Pastor's Corner

 

                            Read: Matthew 6:7-15; Ephesians 3:16-21; John16:7-14

             There have been many books and articles written for the young and old Christian helping them to explore and come into a fuller knowledge of God.  This is what Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus was all about.   The need to know God and know about Him still exists in the hearts of many believers today.  This is a major theme in the New Testament.

             We have been taught about God, but we seem somehow not to get a hold of Him or feel that He has not gotten a hold upon us.  Is God so real that He can be real to us?  Is He so great and yet so near that He can fill us with a new kind of life and make us into the sort of persons we would really wish to be?    These were questions the church of Ephesus was asking of Paul.  The Ephesians, like us today, were waiting for a “Yes” or “No” answer.  Paul’s answer to the church was a resounding “yes.”  Paul’s affirmative answer was based upon his personal experience with God (1 Corinthians 2:2).   To know God must be based upon one’s real life experience with God, or else, one is false in his/her testimony. 

             “That He (God) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.”   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love,…That you may be able to understand along with all the other saints what is the breadth, and length and depth and height of the love of Christ, which goes beyond knowledge, and that you might be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-17).”

             What Paul is saying to us today is, “We don’t have to be confused and weak.  We don’t have to be spiritually poor (Philippians 4:13).  All the richness of God is ready to be for each of us to draw upon.”

             Just think what this means!  God is not some thin possibility for us to wonder about.  He is more real and near than anything we see.  All of what we know about God is but a partial, small sign of Who He really is.  He is the God Who made the earth and the sea and the stars and the sun.  He created the mountains and the rivers and trees and all that lives and moves in the whole wide world.  He is the God Who made us and gave us minds to think with, hearts to love with and souls designed to reach up to Him.   

             He made us to be His children; and the best and dearest human love that we have ever experienced is His way of showing us the kind of love that would draw us to Himself and Him to us.  The riches of this God belongs to us so as to allow us to see His love for us when we forget Him (Ephesians 3:16).

             Some forty years earlier our Lord, Jesus Christ, spoke this very same message “experiencing God within” to those believers whose hearts followed Him.  He spoke this message in response to a request by one of His disciples who had asked Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1).  What our Lord spoke was a take-off, so to speak, of the time when God fed His people daily with “manna from heaven,” after He led them out from the slave pits of Egypt.  He fed them until they first crossed over into the Promised Land.   The Hebrew children were fed daily for more than forty years while traveling around the Sinai desert (Joshua 5:12).  It is true today God gives us the things we need.  We are taught to say in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).  However that part of the prayer which we are to request, but is often over looked or not valued, is that part which says, “Thy kingdom come… Thy will be done as in heaven so in earth.”  Yes we are asking God to come down with his kingdom, but more specifically, to come down and place His kingdom inside of us (James 4:2)

              It is here our Lord is teaching us to pray for God’s kingdom to come and be within us (Luke11:2).  This we will need as a daily refill, just like the manna from heaven.  God’s kingdom (Holy Spirit) within us will help us to be the person He wants us to be.  We cannot be God’s son or daughter without the help of His kingdom’s Spirit in us.  So when we allow ourselves to live with and in God’s Spirit we then become empowered to be the Christian Christ died for us to be.

             This is a powerful part of the Lord’s prayer we should always embrace- asking God to send His kingdom spirit to us so as to lead and guide us to heaven.  What we are essentially praying for is for the Holy Spirit to come and live in us, just as it lives in heaven.  Jesus promised us a Comforter (John 16:7).

             We are to ask God for our daily needs after we adore and honor Him.  We then ask for our daily subsistence, and forgive others who may offend us, then to be kept from all temptations and be protected and kept from all that is evil. Our Lord tells us these are our daily needs, which we should pray for.  Only then will we be able to experience God living in us and through us.    

             God’s blessing will come when we let Christ in.  His love will make His home in our hearts.