Text: …that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God (3:19)
This was no everyday prayer that Paul prayed for the Ephesians. Paul was very much aware that the people of Ephesus, the church that he had planted earlier, needed to be made aware and encouraged of the standing and privilege that they had in the Kingdom of God.
In chapter 1: The Ephesus Christians needed to be reminded of the fact that they were a chosen people of God for the foundations of the world. That they had been redeemed by the Son, that in Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. In whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is our guarantee of our inheritance…there comes times that we need to be reminded as a church whole, what exactly Christ did for us.
In chapter 2: That the old condition, the old man is dead to God that was bound and condemned to sin. But now, the new condition, the new man is alive to God because of His rich mercy and wonderful free gift of grace to us. Although you were Gentiles, not part of the chosen people, and afar off, (Ephesians 2:19) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, When the church is really the church, she is a unit like a household, a commonwealth of citizens with equal rights, and indeed a holy temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells. Remembering that this new creation is made for more.
This prayer is so that we can be everything we can be in Christ. We are not meant to be here saying I’m too old, I’m too slow, or I’m not much. This prayer is so that you can realize and materialize the fact that we are all things in Christ. The fullness, the completeness, the fullest extent possible. It is a prayer of realization for the Christian, but more specifically the church. It is a realization of the power, the illumination and the filling of the Holy Spirit. If you sit here today and don’t have the fire, the power and the truth in you that changes lives then you are need to be praying this prayer.
We have access and authority to all that God is and has and says we are. Paul is praying that we be filled, completed, and fully containing the presence, power and authority of God Himself. His prayer for the Ephesian Christians is the same prayer for the Church today.
For What Did Paul Pray? He prayed that they might have spiritual strength (Eph. 3:16) “ That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,” Strength through God and not of ourselves. 2 Cor. 4:7b “…that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” When the hard times come to you and you do not have the power the strength to stand against the attacks of the devil and the powers and principalities, you have to tap into that power that only God can give through the Holy Spirit. Paul knew where it had to come from.
He prayed for the indwelling presence (Eph. 3:17). “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;” It is through faith that you receive the power. Not because my Daddy use to be a deacon in the church, not because Mama came to church every time the doors were open, Not because Grandma was a prayer warrior that could bring down heaven on earth. It is only because you have faith, you trust in God, you have personal relationship with God that has been restored through the work and reconciliation of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
He prayer for stability of character (Eph. 3:17). “ that you, being rooted and grounded in love,” Rooted and grounded are pictures of the Christian as being planted, drawing our nutrients our food from the source of love. Love being the source for everything God. God is what…”love.” Scriptures says that if you have not love then you have no part of God. We are to be the fruit of the love of God in which we are planted.
He prayed that they might be “filled with the fullness of God.” To be full of God is to be full of everything God is to you and has for you. This is the Christlikeness that we are to become.
What is it to be Filled with the Spirit? To be filled with the Spirit is to have the indwelling of the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. Col. 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
To be filled with the Spirit is to be empowered to be witnesses, for abundant life, for edification, and to speak truth of Christ in others.
To be filled with the Spirit is to be established. We must be established in our hearts, our faith, our works, and our lives. No one can trust someone that is all over the place in their lives and especially their faith.
To be filled with the Spirit is to be enlightened. Enlightenment comes from God that is why Paul prays for you. It comes through God’s word. God’s word in us illuminates the dark creases in our hearts and lives. It searches the hidden things and brings them to light. It is through prayer that one gains this knowledge. And it is through god’s people that the light shines in and out of us.
When you are conscious of how much God loves you and your church, you become filled with the fullness of God,
What follows is the next verse—God doing exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think, according to the power that works in you. (Ephesians 3:20)
You will experience the tremendous blessings of God exploding in your life and in your church! Revitalization in the local church is something that we have to work at to remember and realize who we are as the church in Christ. Pastor don’t try to turn the church around in your own efforts but rely and depend on the power of God to move your little, struggling church forward. Pray today for the fullness of God for you and your church and God will help you.
Pastor Rob Beckett, Shepherdsville First Church of the Nazarene. “Restoring the ‘image of God’ to the broken and hurting.”