We’ve been examining Ephesians 3:14 – 21 for the last six weeks. We considered Paul’s posture in prayer as he kneels before the Father of every family in Heaven and on Earth. We looked at the reasons Paul prayed in light of our identity in Christ. We thought about our source of true spiritual power in the riches of God’s glory. We discussed what it means to have Christ settle down and dwell in our hearts through faith. We examined what it means to be rooted in the love of Christ like a tall tree with deep roots, strong character and godly fruit. And we studied what it means to be grounded in the love of Christ like a tall building with a solid foundation.
Our mission is to be a gospel centered church family of gospel communities that grow missionally engaged disciples who glorify God. This means that we value the transforming message of the gospel. We value the diversity of the church family. We value and want to be wholeheartedly invested in the work of God’s mission throughout the world.
The author of the book of Job says that “God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind.” God spoke to Job in person, out of a whirlwind. What would that look like? What would it be like to speak personally with God in the midst of a whirlwind? What would it be like to be so grounded in the love of Christ that when the nastiest of storms hit my life, I seek the presence of God until he shows up and speaks to me?
In Ephesians 3:16 – 17 Paul prays that the Holy Spirit would strengthen us so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith as our hearts are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ.
Where is Jesus right now and what is he saying to you? This question gets to the bottom of what’s happening in our hearts. It helps us stop and evaluate our lives. It helps us examine the health of our relationship with Jesus. It helps us assess whether or not Christ has settled down in our hearts through faith. Our hearts are like fields full of soil and our lives are like trees growing in those fields.
Every relationship, has seasons of relational dysfunction that need to be dealt with. Key phrase, dealt with, not ignored. And the same is true of my relationship with God. There are seasons where the fruit (behavior, affections and thoughts) of my life prove that my love for the Lord is lacking. When my behavior doesn’t match my words there’s something unsettled inside of me.
One author says that, “the love that motivates us is the power that drives us.” When the love within us is corrupted then the power that drives us will produce corruption. When what we love is rotten then the fruit of our lives will be rotten.
If we are honest, it is all too easy to find ourselves praying for the wrong reasons or praying to false images of who God is. It seems difficult to keep up a steady rhythm of prayer sometimes. Maybe we start praying and get distracted or even fall asleep. Or it feels dull and lifeless. Or you just don’t know what to say.
You and I have unhindered access to the powerful presence of God. What kind of boldness would that give you if you were confident in this truth?
We are studying Ephesians 3:1 – 13. In verse 13, Paul says “don’t lose heart when you see me suffering for you”. He’s in a prison cell waiting for his death sentence and he knows that his listeners will be tempted and tried from every side to cave into the pressures of Satan, sin and the world. So where does Paul’s confidence come from?