“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And 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 – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3: 16-19
Have you ever approached the Christian life like a New Year’s resolution? This year I will be a better Christian; I’ll trust God more and be patient and generous. For those who have attempted this goal-oriented Christianity, how did it go? More than likely, you eventually messed up, became frustrated, and finally give up. Why? Because the Christian life cannot be lived in our own strength. It’s only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can live a life glorifying God.
Too many people filling churches today are wrestling with this goal-oriented, resolution-style Christianity. They believe in their minds what the Bible says about who Jesus is and what He did on the cross, but they’ve never actually trusted Christ with their hearts. They have never chosen to follow Christ in their day to day lives. They confess faith without a surrender of their heart to fulfill God’s will.
This is the heart behind Paul’s prayer to the Ephesian church – that God would dwell not only in their minds, but in their hearts, and lives as well. That same prayer can be prayed for us today; that we would surrender our hearts, dreams, and priorities in life totally and completely to Christ. How do we trust God so completely? It starts by encountering the overwhelming power and magnitude of God’s love – His perfect, no strings attached love – and accepting this love and grace in faith.
The Christian life is not about will-power or goals. It’s about surrendering OUR plans for HIS plans and asking the Holy Spirit to step in and lead the way. Not by my strength – but His! Are you willing to trust Him?