When I read over this lesson I could feel that it was a farewell address. Paul was giving advice and encouragement for the time when he could no longer be with the people of Ephesus. It was a prayer for spiritual strength; for courage and perseverance. (Vv. 16-17)
At the beginning of this 3rd chapter of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus he referred to himself as a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
After a series of trials before several tribunals Paul had appealed to the Emperor. He was on his way to Rome by way of churches he had founded. (Cf. Acts 25:10-12) He did not want the concern that these people of Ephesus had for him to hinder the growth of their faith in God. Having said this, look at the main thrust of today’s Epistle reading.
Paul prayed that the people of the church at Ephesus would be strengthened in their inner being with power through the Spirit; that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith. He prayed for them to be rooted and grounded in love.
Paul’s main thrust was that they might have power to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that they might be filled with all the fullness of God. This was a prayer for greater faith.
Whenever I am faced with the prospect of comprehending something beyond my experience I pray for the strength to reach out in faith. I need to be stretched spiritually beyond what I have known before.
The dimensions that Paul prayed for those people to comprehend are great. They are dimensions that cannot be measured with a ruler or by any other instrument.
The spirits of those people needed to stretch before they could comprehend the greatness of that love. It was that for which Paul prayed. It is that for which any of us can pray; comprehension beyond what we know.
Can you pray for this; to be stretched and strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit?
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