“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
I am often brought up short by G. K. Chesterton’s tart words about the Christian life not having been tried and found wanting: rather, the Christian life not having been tried! To experience the promised “peace of God which surpasses human understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and to “rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8) yet lies before me in this life! Oh Lord, please fill me ‘up to’ all the fullness of Yourself!
When Paul leads us in praying for God’s fullness, he knows this fullness is at the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him” (Colossian 2:9-10). The fullness of the deity in Jesus is promised to all who believe in Him: “From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). This means for us that at the consummation of all things, “…we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
When Scripture tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8), it is telling us that God longs to give His very self to us, enabling us to share in His life and glory. As we center our lives on the Son of God, “we are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Thomas Traherne was a seventeenth-century English churchman and poet who wrote powerfully about God’s longing to stamp us with His image. C. S. Lewis declared Traherne’s book, Centuries of Meditation, “almost the most beautiful book in English.” In that book, Traherne writes that the deepest longing of our hearts is actually God longing within us, drawing us toward Him. Ponder some of Traherne’s words and let yourself long for God’s fullness:
- “You must want like a God that you may be satisfied like God. Were you not made in His image?”
- “The soul is also inclined to possess all. Its longings cannot be satisfied by anything short of infinite perfection. It must possess God or be dissatisfied.”
- “It is of the nobility of man that he is insatiable. For he hath a benefactor so prone to give, that He delighteth in us.”
The Son of God did promise: “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Oh Lord, fill us up to all of your fullness! It is for you we do hunger and thirst!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.” A. W. Tozer