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.
|Unity Cross by Gwen Meharg|
Paul started this prayer in chapter 1, verse17. Through many asides and digressions, (aaahhh . . . Paul) he continues it.
God is rich. Richer than the richest person on earth. In fact, He owns it all. Everything. It's all His. Nothing belongs to us, really. And, it's not just the tangible things that He owns, He is absolutely full to the brim (and it never goes lower than full) with mercy and compassion, love and forgiveness, strength and power. From this glorious storehouse of wealth He fills our inner being, our spirit, with the strength and power to BELIEVE that God is who He says He is and that Christ lives in our hearts, the seat of our entire personality.
The result of Christ living in our hearts is love. Paul uses two metaphors here, one biological and one architectural: "being rooted and established." The first is of a tree with deep roots in the soil of love and the second is of a building with strong foundations laid on the rock of love. These two pictures are not accidental. They are meant to give us an image of the strength of love from God to us and from us to others. (See Col. 2:7)
Paul once again reinforces the importance and power of the church by attaching our ability to understand this powerful love to our relationship with other believers. Remember, Paul's letter to the Ephesians is most concerned with unity in the church . . . and, that unity is achieved by the power of love.
God's love is "wide" enough to reach the whole world. It is "long" enough to stretch far into eternity. It is "high" enough to raise us all, Jew and Gentile alike, to Him who sits on the throne. It is "deep" enough to rescue us from the clutches of sin.
Paul realizes that he is trying to measure the immeasurable and so he prays. He prays for believers everywhere and through all of time that we might know the unknowable -- that we might know a portion of this love that is incomprehensible. Just a portion of this love is powerful enough to change the hardest of hearts. He prays that this immeasurable, unknowable love would do it's work in us, fill us full to the brim with the faith to believe and to trust the God who loves us and the power to love all those who believe with us.