16 I ask that he will strengthen you in your inner selves from the riches of his glory through the Spirit. 17 I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, 18 I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. 19 I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.
How can you know something that’s beyond knowledge?
That’s the challenge we find in Ephesians 3:19. The writer of the letter prays this for the church in Ephesus. The writer asks God to bless the church there with knowledge that he admits is beyond knowing – the dimensions of Christ’s love for them.
I’m not 100% sure how that works. I’m not sure how it’s possible to know something that is beyond knowing, EXCEPT to say that this kind of knowledge is something you don’t grasp with your mind as much as your heart. You have to FEEL this kind of knowledge. That’s what makes it a matter of faith.
We often think of faith as an esoteric concept, not grounded in real life experience. But the reality is that there are many times in our lives when we have to trust that we just know. We are often faced with life-altering decisions, where we simply have to believe the truth of our hearts. That may be the choice of a spouse, a vocation, or a place to call home. All these things are matters of faith – where we have to live out of a knowledge that’s felt and not understood. We do these things all the time, and none of it seems strange to us.
Our common understanding of “knowing” is that something must be able to be proven by reason and logic. But it’s important to recognize something: feeling is its own means of knowing. Love cannot be known by reason and logic. It can ONLY be known by feeling and experience. THIS is the writer’s prayer: that the church might be filled with the knowledge of Christ’s love – a love that is known by what it does IN us and THROUGH us.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
What are some of the truths of your life that you’ve had to accept by faith – through feeling and experience – rather than proving them by reason and logic?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we pray that we might have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. Help us to trust the truth of our feelings and experiences of you. Amen.