I’ve been meditating on what it means to be filled with the fullness of God, and what it means to comprehend the width and length and depth and height of His love. The question arose in my mind from Paul’s prayer:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:14-19)
Paul is asking our Lord to grant us strength from the Holy Spirit to our spirit (inner man), for Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith, so that we can first be rooted and grounded in His love. “Rooted and grounded” gives a picture of plants being deeply rooted in soil, getting the appropriate nutrients, so that they grow and blossom. When we are rooted in God’s love, we grow in love, are fulfilled and satisfied, and bear fruit.
Paul knows it’s only possible to begin to understand the infinite love God has for us, when we are first rooted and grounded in His love. It’s only then that we can understand the depth of His sacrificial love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) He loves us more than we can fathom out of His abundance of grace and mercy (limitless, never ending, infinite), even though we don’t deserve His love or grace. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)
To try to understand His fullness, let’s first look at the dimensions. The width of His love is shown here: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Ps 103:12) At the time this was written, mankind didn’t know the earth was a sphere or that we had poles. God knew the distance between the poles could be measured, but you cannot measure the distance between the east and the west. The Hebrew word for East is kedem, meaning everlasting. Out of His fullness, God removes our repented sin without end, perpetually.
The length of God’s love is was shown in the redeeming work done in Jesus Christ for all who will believe by faith. “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 Jn 4:9-10) Eternity has no limit. He has given us free will, so we choose whether we live with Him in eternity or choose to stay in His wrath. But He made the way for us to choose eternal life in Christ.
The depth of His love is shown in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The King of kings and Lord of lords came to earth as a man and servant, in order to die a horrible death so that those of us born in sin (all of us), could have eternal life in Him: “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28). His sacrificial love is without equal, and was for our benefit not His.
The height of His love is higher than we can see. Look up at the stars tonight, see the vastness of the heavens, and then stop to know that we can only see a small fraction. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him” (Ps 103:11). His love, mercy and grace are bestowed upon us in out of His abundance, which is infinite.
As we ponder the vastness of His love for us, “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:19). Adam Clarke said, “Among all the great sayings in this prayer, this is the greatest. To be Filled with God is a great thing; to be filled with the Fullness of God is still greater; but to be filled with All the fullness of God, utterly bewilders the sense and confounds the understanding. Christ lives in us, and He is the hope of glory (Col 1:27). “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” (Col 2:9-10)
As we come to realize that the Lord who fills everything, is everywhere, knows everything, and is all powerful resides within us, then let us realize that whatever is going on in our lives is truly nothing in comparison to all that He can do. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21)
Yesterday, I had the pleasure to call upon Him for His intervention here on earth. My dear friend and sister-in-Christ was getting her chemo, the method that the Lord made clear to her that He would use to heal her. She had her peace from Him to get the chemo, even though it wasn’t the answer she wanted to receive. But in obedience, she is walking down the path the Lord showed her in prayer and Scripture. The enemy was fighting this method by fever and sweats, and the doctor said if the fever went higher they would have to stop the chemo. I prayed and asked others to join me in agreement asking that the Lord’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven and surely He will deliver her from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. Jesus is her shield and buckler. He gives His angels charge over her. Greater is He who is in her, than he who is in the world. The Lord reigns and He will be glorified! In Jesus’s name amen! It wasn’t but a few minutes later that she reported her temperature had been taken again, and there was NO fever! He IS able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! Thank you, Jesus!