February 16, 2021
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)
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 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.
We began this interlude through the days of Epiphany with what we called the first prayer for great awakening. It’s from Ephesians 1:17-19a:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
We close with the second prayer for great awakening with today’s text. Can we begin with the end?
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
We should probably just camp out right here for the rest of the year . . . for the rest of our lives, even. This is the goal—to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. It is the highest ambition of our lives; the purpose for which we were made in the first place—to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
As we stand here, atop Transfiguration Mountain, let us ponder this question: What would that be like—to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? This is what it would mean to be fully awake in this life. It means we must grapple deeply with questions like these: Do I believe it is possible to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? If it is possible, would I want this for my life? Why wouldn’t I want this for my life? What is the cost of this becoming true for my life? Is the cost worth it? Is the cost of not pursuing this worth it?
There are two traps I want to warn of before going further. One the one hand, is the trap of casual Christianity. It is the state of status-quo religion. The other trap is committed Christianity. The former is filled with apathy; the latter with ambition. They are both self-oriented ways of living. To be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God means life on another level; another plane of existence. It requires the emptying of self-oriented ways of living. It is not a middle way between apathy and ambition. It is another way entirely—the way of abandonment to Jesus.
There is so much to say here on the eve of the most consequential Ash Wednesday in our lifetimes. I will simply give the microphone to Jesus as he speaks to his followers at basecamp. This is the invitation to the cross. It is a rebuke to both casual and committed religion. This is the invitation to consecration—which is the way to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. That’s where this bus is going.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34-35)
Almighty God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—my Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen us with power through your Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And we pray that we, 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 we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
So how about it—do you want to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? Why or why not? What does the word consecration mean to you?
For the Awakening,
Please join us for A Night with New Room: Ash Wednesday.
To be filled with the measure of all the fullness of God
Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered.
You must deny yourself and carry your cross (your instrument of death) and follow me
I believe as a believer, we visit this realm of being, by the GRACE of God.
I believe we obtain it when we become more aware of the Christ within, than our own desires.
When we say to ourselves in full submission, for me to live is Christ.
It’s not a practice but a state of being. It’s realizing that Jesus is your life and without him you can do nothing.
Once you experience this life within, it strengthens you to desire more.