“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, 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.” (Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV)
It really does start with us—you and me in an authentic, real relationship with Jesus, a relationship that flows from the heart, not from habit or moral standards or various religious activities and practices. Without that, we are like lamps that aren’t plugged in. We may look nice, but we are not going to bring any light into a dark place.
This may explain why there can be so many churches in a community and, yet, they have little impact outside of their four walls. And it gives us insight into how there can be so many ministries on a university campus and, yet, little noticeable influence on the student population as a whole. Too many of us who identify ourselves as Christians aren’t plugged in. We are lamps standing in the darkness unable to shine any light.
Paul knew from his own life the key to making a spiritual impact in this world is not through religious activity and moral standards. Jesus made that clear to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-31). It was when he surrendered his life to the Lord and began developing an intimate relationship with Him that he began to bring light into the darkness. So he prayed this prayer for his Ephesian brothers and sisters. And so, too, should it be our prayer today, for our fellow believers and ourselves.
If we can truly grasp the infinite measure of Jesus’ love for each of us, then that will draw us into a deeper relationship with Him. And when we go deeper with Jesus, then He will increasingly fill us with the power of His Spirit. We will be plugged-in lamps shining bright in the darkness.
Today, know the way you will spiritually impact others is by drawing near to Jesus. Only through Him will you have the power to shine any light.
© Jim Musser 2014