“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.” Ephesians 3:17b-18 (NIV)
I don’t like to be in pain. In any way. And if I’m not careful, this aversion to pain can lead to me grabbing for something to fill the deep ache in my soul.
Maybe you can relate.
When you’re lonely and you see your ex-boyfriend post a picture with a new girl — laughing, holding hands, and looking like the happiest they’ve ever been — your flesh will want to grab at something. It’s hard not to comfort yourself by texting another guy to grab a little attention and make yourself feel better.
When you’re listening to other moms talk about all the progress their children are making in reading and your child can’t even identify letters yet, your flesh will want to grab at something. It’s hard not to throw out a statement to one-up the bragging moms in an area where your child is excelling.
And all these things we’re tempted to grab at? They won’t fill us the way we think they will. In the end, they only make us feel emptier. But how do we tell our flesh no when we are desperate for relief?
I have discovered that the more we fill ourselves from God’s life-giving love, the less we will be dictated by the grabby-ness of our flesh.
One of the most beautiful descriptions of the fullness of God is found in Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 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.” (Ephesians 3:14-19, NIV)
My favorite part of Paul’s prayer is him asking that we have the power to grasp the fullness of the love of Christ … for then we will be filled with the fullness of God.
If we grasp the full love of Christ, we won’t grab at other things to fill us. Or if we do, we’ll sense it. We’ll feel a prick in our spirit when our flesh makes frenzied swipes at happiness and we’ll pause.
In this pause we find a great daily choice we can make. Am I willing to tell my flesh no, so that I can say yes to the fullness of God in this situation?
And this isn’t about us putting on a brave face and hoping for the best when we feel powerless. We have the power through Christ, who is over every power, including the pull of the flesh. When we have Christ, we are full — fully loved and accepted and empowered to say no.
This is true on the days we feel it, and it’s still true when we don’t feel Jesus’ love at all. If we live rooted and established in His love, we don’t just have knowledge of His love in our minds, but it becomes a reality that anchors us. Though winds of hurt blow, they cannot uproot us and rip us apart. His love holds us. His love grounds us. His love is a glorious weight preventing the harsh words and hurtful situations from being a destructive force. We feel the wind but aren’t destroyed by it. This is the “fullness of God.”
There is power in really knowing this. This isn’t dependent on what you’ve accomplished. Or on another person loving you or accepting you. Nor is it because you always feel full. You are full, because Christ brought the fullness to you.
Yes, I am fully loved, fully accepted, and fully empowered to say no to my flesh. Speak that truth in the power He’s given you. Believe that truth in the power He’s given you. Live that truth in the power He’s given you.
That’s how we tell our flesh no. That’s how we live fully prepared in the fullness of God.
Father God, thank You for Your love for me that knows no end. Help me look to You and You alone to fill me. I want my roots to go down ever deeper in Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m surprised by how far I’ve come.
Two years of healing. Two years of focusing on my own health. Two years of learning how to sit in the quiet with myself and be OK. Two years of believing God for good even when things felt not good at all. Two years of going home to an empty house and counting the...
This is so good for so many in various struggles. Praise God! We have a choice.
I was the mother with whom’s child was a little slower at learning but ever so smart. He was the son I received the principal calls from the one I worries just a little more about. Fast forward 2o something years, He is the man I am so proud of, the one who stands firmly on knowing who he is. The son whom stops to aid a stranger, help a child, rescue a lost pet. He is a man I can look up to and stand proud of. Is he perfect, goodness no, but amazing yes. I was the mother who stood in the background for my son did not measure up to the standards of today’s bragging rights, I am so glad my son is he who he is.
these are my life verses… the ones I cling to… to KNOW God’s love and trust that He can do miraculous works in, through, for with us!!! To Him be the glory ~ Amen!!! Ephesians 3:20 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.
Lysa, I look forward to Proverbs 31 posts with a daily ‘zeal’, P31 ministries has become a ‘go to’ for me each morning after I process and learn from my daily Bible study. I just wanted to ‘Thank you’ for insightful (bare bones) writings of the soul……………
Here I am feeling so overwhelmed by the hurt I’ve just buried and never dealt with. God knew I needed to read this right now. Thank you.
“It’s not supposed to be this way”. –
Lisa I can not thank you enough for this heart felt, God honouring book that was put in my hands by a faithful friend during the wildest storms of my life, and she insisted that I just READ IT! And that I did. Thank you for the God learnt truths that you did not keep to yourself, but rather took the time to pen them down and invest in a life like mine! Ever so thankful. @lysaterkeurst . This is a MUST READ. Christ meets us in our brokenness. Brokenness is where growth begins! “Dust doesn’t have to signify the end. Dust is often what must be present for the new to begin.” Wow!
IM WALKING THROUGH A VERY HARD SEASON…IM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR VULNERABLE POSTS AND ENCOURAGING WORDS..THEY ARE HEALING TO MY SOUL AND ARE HELPING ME PROCESS THIS SEASON. …BLESS YOU
I called in sick to work today, which is something I just don’t do unless I am truly not able to function. Today I woke and thought “I just can’t do it. I cannot fake it today. I can’t go in like everything is ok and smile and laugh and be cheerful.” So in a sense, I guess you could say I wouldn’t be able to “function”. I got out of bed, made coffee and knew I needed some words of encouragement. I recently read your book “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way” and was very emotional over it. (I just want to sit and have coffee with you!) So I wanted more words from you today. I watched your interview on Focus on the Family. To say “thank you” seems harsh given all the pain you have been through. But, what you have been through is paving the road for others who have lost hope. Those who’ve been tempted, deceived and accused by that filthy enemy and feel as if this is just the ways things will be. I am so thankful for you this morning. Your words have again given me a God shaped focus and perspective. All of my love and prayers to you and yours.
Ich bedanke mich für ihre Bemühungen und freundliche liebe und Barmherzigkeit Gottes Reichertsumfang ist unglaublich stark Strömung wie Sie erläutert. Ich kann nie mein HERR Forschungszentrum Gottes Licht erfassen,weil es nicht für mich äußerst Reichweite ist, aber ich kann nur sprühen seine Begegnung druch den Lobpreis und Anbetung und Andacht und seine liebe.Ich verstehe nicht warum GOTT lässt mich so stark leiden!✝ Obwohl bin ich zuverlässig auf ihm immer hinterher Laufe,die Verzweiflung wird immer größer★ weil er dauerte unheimlich viel Zeit und Geduld. Als Mensch bin ich ein normales Gottes Kind warum sieht er nicht ich habe alles meine leben verloren!!!!!!Job, Familie, Verbandschaft,Freunde, Gesellschaft und Enge Freundkreis. Nur übrig geblieben meine Seele und sehensucht nach mein HERR Jesus Christus und seine Liebe. Allerletzten starben meine Hoffnung zuletzt aktualisiere ich jeden Tag und Dankbarkeit zu ihm wenden. Das ist für mich manchmal sehr unbegreiflich Oh Gott du bist bei und ich zu ihm,ich lebe in diesem Welt aber nicht in den Welt ob ich schaffe noch zu ihm zu kommen? Eine Frage? Sehr groß.