Love Beyond Knowledge (by Keith Giles)
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every 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 Lord’s holy people, 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.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his POWER that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Notice how many times Paul talks about “Power” in this passage, and in what context the word is used.
What Paul is praying for the church in Ephesus is, first, that the power of God would be exerted in the hearts and lives of the followers of Jesus “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
It takes God’s power working in us to reveal Christ in our hearts and to empower us to have an ongoing relationship with Jesus.
Secondly, Paul prays that the power of God would lead us “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.”
I love this verse because here Paul confesses a bit of his inability to express with words the incredible love of Christ for us. Notice the phrase, “to know this love that surpasses knowledge”. How can we know something that is beyond knowledge? If there is a concept that “surpasses knowledge” can it really be known? Not in the natural world, but supernaturally it is possible, and only through the miraculous power of God working in us by His Spirit.
Lately I must admit I have forgotten this. I’ve been very busy with a lot of “Christian activity” but I’ve neglected to simply come to my dear Lord Jesus and sit at His feet and love Him. Not only to love Him, but to allow Him to love on me.
Re-reading this passage reminds me that what I need most is the power of Christ to be made alive in me so that I can “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge”.
Do you think it’s possible for us to know something that goes beyond knowledge? Is the love of God really greater than our ability to absorb or comprehend without an upgrade to our spiritual software?
Paul seems to think so. And he spends a lot of time in his letter to the Ephesians trying to express something with words that cannot be understood through words. He struggles to communicate to us in this epistle that God’s love for us is beyond comprehension, and then he prays that we might have an ability to understand it, and to receive it, and to be empowered by it in our everyday lives.
God’s love transcends information. The Gospel is not about information, it’s about a tranformation of the heart by our Creator who comes to live within us as we humbly submit to Him as our King.
One of the ways that we can be empowered to know the love of God that surpasses knowledge is through suffering. Paul affirmed this when he talked about his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) and said that it was given to Him by the Lord “so that Christ’s power may rest on (him)” (v.9) because “(God’s) power is made perfect in weakness” (v.9).
Over the last few days my family has endured a lot of suffering. In fact, at almost every level we have been under attack, and I think this is why I was able to realize last night that I had been neglecting to remember that I am called to love Jesus and cling to Him no matter what.
Today, in my weakness, I am thankful for the power of Christ at work in me. This power reminds me that I am loved and treasured beyond words and that the love of God is greater than I ever fully know with my natural mind.
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Keith Giles is the author of the new book, “[Subversive Interviews]“, a collection of Kingdom conversations with people like Dallas Willard, Jim Wallis, Frank Viola, Neil Cole, Walter Kirn and many others. Download it (and all of his other books) for free at his website: www.KeithGiles.com