so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,Ephesians 3:17(NASB)
Once again - superlatives and fullness flood this passage in Ephesians, identifying the body of believers, "which is the church," as the temple of God. We are called to be His holy habitation, "so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith." We are His appointed resting-place, wherein He will dwell, through time and into eternity.
God's chosen dwelling-seat is the inner being of man's heart. It is not simply the thinking brain, the imaginative mind, the articulate tongue, or the various senses - it is the inner being of our new nature in Christ.
"That Christ may dwell in your heart through faith," is Paul's fervent prayer for each member of the body of Christ. But his prayer continues, "that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length, and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." Hallelujah!
It is the God of gods Who ordained that we should be His dwelling place. It is the Holy Spirit of the anointed Son of God's love that desires to inhabit this hidden place, deep within the heart of men. It is God's will that Christ is at home in the heart of each of His children. It is God's desire that the Spirit of Christ rests and abides in each of us.. as we abide in Him and rest in His love.
It is the most high God to Whom we fly for shelter. It is the Almighty Creator, Who gives us rest in the shadow of His protective wings and Who seeks to establish His home in our inner, secret place. "It is according to the riches of His glory, that we are strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith; and that we are rooted in love and grounded in the love of Christ."
It is the Spirit of Christ that is to dwell in our heart, as our resident King and eternal Comforter. It is Christ Who is our strong Protector and our good Shepherd. He is the Rock of our salvation and the strong Tower to Whom we flee in troubled times.
He is the One Who convicts us of our need of Him, and draws us with cords of love to drink of the living water. Through Him, we are nourished.. for He is the Bread of Life. He quickens us into newness of life and calls us to be holy, for He is holy. And it is all through faith in Jesus Christ, that we have entered into this unbreakable union with Himself, not only in this age but in the ages to come.
We can also enjoy exquisite communion with Him as we submit to His guidance and listen to His voice. To do so, we are to submerge ourselves deep into the nourishing truth of His Word. Just like the roots of a sturdy oak push down deep into the luscious rich earth to become established, so we are to be rooted and grounded, embedded and established in Him. As the master-builder who constructs His sturdy structure on solid foundations - so we are to build our lives on Christ - the solid Rock, on Whom we stand.
That Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, is a prayer Paul prayed for each of us and a promise that we can claim. And as we personally claim that promise, Paul's prayer will be answered. We are also commanded to abide in Him, trust His Word, and become rooted and grounded in love. And it is as we immerse ourselves in His Word, walk in spirit and truth, submit our lives to Him, and seek to do His will, that we discover that we are being rooted and grounded in Christ's supernatural love.
The ultimate reason, and final result of being rooted and established in the indwelling Christ is love...the unbreakable, threefold love of the triune Godhead. Redemptive love was the first thought of the Father when He covered our fallen, guilty parents in the bloody skins of animals in the garden of Eden.. and redemptive love is the reason He convicted us of sin and the need of salvation.
Love is the preeminent, greatest, never-failing first-fruit of the Spirit, against which there is no law. Love for the church was the reason the Lord Jesus went to the Cross of Calvary. And when we are rooted and grounded in Christ we are rooted and grounded in HIS love.
Love was one of the reasons that blood and water streamed from His wounded side, and being rooted and grounded in CHRIST's love was the new commandment entrusted to the body of believers - who are the church, the temple of the living God... for we have been commanded, "Love others as I have loved you."
Loving Father, I pray that I may become more deeply rooted in Your Word and established in the love of Christ, as I abide in Him and He in me. I pray that You would produce the Holy Spirit's fruit of love in my life, for the benefit of the Body, and for all the needy people You place in my path today. May I live and love to Your praise and glory, and may I love to live as You would have me to live, rooted and grounded in You. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.