17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
Many years ago, one of the 20th Century’s great Christian leaders, Peter Deyneka, was immigrating to America on a long Atlantic voyage with only a few coins in his pocket. When he got hungry, he reached into this little bag he’d brought with him to eat the same thing every meal – a few dry crusts of bread and some water. He was pretty hungry when his ship finally docked in New York; not to mention pretty sick of bread crusts. That’s when he realized something that he’d wished he had understood at the beginning of the voyage – three full meals a day had been included in his fare. They were all included in his ticket!
That young traveler had been living at a much lower level than he needed to live! He had no idea all the good things he had gotten when he got his ticket. When I read this story, it made me remember a saying of one of my former pastors. He used to say all the time to our congregation: “God wants to bless you…why don’t you let Him”. He would often say; God wants to bless me…and I’m going to let Him”.
After reading this story, it made me think about the great God that we serve. When God looks at His children, sailing through life, He sees a lot of us living the same way – under-living. Not realizing how we could be living and all the good stuff we got when we opened our lives to Jesus Christ.
Biblical passages like Ephesians 3, beginning with verse 12, our word for today from the Word of God, spell out what’s included in your ticket. Paul writes: “In Him (that’s in Jesus) and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence…I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being (okay, so there’s supernatural inner strength that comes when Jesus comes in)…I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power…to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (you got this indescribable love and security when you got Jesus). He goes on to say, “that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Imagine all the resources of God Himself downloadable by you – His wisdom for your questions, His power for your difficulties, His love for your lonely times, His peace for your troubled times. We don’t have to live like these stressed out, strung out, weighed down people we often are! Dry bread crusts when we’ve got all the resources of God at our disposal!
Those resources are accessed through serious prayer. And we under-live because we under-pray. We over-worry and overwork and get overwhelmed because we under-pray. I mean really pray. One model of prayer that moves heaven to your need is found in Acts 4, where the apostles have been threatened by the same Jewish leaders who engineered the death of Jesus. The apostle’s response? They gathered the believers together and raised “their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘You made the heaven and the earth and the sea.'”
They go on to celebrate the fact that all that’s happening is under God’s sovereign power and will. Finally, after focusing only on the greatness of their God, they ask Him for boldness and supernatural power. The place where they prayed was shaken, the Holy Spirit showed up big-time, and they told everybody about Jesus.
And there’s the pattern for aiming all of God’s power at your situation; at your need. First, focus on your big, big God, not your big, big problem. Then, trust Him for the big, big things you need. But always put your praise before your please, your worship before your request. When you take a little time to celebrate the awesomeness of the God you belong to, the God you’re trusting in, you start to access all those great resources that came with your ticket. You don’t have to live the way you have been living! You’ve got so much to draw on since the day you let Jesus in! Don’t wait until you reach your heavenly destination to realize how you could have been living all along…enjoy the goodness, the fullness of God’s blessings today!!!
Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”
Family Worship Center