Power to Know God’s Love.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (NIV)
Why is it so hard to accept that God loves us as we are? Why is it so hard for us to accept the grace of God? He has displayed it vividly in the passion of the cross. A God who is willing to die for us must love us enough to give us all grace and mercy. This is not something we don’t know intellectually, but we struggle to live it out daily.
Taking what we have been taught, studied, and retained in our intellect into the depths of our hearts for an intimacy that affects how we live and move and breathe is the struggle in most things spiritual.
I know God is able to do all things, but my faith fails. I know God loves me, but shame haunts me. I know God gives mercy, but condemnation weighs on me. Allowing what my mind knows to descend into my heart is not easy, but necessary to experience the fullness of God.
The heart struggles with the sinfulness of itself. The Bible reminds us that what we feel, our emotions, have a greater power of deceit than all things. I can know the Biblical description of love like the back of my hand, but for this knowledge to change how I feel is beyond my power. God can move our hearts like He moves the streams and rivers across the land. The Spirit is able to cleanse, heal, and transform our hearts so that what we feel in a moment will match up with what we know about God.
This is Paul’s prayer in our passage today. He is praying that we might have power from the Spirit to become intimately cognizant of the love of God. He wants to flood our hearts with a love that drives out fear, guilt, shame, and condemnation. But we need help from the Spirit.
Unless we develop a daily habit of allowing ourselves to encounter the mystical presence of the Holy Spirit through prayer, meditation, and worship, what we know will be forever stuck in our heads and our hearts will never be free. Read passages such as 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 slowly in a meditative way asking the Spirit to fill you with the power to transform intellectual concepts into a state of mind. God will do in you what your mind is helpless to do. Then, what you feel in your heart will align with what you know.
Prayer: Lord, help me to spend time in the Spirit that I might grasp the love You have for me. Amen.