Daily encouragement

Video by

Kimber Gilbert

ACF Devo Team Leader

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Ephesians 3:17-19

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.

Behind the Scenes

I’m terrified of heights. There is nothing I hate more than my feet not being on the ground. Step stools? No thank you. Ladders? Hard pass. Boom lifts? Not a chance. But then I watched a documentary about rock climbing and thought it looked cool, so I forgot about my fear while I made plans with some people to go to an indoor climbing gym.

Most of the process was fine. I got my harness, got all the gear on, and we walked over to one of the big walls to climb. But then I stood at the bottom of the wall, looking up to the heavens at all of the different hand holds, seeing nothing but all of the opportunities I had to lose my grip and break every bone in my body. But it was too late. I was suited up, my harness was locked in, and people were watching. Peer pressure is still a thing in your late 20s.

I made it about six feet up the wall and thought to myself, “That was great, I’ve seen enough.” But now I had a new problem – I had to basically sit down in the harness I was wearing and let the guy on the ground lower me back to the earth. Trust someone else to have my life in their hands while I dangle in the air? Absolutely not.

I held onto the grips in front of me for dear life. I didn’t want to be up on the wall anymore, but I also didn’t want to float (or drop) back down to the ground. I trusted the grips because they had gotten me this far. But trusting the rope in my harness would actually get me where I needed to be, even if I hadn’t experienced it yet.

You probably recognize this pattern. We know we need to change something in our life, but we keep holding on to what we know. We’re stressed, our relationships aren’t healthy, and we lack purpose. But instead of taking a different approach, we hold on even harder to the comforts, distractions, and old habits just because they’re familiar to us.

To break this pattern, we need something radically different from what we’ve tried so far.

Make it Real

C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” In other words, if we always feel like something is missing, what if there’s something outside of us that can actually satisfy?

As Paul continues writing to the Ephesians, he takes time in the letter to pray for them. He knows that this church, like us, can get distracted and try to fill ourselves with anything other than what will satisfy. So, he prays for them “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Now at first, this seems to make no sense. How can we grasp this love if it goes beyond what we can understand?

Paul isn’t saying that we can only be filled with the love of God if we fully understand the love of God. I’m often reminded how good it is that we can’t fully understand God – the fact that he is so great is one of the reasons he's worth trusting. Just as I had to trust my harness without knowing exactly how it would hold my weight, I’ve learned I need to trust God even if I don’t always know exactly what he’s doing.  

But even though God’s love surpasses knowledge, we can still grasp it. We can possess it. We can take hold of this love because God has freely given it to us through Jesus. It’s one thing to think that God loves us. It’s another thing to let go of the handholds we’ve been clinging to and cling to the rope God has thrown us, trusting that his love will satisfy us. 

What would happen if we let go of the handhold of fear and instead took hold of the love of Jesus? What if we let go of the handhold of acceptance or the handhold of success and instead took hold of the love of Jesus? The things of this world aren’t worth holding onto; they won’t get you where you need to be. But you can take hold of the only thing that will satisfy you for the rest of eternity – the love of Jesus – even if you don’t quite understand how.

End in Prayer

God, thank you for freely giving us your love. Help us to let go of the things we’ve held on to for comfort or control and help us take hold of the love you have for us. We don’t want to create our own identity; we want to take on the identity you have given us as your sons and daughters whom you love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Written by

Cody Harmon

ACF Multiplication Pastor