What is the most powerful flaming arrow that the devil wants to sink deep into our hearts? What is the conclusion he wants all of us to come to so that instead of delight we are distraught and discouraged? What thought comes as a result of our sexual brokenness that we just cannot seem to shake but it shakes us to the core?
God no longer loves you…
Why do you think that is? Might I suggest it is that because it is so easy for us to believe and causes us to do one of two things First, will be the temptation for us to give up on God. If He is finished with us, then we are finished with Him. Second, even more, dangerous will be the temptation to believe that His love for us is contingent upon our actions, words, and deeds. We might be saved by grace, but our salvation becomes based on our works and not on faith.
Congratulations you have just entered the School of Legalism whose mascot is the Pharisees. Whose cheerleaders shout out…
We’ve Got Works Yes, We Do
We’ve God Works, How ‘bout you?
To which our response should be…
We’ve Got the Spirit…Yes, We Do
We’ve God the Spirit, Though our Works are few!!!
I apologize to those of you who are not familiar with the cheer that you will hear at American sporting events…but you can google it.
See…if the devil can convince us that we must live a life of purity to maintain our salvation then he wins a great battle. We shift from the biblical truth that we are saved by Grace and not of works to believing that God loves us when we are good little boys and girls.
Our Salvation is the gift of God and the cost of it was paid for through the death of Jesus on the Cross…in our place. It is not my eternal relationship with my Father which is based on knowing Christ as my Savior instead of being the result of how good I can be. Should I be good…yes. Should I fight this battle against sexual brokenness…absolutely.
However, our eternal destiny is not hanging by the thread of if I can overcome this battle with my flesh or not. He saved us knowing we would not be able to do this on our own…to be holy…without His help and a community of others helping one another.
What we are in danger of losing are our eternal rewards and living in a life of secrecy and isolation. Where we become completely despondent and living in fear. And what we do receive is the loving discipline of our Father to try and teach us that sin has consequences.
And so…Paul prays this prayer for the Ephesians and it is a prayer we need to pray for ourselves and others…
“For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 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.”
We all need this so very much. We need an inner strength given to us by the Holy Spirit so that we are experiencing Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith…and not as a result of if we are living a pure enough life.
And that we would be rooted and established in love. The word rooted means to give something a solid foundation or to put down deep roots so that there is strength and stability regardless of how powerful the winds of the world might be. It is followed by the word established which means to make stable with a strong foundation. Like building something on bedrock instead of shifting sands.
These words are in the passive voice which means our being rooted and established is something only God can be doing in us. It is the work of the Spirit in our inner being working as a pile driver rooting us deep into the foundation of God’s love for us.
I grew up around boats and marinas. Often, we would hear a pile driver which is a machine with a very heavy weight at the end of a cable that would be lifted high above the piling, those big round logs giving support to the whole pier. And from far away you would hear the
loud THUD…THUD…THUD of the piling being driven down deeper and deeper into the ground at the bottom of the water.
That is what Paul is praying for the Ephesians that they themselves would be strengthened in their inner being with the reality of God’s love for them being driven more and more deeply into their lives. So far that they would be overwhelmed by the breath, the length, the height, and the depth of God’s love for them.
We should never…ever doubt that God loves us, has always loved us, and will always love us not because of our bringing to Him straight A’s on our report card…but because He chose to love us before the creation of the world and forever into eternity. Or to Eternity and Beyond as Buzz Lightyear would say.