For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 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 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. Ephesians 3:14–19
This must be one of the most inspiring passages of Paul’s letter, showing how Christ takes residence in the believer, making his home in our inner being. It is Trinitarian, for Paul prays that the Father would strengthen his children through his Spirit so that Christ may dwell in us. Christ lives in us, and we live in Christ. He changes our outlook, attitudes, and emotions, making us more like him. We then yearn for justice and mercy; we pray for those who wrong us; we can rest and be at peace.
Why and how? All though love. Love that is wide, long, high, and deep, beyond our knowing. Some commentators dismiss these geographical descriptions as a mere poetical flourish, but I think they give a rich image of the all-surpassing vastness of God’s love. John Stott tells of the ancient commentators who saw these dimensions illustrated on the cross of Christ: “For its upright pole reached down into the earth and pointed up to heaven, while its crossbar carried the arms of Jesus, stretched out as if to invite and welcome the world” (John Stott, God’s New Society, IVP, p. 137). As he says, it may be fanciful, but it is true.
With Christ dwelling within, we are rooted and established in his love – rooted, as if a tree or a vine, and established, as if the foundation of a well-built building. May this love permeate your being today.
Prayer: “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 3:20–21).