Paul laid out profound theological truths in the first part of this letter, not to correct any wrongdoing, but to encourage the readers to mature in the faith. Today’s verses are a great catalyst for my faith-life every time I read or remember them, because they bring my focus to who God is, help me remember who I am to God, and assure me that I am never alone.
Read Ephesians 3:14-19 in The Message. If possible, read it aloud.
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19, MSG
Signs of the Times
- In Biblical times, people stood to pray more often than they knelt (see Solomon’s example in 1 Kings 8). It was appropriate to kneel or fall prostrate, especially in crucial circumstances. (Rulers of many of the kingdoms of the time required their subjects to prostate themselves before them.) Those who knelt in prayer usually stretched out the arms and hands toward the deities they were praying to (heaven, idols, rulers, etc.).
- In Biblical language, parts of the body are used as metaphors for people’s personality, emotions or thought processes (such as the heart in vs 17). However, the body parts that are used would not necessarily be the same ones we in these modern times. The important idea the ancient writers were conveying is that people are integral combinations of body and soul—the intellectual, physical, and spiritual aspects of life. They are so intertwined that they cannot be separated from each other.
Let’s read the verses again, this time in the New Living Translation.
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 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. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:14-19, NLT
What information can we glean from these verse? Let’s construct a chart that answers the following questions:
- Who is God?
- Why do we pray?
- What does God give us through prayer?
- What are we to do when we are filled with the presence of God?
Take a deep breath and feel the oxygen fill your lungs. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you just as deeply with His words as you read through the text once more in The Passion Translation.
14 So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. 17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life. 18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[b] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! Ephesians 3:14-19, TPT
Each time you read the scripture, God has a special message that is just for you at that particular place and time. An ages old method, Lecto Divina, involves reading through Scripture three times in a row, each time listening for the Holy Spirit’s words for you. It is my prayer that by studying Scripture in this way, we will hear what we need to hear today, right now.
What are you hearing today? Doodle it, write it, or explain it via a picture.
As always, I am encouraged by your comments and doodles. Feel free to share them with me at KSEvenhouseWWV@gmail.com.