…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 that love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
That’s Ephesians 3, verses 17, 18 & 19.
I love that scripture so much. And I want you to be able to look through these words, one at a time, seeing just how profoundly Paul stresses his desire for the church to understand true Love. Not only does he want you to fully grasp how God feels for you— but he wants you to realize just what that kind of Love means. And to come to the knowledge that you were actually designed for the fullness of living in that same Love.
Often I catch myself saying or thinking something along the lines of “I want to understand your love for me, God, and to live it out like I’m supposed to… I know that in my little human capacity, I can’t really ever live fully up to it, but please help me to get as close as possible.”
But my outlook does not at all match the truth of Love described above. I wasn’t designed to “vainly strive” to obtain as much understanding as possible. My God is Love, and I was designed in His image, and since creation, totally wired for Love. All the fullness of it.
So, He shows us we do have the capacity.
And did you catch the part about it being a power? That’s right!
Love is a power. Understanding Love is a power. And walking in Love is a power.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” –II Timothy 1:7
And God doesn’t call us to do things we can’t do through Jesus– the one who was our atonement and redeemer from the sin that did make us slaves to fear. But we have been lifted up! We are not in that desolate place anymore– we are in Christ. We are restored to the place God designed us for.
Yes, we will fail. We’ll mess up. All the time.
But God isn’t asking you to be perfect, to love, or to fight: on your own. He is asking you to accept His ability, His strength, and above all His grace. He’s asking you to just surrender– commit yourself wholly to Him (the One who IS able to do this mighty work!), and to let Him guide you into the Fullness of His perfect Love. Not our perfect Love- His.
We can’t Love without knowing God.
We can’t Love without knowing what Love even means.
We’ll know what it truly means when we have learned what He did for us, can understand how He looks at us, and have taken to heart the detailed descriptions He even took the time to write down for us, should we still not understand.
Originally, I wanted to take this February to explore the true way of Love, as spelled out in I Corinthians 13. From being patient to never failing, I want to meditate on all its aspects and to develop a fuller understanding of the characteristics of Love.
But with school starting up, and with a desire to take my time with this (or, God’s time) so as not to miss anything or be hindered in this study by the stress of a rigid schedule, I have decided to allow this to simply flow along as it comes.
By looking into the Bible at Jesus’ example, at the accounts written of His followers in their journeys of understanding and teaching God’s Love, and by reflecting on the people and experiences in my own life, I want to understand Love.
(Who knows how long it will take!) “Not that I have already obtained this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” –Philippians 3:12
But that’s why the very first element of Love is Patience. 😉 God wants us to get this. We have time! And time to relearn when we forget. And I have a sneaking suspicion that, above all, God’s goal in showing us perfect Love was to humble us to the fact that we will never be able to do it on our own— it is in the humility of surrender that He gathers us up and does mighty works.
I am looking forward to this in-depth opportunity of fully grasping this Love that surpasses knowledge, seeing just how wide and long and high and deep it is. And that same Love, my friends, is available to us! Wow.
So, would you join me? ♥