“…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19).
Paul now concludes his prayer for us to become more fully united to the love of Christ. One facet of this telescoping prayer remains: for us to “be filled with all the fullness of God.” A bold request, Paul longs for us to have all of God in us, everything God has for us.
One day the fullness of God will be ours.
John had written, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as he is” (1 John 3:2). What an incredible truth: “we shall be like Him.” Not divine, but godly, holy, pure. In our eternal state, we will have all of God we can handle. Paul had also spoken of this glorious future when he wrote, “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29). What joy! We will be “conformed to the image of His Son.”
However, Paul did not pray for a future connection to the fullness of God, but a here and now experience of God.
He longed for the heart of God to become our heart. If God so loved the world, so ought we, but a glaring gap exists, for we do not love as he does. Paul prays for God to close the gap, making us more like Himself. In a world filled with comparisons to others, we ought not to become caught up in that game. Instead, we must seek the godliness of God more and more. Jesus said, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). He didn’t say it to decimate us, but to elevate us, for God longs to work this comprehensively in us. He wants to perfect, sanctify, and grow us. The glorified and perfected state won’t be ours on this side of eternity, we will all battle sin until the day we go home to be with Christ, but sanctification ought to be a significant desire of our hearts.
The ideals of God must increasingly become our experience.
God loves, so we must long for that same brand of love to permeate our hearts. God is on a mission, so we must long to partake in that mission. God is longsuffering, so we must allow Him to work His longsuffering nature into us. Every shortcoming we experience can be cured by God, for he has no defect and has given us His Spirit. He longs to conform us to the image of His Son, and he is not willing to wait until eternity to do so.
During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.