Your Spiritual Passion



Scripture:

Eph. 3:16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 

Observation:

Paul’s deepest desire for the church is that she will be deeply spiritual and passionate about Christ. His emotions are brought to the surface as he pours out his heart in prayer. He does not pray for the charismatic gift of the church, but he prays that the church will be the dwelling place of Jesus Christ. The connection here between the Spirit and Christ is clear. You cannot have one without the other. Christ must dwell in their hearts, and only when this happens will God’s people be strengthened by the power of the Spirit. There is no Spirit without Christ and there is no Christ without the Spirit. 

Paul’s prayer is that the church be made up of individuals who have a spiritual passion because Christ is dwelling in their lives. Jesus is invited to settle down and make his permanent abode in our lives. This happens through faith. It is the intentional act of placing loving trust in Christ that our lives become shaped by Christ, himself. The more that one grows in Christ, the more that life rests upon Jesus, the Cornerstone, and greater the power through the Spirit. The result is that there is no room left for anything that may be hostile to God. 

Paul’s desire for the church is to experience “the riches of his glory” and that she may be “strengthened.” This is only possible when Christ dwells within. And this, through faith. 

Application

There are so many things that we can focus on in the life of the church, but if we don’t begin with a deeper spiritual life, we have a problem. Just like the Apostle Paul, our prayer ought to be for a depth of spirituality that profoundly changes who we are. Everything about us ought to be defined by our relationship to Jesus Christ. If we truly grasp what Paul is saying, then Christ is to permanently make his dwelling place within us. The body of Christ is then made up of those who unite together, and who have, by faith, made space for Christ to live in them. 

What’s interesting to me is the passion of Paul that is expressed here. His heart is almost breaking as he cries out to God on behalf of this church, that the people would have a deeper walk with Jesus Christ. He knows that a surface relationship will not be enough and that there must be more. 

Far too often our churches are focused on getting people in the door, and not on the deeper walk. If we were to be really honest with ourselves, we may discover that we haven’t made disciple-making the priority that it is for Paul. You see, Paul is never satisfied with his own spiritual status, nor that of those whom he has mentored in the faith. He knows that there is always more, and so he strives, and presses on toward the goal. He lives a life of faith that continually wants to know more of Christ. Living in the status quo would never be acceptable to Paul, and neither should it be for us. 

The church is to be a place where those who are seeking a deeper walk with Christ are bound together in holy love. Living in Christ results in a life empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit. This brings about radical transformation, not only in the life of the sinner, but in the one who is entirely sanctified and yet, wanting to know Christ and embrace resurrection power. The riches of God’s glory are available to be experienced in the church, not through charismatic worship, but by a deep indwelling of Christ. Christ becomes the one who brings passion to work and ministry. We are challenged to examine our own spiritual passion and whether we have truly embraced Christ through faith. It’s a giant leap, not just once, but continually as we live in the power of the Spirit. 

Prayer:


Lord, I pray that my heart would be filled with the same passion that filled the heart of the Apostle Paul. May I know you, Christ, and may I live, resting in the abundance of your power and grace. Amen. 

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