“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.”
- Ephesians 3:17-19
A few months ago, I prayed and asked the Lord for a deeper revelation of the reality that I am a part of the Bride of Christ. I asked to know Him as my Bridegroom. This has always been a subject that I have had a hard time with. Especially being a guy, this was a hard area for me to relate to and wrap my mind around. In short, He answered my prayer and I have experienced His love for me in a way that I did not think was possible—and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. As He has led me into the experience of this truth about who He is, He began to show me how important this bridal paradigm is to our faith.
The other day, I was watching TV and a commercial for the new Tarzan movie came on. In the commercial, the girl has been captured and she says to the bad guy, “Never underestimate what my husband is capable of doing to rescue the woman he loves.” The Lord began to speak to me from that statement about our life of faith in Christ.
What do we base our faith on? I think all of us would say that our faith is based on the reality of who God is—His greatness and His character. There is one particular part of His character that I want to focus in on: His love for us.
It doesn’t matter how big and powerful we believe God to be if we don’t simultaneously believe that He is willing and that He desires to come through for us. In order for faith to thrive, we have to know that He is both able and willing. I think that most of us probably believe that God is able, but it is His willingness that hinders our faith most often. When we step into the reality that we are the beloved of God, it provides an incredible foundation for faith.
Have you ever seen a movie where two people fall in love (every Disney movie ever made) and then one of them is either captured or in danger and their true love has to rescue them (also every Disney movie ever made)? When their true love defeats the bad guy, overcomes great difficulties, and rescues them against all odds, what do they say? Nearly without fail, the one being rescued says, “I knew you would come for me.” They have no doubt in their mind that their true love will come for them. Why? Because of love.
Unshakeable faith has firm roots in the love of God. Our faith can rest firmly on the truth that God will always come through for us because He is our True Love. It's a faith that says, "I know He will come for me."
Romans 8:37 says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Our faith that we are overcomers is based on the fact that we can always overcome because our victory comes through the Lover of our souls. The book of Romans goes on to say, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life… nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Never underestimate what God has done and will do to save the people that He loves.
Before I end, I would like to make this final point. For almost all of my life, the love of God was a theological truth for me, as I think it is for many in the church. We take comfort in the theological truth that God loves us, but we never press into the experience of it. It’s imperative that the love of God moves from our heads to our hearts. God’s love is not just a part of His character, but He Himself is love. He can’t be anything else.
For as long as I can remember I have known about the love of God, but I did not know the love of God. By definition of the biblical word for “knowing,” it must be experiential. The Word says to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Seeing speaks of perceiving or recognizing a truth and tasting speaks of experience. The point of seeing a truth about God is so that we can step into the experience of it. And the point of experiencing a truth about God is so that we can see it and understand it more clearly. We have to have both. Experience makes truth multidimensional.
Ephesians 3:14-17 says,
"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" (emphasis added).
The love of God “passes knowledge.” It goes beyond what the brain can comprehend and can only be fully received by the experience of the heart.
If we believe something is true, but we are not stepping into the experience of it, then we might as well not even believe it. It makes no difference either way. But if we will press into the truth of God’s great love for us as we press into His Presence, I believe our faith will go to new heights. God’s love is not just a part of His character, but He Himself is love. He can’t be anything else.