|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.|
Notice Paul was kneeling when he prayed this prayer. This was something which was very dear and important to his heart here. Here Paul uses 3 different words for knowledge: • γνῶσις gnōsis • γινώσκω ginōskō and • Καταλαμβάνω katalambanō.
Gnosis (according to Thayer) means “Head knowledge”.
Ginōskō on the other hand means “ Intimate and Experiential Knowledge”.
And finally Katalambanō means Overwhelming Knowledge such as being possessed by a Spirit. The interchange of words can be clearly seen here in my paraphrasing:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to be absolutely possessed by how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know intimately and experience this love that surpasses head and theological knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Note Thayer translate the word “Katalambanō” as “of evils overtaking one, of the last day overtaking the wicked with destruction, of a demon about to torment one”. Notice Paul is not interested is head knowledge. He wants the love of God to possess us like an evil spirit. He wants the love of God to overwhelm us with ever fiber of our bones.
Why? Because the next verse says this “You may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”.
We so often think that to be filled with God we have to do this and that. That perhaps is the furthest from the truth Isaiah puts it this way: Isaiah 28: 13 “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there— so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured. As such I submit to you the more you do the more you will fall. Eugene Peterson puts in this way in the Message in Galatians 3: 11-12 “Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.”
Paul thus prays that we may know or is possessed with the love of God to such a degree that we may be full of God. We become full when we know how much He loves us not by what we do but realizing what He did. After all “We love because He first loved us.”
Thought of the day
You become full of God when you are overwhelmed by how much He loves you.