Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 16, 2018
By Tripp Prince
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. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)
In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, he’s writing to a group of diverse people, Jews and Gentiles, male and female, rich and poor, all of whom have come from these diverse backgrounds and now find themselves one in Christ (Ephesians 2:13). As such, Ephesians is a letter about moving from new beginnings into the fullness of life with God. Yet I wonder, how many of us have begun the Christian life yet still find ourselves stuck at the starting line?
In my experience, we in the church often spend a great deal of time and energy getting people to the starting line of faith. And as vital as the work of evangelism certainly is, according to Paul, it isn’t the end goal. Conversion of life to Christ is the starting line, but the end goal is that we would be filled with “all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).
If you find yourself frustrated with your faith journey today, I wonder if it might be a lack of vision for what life in the fullness of God looks like?
If our vision of the Christian life is envisioned only as a single moment of conversion, we miss the joy of a life long journey into the likeness of Christ, lived out with his people, for the life of the world! If we can embrace this vision and begin to live into it, according to Paul, we will be rooted and grounded in the love of God and will receive the power we need to live a full and flourishing life.
In order for this to be true, we must cultivate an attentiveness and mindfulness to the work of Christ in our midst, which in our busy and scattered culture is an increasingly difficult thing to do! Yet if we don’t learn how to slow down and be attentive to the Spirit’s work in our lives, we will approach our spiritual growth at the same hectic pace in which we live in every other area of life. If we are constantly distracted, overworked, and anxious, when we try to journey with Jesus into the fullness of life with God, we will instead simply be overwhelmed and distracted by the countless commitments we have made, which in and of themselves may be good and right; things like community groups, Bible studies, and community service.
In order to seek the stillness and peace that comes from dwelling in the presence of God, are we willing to let go of our busy and hectic lives? If not, I fear the results will be disastrous. We’ll be ever available and present to an infinite amount of people and places and issues, yet run the risk of missing God entirely in the process.
Father, give us the courage to live an unhurried life, ever present to you and the journey of faith you invite us into, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
What do you need to say no to today in order to have more space in your life to be attentive to the Spirit’s work in your life?
Conversion of life to Christ is the starting line, but the end goal is that we would be filled with “all the fullness of God”. #WisdomHunters #stuckfaith
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