For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Have any of you felt that your personal “gas tank” is getting low and you are running on empty? What I’m talking about is your body’s gas tank. I’m sure you’re all saying, “I’ve been there.” Me, too. The world as we know it is a very busy place and our days are very busy days. We have learned to adapt and try to keep up with the pace. I endeavor each day to complete my “To Do” list. This list is a way for me to keep track of the highest priority things that I need to accomplish. I grade each item as to its particular importance (A1,A2,A3, B1, B2, B3…etc) and I go about my day. I’m a little geekish when it comes to organizing. But if you looked at my desk, you wouldn’t think that. Oh my!
You know, running on empty is one of the most successful, yet devious schemes of the enemy. The enemy will use strategies of organization to keep your list full and to get you to strive to complete it. If you’re not careful, the enemy will get you to believe you can squeeze even more into your day and have you believe it’s because you’re a master of getting things done. When he does that, it directly attacks your pride cells in your brain and the vicious circle begins. The more I do, the more I can get done and the more I can get done, the more I can do. Etc, etc, etc. Whoops!
Sometimes that scheme works its way into ministry for the Lord. I am sure you’ve heard someone say, “I just got burned out serving.” What that statement really means is “I didn’t see what the enemy was doing and I didn’t go to God to get refilled and refreshed.”
These Scripture verses encourage me. It’s a prayer for those who serve. It’s a prayer as to where we can get restored and get our “tanks filled up again”. Paul is praying for believers in the church to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in might. In other words, all that the Holy Spirit has. And directed to the inner man so that the power of the Holy Spirit grips them to maintain the faith in Christ. Then he prays that they would be empowered to grasp the extent of God’s love by which they have been saved and made secure and filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Hallelujah!!! Giving God the glory that He is able to go above and beyond anything they can ask or imagine according to the Holy Spirit power that lives in them. Again, Hallelujah!!!
In the same way, as Paul prayed for the church, we also should be praying not only for ourselves, but for others who serve God. For other believers so that they too would be strengthened. We should be praying for our pastors. We should be praying for Sunday School teachers. We should be praying for our Deacons/Elders. We should be praying for our Trustees. We should be praying for our ministry leaders. We should be praying for the church staff. We should be praying for our missionaries. We should be praying for all those who serve. Daily prayer for those who serve the Lord is fundamental and essential.
Before I conclude, I have another thought when I read these verses. It doesn’t matter how often we need to go back to God to be refilled and refreshed. We can come to God over and over and over for a touch from His Holy Spirit. There are no boundaries. These verses are promises encapsulated within a prayer. For within prayer is the power to release God’s promises. Let’s not look to other ways to be refilled and refreshed. Let’s look to God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, Oh Lord, for Your Word and the promises that live inside of it. Help us understand that we are not made to keep going and going and going until we are empty, but that we can come to You for refilling and refreshing. We accept and submit to Your call for our lives and we eagerly serve for Your glory and honor, but we rebuke the scheme of the enemy that would lead us to believe that we would be more effective serving You by doing it all. We humbly receive our strength by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Refill us Lord today with Your fullness and help us comprehend the magnitude of Your love for us. Do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think in our lives for Your glory and in Your Holy Name, Jesus. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!