Summary: Bold prayer to our generous Father leads to the inner strengthening by the Holy Spirit which leads to greater faith and intimacy with our loving Savior. It is then that we fully experience the fullness of God
How to Fully Experience the Fullness of God
Picture this: You have just finished a ten mile hike on a 95 degree day and on the entire journey you haven’t had a thing to drink. Stumbling with thirst, you come to your father’s house and plea for water. With love and concern he brings you a cold pitcher of water and a glass (use props to illustrate) and tells you to take what you want, he’s got plenty more. With a chuckle he tells you that his well is full. What do you do? You take a couple of sips and quit. Drink more, he insists, you must be parched. But you decline because you don’t want to impose on his generosity. When you leave, you are still thirsty and he is hurt and disappointed.
Why did you do that? Why do you do that spiritually? Your heavenly Father wants you to experience fullness -- fullness of life... fullness of joy... fullness of God Himself. And yet you are only taking a few sips of living water.
Why? Today’s text shows how you can fully experience the fullness of God in your life. When we finish today, I hope that you will drink up!
The book of Ephesians is divided into 2 halves – the first, doctrinal, the second practical. Chapters 1-3 describe our new position in Christ; chapters 4-6 demonstrate our new practices for Christ.
The crescendo of the first half and the launching pad for the second half is our text -- Ephesians 3:14-21. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says, “The doxology is plainly the climax of the first half of Ephesians; it may be regarded as the climax of the whole letter, which rises to a spiritual peak at this point and then concentrates on practical outworkings.”
14. For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 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 saints, 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. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
The passage contains a powerful prayer that leads into spontaneous praise. A while back Bruce Wilkinson wrote a book called, The Book of Jabez. It quickly became a national #1 bestseller and was awarded the “nonfiction book of the year for 2000.”
It showed Christians that God wants them to pray boldly for the blessings that He wants to give. Pray that prayer and keep praying it. But if you want to pray for even more, then pray this prayer and experience the greatest of blessings.
1. Pray that you will be enriched by the Father (14-16)
14. For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may...
"For this reason" refers back before the parenthesis of vss. 2-13 to the same words of verse one. The reason, therefore, is the believers new position in Christ (1:2-2:10) and in the Church (2:11-22)..., i.e., the new man and the new humanity.
These beginning chapters present a panoramic view of the Christian’s new position with Christ in the heavenly places along with all the rights, riches and spiritual resources that that go with it. If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you have gone through a metamorphosis. You have been radically transformed into a new being with awesome spiritual power and authority.
That’s who you are and what you have. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be enjoying the fullness of all of that. Are you? Wouldn’t you like to? Aren’t you tired of living a defeated, milk toast Christianity? Wouldn’t you like to feel a vital intimacy with Christ? Wouldn’t you like to feel like God was using you to make a powerful impact on your world? Wouldn’t you like to be characterized by beautiful Christ-likeness? If the Lord has indeed made you a new person with a new position with new power with new privileges and new possessions, there is no reason to still live like the old you. If God has transformed you from a caterpillar into a butterfly why crawl when you can fly? If God has given you living water, why not drink up?