Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Garden"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 1:17 – I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (NIV 2011)
Internet habits have stirred many to think about our quality of connectedness. We see that we superficially surf, not only websites, but also people's lives. We don't get to know each other well. Such shallowness has become the norm. Many don't know any differently, and most are unaware of the inner void that remains untouched and unfulfilled.
Tragically, this can also be said of our connection with God. We skim over the surface of God — but never truly know God, never truly grasp the power of His love and joy. We become content with merely surfing God from Sunday to Sunday, from one reading, one hymn, one sermon to another. Surfing becomes the norm, and we don't know any differently. We are unaware of the inner void that remains untouched and unfulfilled. In this condition, we cannot truly be the church.
The apostle Paul was keenly aware of this risk, so he earnestly prayed that the converts would grasp and know God. Paul prayed this for an important reason: Only in Christ, in a deep, abiding connection, do we have the power to love and live effectively. The church's future depends on this connection!
Shouldn't we be fervently praying as Paul did? Shouldn't we be hungering for this same connectedness with God — for ourselves and each other? Consider the hymn In the garden. This is not a sentimental song for old people, but a powerful expression of connectedness, so needed among modern people — God's people: "And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own."
Out of such connectedness can arise the power to be transformed and to touch others with the living presence of God – regardless of circumstance, as the lyrics note, "Through the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling."
Today, I invite you, dear reader, to join me in the prayer from Ephesians 3 which I include here. Can we commit ourselves to praying this for one another? Why not insert names — your own name, my name, other names — and then watch for God's answer:
- 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. 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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21 NIV 2011)