I’ve been feeling a little disconnected from my church family lately. I used to teach in both an adult Sunday School class as well as our Women’s Bible study group. Last year, I stepped down from both of those positions. It was the right time and it has been the right decision. But I have missed the blessings that only come from walking alongside others in a small group. So, as Lent approached, I decided to seek out a small group which would challenge my spiritual comfort zone. Last week I began participating in a spiritual formation class which is certainly stretching some spiritual muscles I haven’t exercised in a while. And one of this week’s exercises led me to pray a passage of Scripture specifically for you.
I’ve prayed Ephesians 3:14-21 for each of you who are a part of the Making It Real Ministries community before. It is how I closed the post How to Strengthen Your Relationship with Christ in Ways that Work with Who You Are and Your Season of Life. And this week, I did so again.
My Prayer for You
Using the words penned and prayed by Paul, here is what I prayed over and for you:
I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name and 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.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV)
Strengthened with His Power
While most of us like to think we can live life in our own strength, the truth is we can only live powerfully through the power of his Spirit dwelling in us. Our weakness allows God’s strength to be all the more apparent to us and others. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).
Much like one is better able to see the stars illuminated in the night sky of the countryside rather than in the harsh glare of the city lights, one is able to recognize the capability of God when it is contrasted with our inability.
Flipping a light switch on and filling a dark gloomy room with a comforting glow can make us feel self-sufficient, while standing alone in the inky isolation of a rural Texas pasture gazing up into the heavenly lights brings to mind the Psalmist’s words:
It is precisely in those moments where our unworthiness is most vivid that we find out how well rooted and established in love our faith is.
This foundation upon which our faith rests is not the Hallmark love of cards, candy, and fleeting sentiment, but the deep, abiding, never-failing love of God; a love so solid, so amazing that we can only grasp the breadth, width, height and depth of it by the power of God’s Spirit revealing it to us.
God’s self-sacrificing, redeeming, and transformational love transcends our human understanding. It makes no sense to creatures who naturally are self-centered. Yet it is the very manifestation of God’s nature. God is love. (1 John 4:8,16 NIV )
When Christ dwells in our heart, we are able to face the true answer to the Psalmist’s question: it is not because of who we are that God is mindful of us; it is because of who God is. It is not our worthiness but his grace.
He knew before he even created us that we would need his forgiveness and redemption (see Ephesians 1:3-10). And in his mercy, he planned to sacrifice himself to meet our need.
Christ Dwelling in Your Heart
Christ dwelling in our heart can bring about more than we can ask or imagine. As we submit to him and cooperate with him, we will stand amazed at what he brings about.
In my own life, I’ve seen him transform messes into messages, cynicism into hope, and division into unity. I’ve tasted the fruit produced from abiding in his presence. It is glorious. And it leaves no doubt as to its divine source.
Strengthening Your Relationship with Christ
If you are not feeling rooted and established as deeply and strongly as you would like, maybe, like me, you need to step a little further out of your comfort zone and let him reveal himself to you in fresh new ways. Or, maybe you need to find ways to relate with God that are more in line with your current season of life.
Whatever the reason, if you desire a stronger, more intimate fellowship with God you might find it helpful to go through the process outlined in this free step-by-step guide.
I pray God will use it to guide you to meaningful ways of abiding in him and him in you. Just click the button and request your copy and I’ll email it to you instantly.
How about you? How is your relationship with Christ? What do you do that helps you abide in him and keep you aware of his presence in you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.