? They are the most unfathomable words we could ever imagine as human beings. Go back and read them again. Here they are: “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
How can it be possible for you and me to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? This is the destination of this movement of the soul we call “deeper.” Now, as we’ve said before, deeper means going downward. Deeper doesn’t mean higher. It means lower. But the deeper the cup, the fuller the fullness, right?
So how might this work, being “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God?” Let’s look at the text. First, note the scripture is given to us in the form of prayer. The centerpiece is grasping how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Christ (v. 18). It is one thing to get this as an intellectual concept and even to believe it. That’s not the prayer. It is to “grasp” in a different way, a much deeper way, as the text says, to know something beyond knowledge (v. 19). This is at the level of experience yet deeper than feeling.
It happens when God “strengthen[s] you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (v. 16). We actually need the power of the Father through his Spirit to comprehend the love of God through his Son. He is praying that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power. This is not love as feeling, but love as power. We are getting way past the milk of spiritual nourishment and into the meat of maturing faith now.
One more small and mostly overlooked phrase needs to be pointed out. It’s this one: “together with all the Lord’s holy people” (v. 18). We cannot do this alone. It will only happen together. No, we don’t have to always be together for it to happen, but we must live in a new way of relationship, of being together. That’s what banding together is all about. That’s why we are traveling this way together. Depth only happens together.
Jesus, empower us to grasp what surpasses knowledge, which can only happen because you have known and grasped us through your all-surpassing love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Get a piece of bread or a cookie or a candy bar or, if you are one of those kind of people, get an apple. Note everything you know about whatever it is you are holding and looking at. Now, take a bite out of said piece of food. Note what you know about it. See the difference? Now work this over in light of today’s text and reading.
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