There was a time, just a couple of years ago, when gas prices were at about $4.00 per gallon. We drove a big black van–a Dodge 1500 with a 25 gallon tank, and it costed me, on several occasions, over $100 to fill it up! The kicker was that the mileage was so poor that I’d have to do that 4-5 times per month! (As a result, there were times I’d ‘only’ put $20 or $30 dollars in…and it barely moved the needle! What a sick feeling that was.)
Something about seeing that needle on “F” gives a feeling of fullness, security, and satisfaction.
That’s the kind of thing the Apostle Paul prayed that the Ephesian believers would experience:
“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—so that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Paul wants them to be FILLED UP with the fullness of God! To be ‘filled to the rim’ with the abundance of God’s love, God’s power, God’s holiness…so that we would know Him fully, and reflect Him fully in all our lives!
It is a picture of abundance, blessing, fullness!
…and it’s God’s will for all His children, through faith in Jesus Christ.
In contrast to that think of what most of us experience in our faith, most often. We ‘occasionally’ get a ‘whiff’ of intimacy with God, we sometimes feel moved in a service, we might once-in-a-while be ‘stirred’ by the Holy Spirit in a moment of prayer or worship…but for the most part, our walk with the Lord is mundane, predictable, and honestly, not very ‘transformational’.
Yet, Paul prays that they…and we…would be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”!
Peter said something similar, when he wrote,
“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1: 2-4
God’s promises enable us to ‘share in His divine nature’…”everything we need for living a godly life”.
Yet, many of us are ‘running on empty’.
There are probably several reasons for this, yet I think one big one is this:
We don’t hunger and thirst for Him!
We’ve learned to satisfy ourselves with the ‘stuff’ of this world, rather than hungering for intimacy with God. We’ve ‘filled up’ on junk, rather than allowing ourselves to experience real ‘hunger’ for God. We’ve become ‘full’…even ‘overstuffed’ with the pseudo-satisfaction this world can give, and have told ourselves that our relationship with God is ‘as good as it’s going to get…until heaven’.
God wants us–by His grace, through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit–to experience the FULLNESS of the full measure of God!
Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they might have LIFE…and have it to the full”! (John 10:10)
Maybe we need to get ‘thirsty’ again. Perhaps we need to get ‘hungry’.
This week–today–ask the Holy Spirit to give you a hunger and thirst for God. Ask Him to help you be no longer satisfied with the stuff of this world, and spend some time in prayer and worship, asking the Lord to bring you to LOVING HIM with a passion again.
FILL UP…on God!
Let Him fill your tank, to the rim.
He may just go further and ‘overflow’ it…and blow your mind!
After all, Paul continued his prayerful desire for the Ephesians…
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)