♣ Recalling Our Status in Christ
“…may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth…”Verse 18
Almost four years ago in the UK, I purchased a wrist watch – the kind with all the miniature individual dials for various functions. Despite having its fair share of knocks, it remains in one piece and the battery is still working fine (surprisingly that things are not made to last long these days) after temporarily limiting the watch to its minimum usage.
There have been times (while musing over something in my mind) I would often catch myself staring at the watch, following the second-hand tick by in the miniature dial (we all have our quirky focal points while deep in thought). But only the other day, for the first time, I noticed the other miniature dial turning its hand after every minute had passed. Unimpressive to many I’m sure, but what amazed me was an activity taking place all this time that I was completely oblivious to, no matter how much I thought I knew this watch like the back of my hand!
This had me wondering over the fact that so many Christians do not realize who they really are in Christ. Granted that none of us ever perfectly understand our spiritual status and all the privileges it entails now and in the future to come. Such knowledge will not be attained until we can perfectly comprehend with our new glorified bodies. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul still prayed that we would understand the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, and that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. But doesn’t that sound contradictory? Not at all – if we think further. We know that Paul had previously mentioned (Ephesians 3:8) that he was called to “preach the unsearchable riches of Christ”; Ephesians 2:7, “…immeasurable riches of His grace; Romans 11:33, “Oh the depths of riches and wisdom of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable are His ways!” Also in Philippians 4:7 we have the same connotation, “…the peace of God which surpasses all understanding…”
Does this mean then that we cannot increase in our knowledge and experience of God? Absolutely no way, but it does mean we are unable to analyze God like the science of our day that so often ‘reduces’ the beauty of God’s creation to mindless matter. We cannot ever fathom God, or rather – there is no limit to knowing God.
Paul, the same author of what we’re considering here, says in Philippians 3, “Not that I have already attained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own…I strain forward…I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” This was an expression of Paul’s intense desire to really know Christ – not that he already didn’t; he had encountered indescribable glories and wrote most of what constitutes our New Testament and the cardinal doctrines of our faith from His experience with the Risen Christ, but he still pressed on deeper into God.
D.L. Moody had such a profound encounter with God (so wonderful and awesome he could not speak of it in detail for fear of bringing dishonour to God), such a revelation of the knowledge of God’s love that came over him, increasingly in wave after wave, that he was physically unable to endure anymore and prayed, “Lord, stay Thy hand.” I am reminded of Paul’s words, “that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). We can endure only so much; we are finite, God is infinite; we have limits, God has no bounds. Eternity will be a continual revelation of God Himself which will never, ever, know no end. Do we wonder why we will worship Him in awe and adoration? Picking up a hymn book or singing words off a huge twin screen will long-gone be overshadowed and forgotten as we behold – with naked eye – the brightness of His glory in heaven. I have been in some meetings where the pastor has announced, prior to a session of ‘worship’, “Get used to it for this is what we’ll be doing for eternity.” I thank God that will not be the case and that eternity will be nowhere near to the superficial shallowness, boredom and deadness that many call a good time of singing and praising – it sure wasn’t worship! Any church leader who says such a thing ought to be removed from office rather than depress and dull the hopes and wonder of what eternity really holds.
Many who are content with their Christian walk have not even begun to tread the depths. Over-familiarity does indeed breed contempt as much as spiritual complacency stunts spiritual growth. We may know our Bibles and recite the catechism as well as we know the sky is blue and the grass is green, but have we explored its riches that have no end that beckons us onward to taste more and more? That spiritual giant and mentor, Paul – who said, “imitate me” ought to rouse us out of sleep – “not that I have arrived but I press on toward the mark.” The antidote to complacency is “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” Too many of us are content to ‘sit down’ while seeking God instead of being on our tiptoes aspiring to see His face. We know so little because we limit our thinking; we are oblivious to our spiritual standing in Christ because we spend little time reading and meditating of our portrait in scripture. No man or woman would be happy just to know they have inherited a family member’s will; we wouldn’t rest until we understood exactly what that will entailed and what benefits we were legally entitled to. Likewise, spiritually, many of us are sitting on a spiritual inheritance, having no clue of the future glories awaiting us and the present status and benefits we are rightfully entitled to.
A good place to start is to let the truth of Ephesians 2:5-6 fall afresh on our minds and hearts, “…made us alive together with Christ…raised us up with Him and seated us up with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
No matter where we are physically – standing, sitting or how we are feeling – that is true of our spiritual status NOW!
Posted on January 27, 2012, in ♣ Devotional and tagged alive with Christ, complacency, D.L. Moody, deeper into God, devotional, Ephesians 2:5-6, Ephesians 3:14-21, Ephesians 3:18, eternity, fulness of God, Mark Anthony Williams, no limit to knowing God, oblivion to our position in Christ, our portrait in scripture, over-familiarity, Philippians 3, profound encounter with God, raised with Christ, Recalling Our Status in Christ, seated with Chist, spiritual standing in Christ, spiritual status, stunted spiritual growth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.