…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.
And to know this love that passes knowledge… How can one know something that surpasses knowledge? Is He, perhaps, referring here to the difference between “to know” (the experience) and knowledge (the thing)? If I am rooted and established in love, then I am in the place where He can give me the power to know the love of Christ, to lose myself in it as a woman loses herself in her husband or a husband in his wife, becoming one… and not just me as an individual, but me and the rest of the body as one.
There is a difference between standing on the shore, merely looking at the ocean, and being out in a boat surrounded by the water. Only when in the water can you even begin to perceive how long and wide and deep it is. Only then can you experience it.
So we have to be rooted and established in love first, genuinely walking in it, before we can truly gain the power to move on out into LOVE – that being the love of Christ, the love that is God. And only when we know (are one with) the love of Christ can we “be filled with all the fullness of God.” When we truly know (experience and are one with) the love of Christ our prejudices will melt away. How can we be prejudiced against, look down upon, or count less worthy than ourselves, another of His creation…another part of His body…another whom we love? If we walk in the love of Christ we cannot, for those prejudices are outside of love and His love is too high, too long, too wide and too deep for us to be able to reach them.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are God’s workmanship!
We should never read these words so quickly that we miss them. God’s child is not the inferior product of the world he grew up in, nor is he an accident created by nature. God’s child is God’s creation – God’s workmanship – and God… does… not… make… junk.
We are created in Christ Jesus.
This truth alone could inspire a book of meditations. Repeatedly, God’s Word refers to us being “in Christ.” If this is so, how can we count ourselves as less than valuable, less than able, less than worthy, less than powerful…less than anything? If we are in Christ, we have as much worth, ability, worthiness, power…as any other part of His body does. The question is, what do we do with it?
We are to do good works.
When being encouraged to do good works, people often quote Eph 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Yes, we are saved by grace, through faith and not by our works; salvation is a gift. Now, if those who so enjoy quoting verses 8 and 9 would only continue to verse 10, they would see why God gave us the gift – “to do good works.” God doesn’t give useless gifts; He gives gifts with a purpose. Knowing this, we realize we are responsible to find out what His plans for us are, and to follow through and do.
God prepared these works in advance, expecting us to do them.
How much more clear can it get? God had a plan in mind, works lined out for each one of us to do, even before we accepted His gift of salvation. Now it’s our turn. Now it’s time for us to learn what those works are, pull ourselves together, and go get them done. This is not something we can do; it is something we must do if we are to be pleasing to Him. After all, His Word says repeatedly that faith without works is dead (James 2:17, 20, 26) and that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).
…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
This very same power is available for me! Why do I have such a hard time getting this revelation?
…the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…
This final word is the key: believe. This exceedingly great power is available for us who believe – who believe in Him, in all He’s done, and in the fact that He will do it all for us. Believe. It’s so simple, or should be. Why, good grief! You’d think I would figure it out in my heart as well as my head that if this same all-powerful God gave His only son for me then I am important enough that, having expended so much power already on the “hard stuff,” He will be pleased when I give Him opportunity to share more.
It is clear that He looks for the times when I trust Him and open the door so He can, “…show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” (II Chron 16:9) I love that portion of Scripture. In the New King James the verse reads, “For the eyes of the lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
My heart is loyal to my God. I may fail in the area of consistency, but I love Him and I will (I choose) to be faithful to Him. So He tells me in His Word – more than once – that His will, His choice, is to bless me… To bless ME! I hear Him speak it to my spirit over and over. I see Him in action time and time again. So why is it hard to remember that His will is to bless me? Why can it sometimes be so hard to believe that I am worthy of those blessings?