Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us – to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
This is the Paul’s conclusion to the great prayer that he started in verse 14 which says this:
For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
To be strengthened by the Spirit in the “inner being” is to have our spirits filled with the energy of his life and to have our souls (our motives, desires, feelings, thoughts and purposes) placed more and more under the Spirit’s influence and direction. In the most complete sense, this allows God to show his power through us in greater ways. There are four aspects to the purpose of this spiritual strengthening:
- That Christ may establish his presence in our hearts
- That we may be grounded in sincere love for God, Christ and others
- That we may comprehend with our minds and experience in our lives Christ’s love for us
- That we may be filled with “all the fullness of God”
God’s presence, through the Holy Spirit, should fill and saturate our lives in such a way that we reflect from our innermost being the character and honor of Lord Jesus Christ.
The word “rooted” (errizomenoi in Greek) is a horticultural term (dealing with plants), and the word “established” is an architectural term (dealing with buildings and structures) meaning “founded”. The follower of Jesus “being rooted” in the revelation of God’s love in Christ is like a plant with deep roots in the soil. And “being established” in his love is like a building with a strong foundation laid on a solid rock. Both metaphors, or word pictures, symbolize a deep relationship as opposed to a shallow relationship. These symbols also convey that revelation of “the love of Christ” is necessary for a deep, solid relationship that is expressed in powerful ways for God’s honor.
And we finally come to today’s verse. And in it Paul is reminding us through this great song of praise to God that God can do so much more than we ask and desire in prayer. And that his ability exceeds anything that we can imagine. But this promise is conditional, which means that it depends on the degree of the Holy Spirit’s presence, purpose and power operating in our lives. And what that means is that we have to have a deep relationship with God through Christ in order for God to do all the great things that he has promised to through us. And we establish that deep relationship by:
- Allowing Christ to establish his presence in our hearts
- Being grounded in sincere love for God, Christ and others
- Comprehending or understanding with our minds and experiencing in our lives Christ’s love for us
- Being filled with “all the fullness of God”
The key to all of this is allowing Christ to establish his presence in you heart. Because if Christ doesn’t have a presence in your heart then the other three don’t matter. It is only through allowing Christ to establish his presence in your heart that you can be grounded in sincere for God, Christ and others, comprehend and experience Christ’s for you in your life and be filled with “all the fullness of God”.