“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV
For too many and for far too long, there has been apathy in the hearts and in the lives of Christ followers. We go to church on Sundays, we sing the songs, we listen to the sermon, we make sure our children attend Sunday school, and we try our best to live moral lives, focusing on doing good deeds and striving to not do bad things. We live in the world, but sadly so, we tend to not look all that much different from it. Although we are called to be light in the darkness, we often blend in more than we shine. For many “professing Christians”, if you were to remove “religion” from their lives, the result would be that their lives really wouldn’t look all that different. We’ve settled for a watered-down, neatly packaged, palatable version of Jesus and the Bible, a version that fits quite nicely into our lives and doesn’t tend to uncomfortably alter us in any way. Yet, this is not what the God of the Bible has called us to. This is not the experience He intended for His children to have.
Notice the words in the passage above – “the riches of His glory”. Just that phrase alone implies that there is far more to be known and experienced in relationship with Christ Jesus than what many of us have settled for. It’s not meant to be a list of rules, regulations, and obligations. Obedience to the Lord should stem and flow from a heart that is madly in love with the Savior of our souls. However, we are far too easily pleased with religion rather than the awesomeness of our God. We think that it is far easier to live our lives so compartmentalized; yet we fail to recognize the cost of doing so. To be far too easily pleased is to forfeit our joy, a joy that can only come from the Lord. Knowing the heights and depths and length and width of God’s love for you leads to lasting joy like nothing else on this earth can, and a passionate pursuit of Him allows the abundant life that His Word promises us to flow into our hearts. “To be filled with all the fullness of God” is His will for our lives.
But we’re far too easily pleased. We’ve dismissed relationship with our Creator as we’ve embraced the religion of man. We’ve established a right way of living that looks far different than what God’s Word beckons us to. Now is the time to return to the LORD. Choose to be satisfied by nothing less than His presence. There is simply no greater joy on this side of heaven than to be in right relationship with the God of Heaven. Any earthly substitute will forever pale in comparison to His matchless wonder and majesty. Refuse to be so easily pleased with what this world has to offer. Dive into the riches of His glory and come to know and understand the depth of His love for you. Only then will you know true and lasting joy.
So true! As much as I can say, I hate religion but love Jesus, so often I find myself without fulfilment because I get in a rut of considering church, reading The Bible, prayer, and small group as a chore. I’m not often excited about it, just have to do it. What a terrible attitude to take on when given the opportunity to be With the Savior of the world and in the presence of other believers?!?! My apathetic heart wants not to work for that joy, it’s like I just expect it because I’m doing things right. But it’s sitting here, reading things like this and dwelling in the word that brings such fulfillment. Just reading that scripture reminded me what I’m missing out on! And I love that fulfillment! Why do I let myself become so complacent?! Especially when I KNOW what joy I can experience in the Lord!! What’s funny is I get frustrated with my students because they are so apathetic especially when it comes to health and fitness, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for God to look down upon me in such apathy towards Him, the creator and savior of everything i know ans see. Really puts it in perspective for me! I can just see Him saying…”look alive!”