Love and a certain Spirit: Two (or three) ingredients to knowing Christ’s love better.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, 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.” -Ephesians 3:17b-19

In this passage, Paul describes his desire for the Ephesians to know Christ’s love, in order that He might fill them completely.

Knowing Christ’s love requires being experienced–rooted and established–in love ourselves. In order to know Christ’s love we have to know how to be in a loving relationship. We have to know how to love and be loved. I already wrote about how obedience can help us relate to God, and this illustrates just how deep that obedience can go. Our depth of obedience determines the depth of our knowledge of God. Our depth of love determines the depth of our knowledge of God’s love.

One quick example of the depth of Jesus’ love can be found in Matthew 5:43-45.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…”

Loving our enemies helps us relate to our Father in heaven because that’s the same thing that He did. God loved His enemies so much that the Son died helping them.

But having experience in love is just the prerequisite. Beyond that, verse 18 says we need power–power to grasp. That power is something that, apparently, can be requested in prayer.

Earlier in the book, Paul writes that he is praying for something that will help the Ephesians know God better. Essentially the same thing he is praying for in these verses. But in his earlier statement, he gets a little more specific. In 1:17, he says that he prays for the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation.”

One of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit is to help us know God. The Spirit, by wisdom and revelation, helps us understand the dimensions of the love of Christ. The power Paul is praying for is one of wisdom and revelation, from the Spirit.

As we progress in these three areas: love, wisdom, and revelation, our knowledge of Jesus Christ and the rest of the Godhead will also progress.

So here’s a first step for you: get yourself in some loving relationships. Find some people with whom you can feel safe sharing your deepest convictions in life, and then go deep with them. My first year in college, I found one of the most loving groups of people I’ve ever met. There was a small group of us that got together every weekday morning to encourage each other from the Bible and spend some time in prayer. Consistently praying for someone, and letting them pray for you, is the most successful way I have found to form deep, loving relationships.

Once you find someone, I have a starter prayer request for you: the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Add that to your personal prayers for each other, and watch the width, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love grow.


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