The indwelling Christ
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21
Paul prayed on behalf of the believers in Ephesus “that Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him” (Ephesians 3:17). God’s love gives strength, gives direction, purpose, and substance to life. To have Christ dwelling in our heart is to believe in Him, to be taken over by His example, His teachings, His commands, and His love, so that we can say with the apostle Paul, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Paul’s prayer is that the presence of Jesus and His Word becomes realities in our life. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). What we dedicate our life to is what dwells in our heart. It defines our faith, what we believe in, what we work for, and what we give ourselves to. When we become Christ’s disciples, we can no longer give ourselves to any kind of loyalty for we belong to Christ. The Christian gives his life as much to his Lord as others give themselves to worldly pursuits. When we are filled by the Holy Spirit, an abiding faith in the Lord, and an understanding of God’s working within, we become rooted and established in our relationship with Him. We then understand “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” His love is greater than our ability to comprehend it on our own, yet just like what Paul did, we can pray for it for He does not leave us on our own.