That You Might Be Filled with All the Fullness of God
This might be the most beautiful part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians; but then again there are many beautiful parts in this letter. You will remember from our first devotion that some have called this letter the “crown of Paulinism,” and this particular prayer of the Apostle, though short, really shows us his heart for God’s Church.
Paul bows his knees. I won’t make much of this, only to say that posture during prayer says more than we know. He makes this prayer to the Father, who is God and Father over all as Creator, but only over His people as Redeemer. And for what does Paul ask? That we may “be strengthened with power through His Spirit in [our] inner being, so that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith.” Consider that Paul is speaking to Christians, so Christ already dwells in their hearts through faith. But Paul wants more of Christ; Paul wants more of the Spirit. And Jesus himself said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). And as Christ dwells in our hearts, we are thus “rooted and grounded in love.” There is no way to truly love without Christ in our hearts. Sadly, there are many of us with Christ in our hearts who show little love. How comes this? Perhaps we should set aside our personal prayer requests and instead pray the prayers that are written in the Bible. Perhaps then we shall receive more of His Spirit and hence experience more of the overflowing love of God in our hearts for people we don’t even know, and may even dislike.
And this love is necessary for one other thing: “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” This is the best the Christian can ask for in this life—and I suppose in the next—to be filled with all the fullness of God. Of what that consists, I cannot say. It must have something to do with love as that is what Paul has been discussing—an all-encompassing, enveloping love where one is lost in God’s love, yet found at the same time—a love that includes others as it spills out for God’s sake. Well, I guess I’m wandering.
The last part of the prayer is what is called a “doxology,” a word of glory to God and a “benediction,” a good word, to us. And notice that Paul says, “To Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus.” In the Church. Amen!