"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."
If you asked me to tell you just how much I loved my mom or my sister, I wouldn't fully be able to speak it to you with words.
There would be no humanly possible way for me to explain my love for them in words, because just saying, "I love them," doesn't express the depth of it. You would have to truly know me, to understand the greatness of the love.
If you asked me to tell you how well my best friend and I know each other, I wouldn't fully be able to express it to you. It wouldn't be something that you could understand with words or a phrase like, "We know each other so well." You would have to experience the relationship to understand the depth of it.
When I think about this things, I look at this verse and I wonder what it means when Paul prays that we would know the love of Christ.
Did he want us to simply hear about it or be told about this great love and accept it? Did he want us to experience it once and let that be enough? Is that what he is praying here? That we would know Christ's love like you know I love my family because I told you so?
No, it's not.
Because that's not what you were meant for.
The Greek word that Paul is using here doesn't simply mean to "know" something like I "know" who our President is or I "know" that the earth is round. That is simply a head knowledge. That means I know what I have heard, but I have never fully experienced it for myself.
That's not what Paul is praying for here.
The word he is using here in Greek, ginosko, means to know completely. This is a knowledge that you understand with your heart because you've experienced it personally, up close. It's not something you've read about or been told about. It's something you have lived and known to be true.
And that's what Paul is praying here for us.
That we would know Christ's love this way too. Not just as something we read about in Scripture or hear about in Sunday School. But that we would experience and fully know Christ's great love for us that is so deep and so wide, it's impossible to fully comprehend it.
But how do you experience and know something in that way? How do you learn to know Christ's love for you firsthand?
And I think it starts with this verse: "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."
This Greek word for "dwell"--katoikeo--basically means to permanently dwell somewhere. Think about your house. You live there on a daily basis, it's your safe haven, you know it inside and out. Think about the people you live with, your family. You know them at their best and their worst. You spend consist time with them. You dwell with them.
Because of that dwelling with them, you truly know them--better than anyone else on earth.
To know Christ's love, we must allow Him to dwell in our hearts. We need to make our hearts a safe dwelling place for Him.
What are some practical ways that you can invest in your relationship with Christ by dwelling with Him?
Develop daily spiritual disciplines--Bible study, Scripture memorization/meditation, prayer, worship, daily quiet time with God to listen for His voice. When you develop these things, you are investing in your relationship with Him and you are truly knowing Him, not just with your head but with your heart too. Make prayer a consistent practice so that going and talking to God comes more naturally than talking to your best friend.
Consistently search your heart to seek out any areas of sin in your life that are not allowing your heart to be a safe dwelling place for God. When you identify an area of sin, cut it out immediately.
Get an accountability system to keep you focused on your relationship with Christ.
When you learn to dwell with Christ and know Him, everything changes. You realize that you have a constant Friend who never leaves or forsakes you. And you understand that much more of His great love for you.
Because it's true.
He loves you oh, so much.
More than you could imagine, more than you could comprehend. Deeper than the deepest ocean. Higher than the tallest mountain. Wider than the largest desert. Longer than the span of history. His love is so much greater than you could imagine.
Let's soak in that love.
"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."
What are your thoughts on this chapter? Have you experienced Christ's love and redemption for yourself or just from what you've heard? How can you focus on dwelling with Christ this week? Share your thoughts in the comments!
*Greek words were found in the NKJV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. :)