Waking with The Word | Ephesians 3:17
:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
This prayer of Paul's should be read as a continuous thought, every verse leading up to the end request, to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Every verse is leading to that end goal. Verse 16 is a request for strength, Verse 17 is a request for settlement, Verse 18 is a request for seeing and verse 19 is a request for saturation. These 4 request are not 4 separate request but rather 4 moving parts to the same machine. One man said they were 4 lenses of the same telescope. The one we want to deal with shortly today is verse seventeen: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." The word that i want to draw our attention to is dwell. There is quiet a big difference in dwelling and sojourning or visiting. To dwell some where means that you have made that place your home, not a house but a home. We visit places from time to time and while the visit is fun while it last there is always that sense of relief and relaxation when you arrive at your home, your dwelling place. You have the place you like to sit, your own bed and when you want to eat or drink you don't have to ask anyone or worry about being rude like you would in some other persons home. I had a couple friends growing up that I was almost as comfortable at their house as I was my own but there was never any place that I could be as comfortable and at ease as in my own home. This is the type of abode Christ should have in our hearts, not a visitor or house guest, not a sojourner in times of trouble, not a refugee we invite in when we are feeling charitable but He should sit at the head of our table he should have the chief seat in our hearts. It should be His dwelling place not just a place he comes and visits for a short time.
Have you ever been to someone's home where you didn't feel welcome? It could be their attitude toward you or maybe the lifestyle they lived or because of the presence of things that you know to be contrary to your own conscience you just didn't feel comfortable. I wonder how Christ would feel in your heart? Does he have the cheif seat? Would He feel welcome or unwelcomed? Does He dwell or just stop by for a visit? Now I know for the believer that we have His Spirit and He never leaves us or forsakes us, but it is very possible that we greave him to a point that he enters into the back room of our life and doesn't feel welcome to sit at the table or to come into the sitting room? Or have you invited in house guest that have become spiritual squatters, tenants of that heart should be evicted immediately. Mr. Pride is loud and boisterous and doesn't let anyone speak over him, Mr. lust is a filthy man who defiles every person that will lend their ear to him, Mr. Fear is constantly telling everyone why they shouldn't trust or believe anything that God, the honored guest, has to say. Who dwells in your heart? I'll have to admit that sometimes these unsavory guest will show up at the door of our heart and sadly we even allow them entrance, they bring their loud attitudes, their filthy talk and their constant worry. Be sure that if they stop by that they are the visitors and not the dwellers. Better yet have Christ answer the door and tell them their not welcome here, there's a new tenant who doesn't put up with their kind anymore.
How then can this be done? By faith. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. The subject we are speaking of is sanctification. It is a process that is by faith as much as salvation. We believe God for salvation, when our hearts were heavy and burdened with the weight and consequence of our sin we called out to God and believed on Him for salvation. So is the case for sanctification, as believers our heart again becomes loathsome of present sin in our earthly experience. Mr. Pride and his friend showed at the house where they used to live, our hearts, and we stood on the doorstep talking with them for to long and now we are grieved at what they told us, we even begin to wonder why they would show up anymore. Until at last we are pressed to such a point of grievance that again cry out to our father and confess our sins and ask for cleansing and restoring of joy. This process of Christ dwelling in our hearts is a process that is by faith. The more He dwells in our heart by faith, the more rooted and grounded in love we will become.
To be rooted and to be grounded both refer to standing strong. A tree that is deeply rooted will withstand the strongest winds. A building that is grounded on a firm foundation stand what the elements throw at it. The Christian whose heart is a dwelling place for Christ will stand and not waver. Who has the chief seat in your heart? If your saved then He is a permanent resident in your heart, make sure He feels welcome there.
According to the riches of His Grace!!