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Prayers of Paul – Christ Indwelling – Pt.7

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” (Eph 3:17a)

We are continuing the wonderful prayer of Paul found in Eph 3:14-19. In the last article we learned that we receive inner strength by the Holy Spirit. We are strengthened as we see the riches of God’s glory.

Now, Paul is asking that this inner strengthening would allow “Christ to dwell in our hearts.” Paul was not asking that they would receive salvation. This is going beyond salvation to the dwelling – even resting – of Christ in our hearts. The fact that Paul said “that” Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith shows there is a conditional element. There are many such conditional promises in the Bible.

John 14 provides us with some very valuable insights into this conditional dwelling of Christ.

Jesus, responding to a question from one of His disciples, said:

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (v.23) Notice the word “if” related to the promise. Jesus said that those who keep His word He would “come to him” and “make our home” with him.

The first promise that Jesus would “come to him” can be likened to a visitation from the Lord. We have many such beautiful encounters with God. They are essential and should never be taken for granted. The last promise was that God would make “Our home” with him. This signifies a tarring of the Lord. Obviously, this is what we want above all else.

Before going further I want to touch on keeping God’s Word. We know its important because Jesus made it such an ephasis. Let’s rewind to a few of the veses earlier in John 14 and see something very important that Jesus said.

In verse 15 Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Now, watch what He said next:

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-.” (v.16)

You see, NONE of us can keep the comnmandments of God. It is impossible in our own strength. The great news is that He has given us the person of the Holy Spirit to enable us to keep His commandments. But notice it is through “abiding.”

Jesus made another beautiful promise in John 14.

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (v.21)

The word “manifest” has really caught my spiritual attention as of late. In the Greek it is emphanizō – a combination of en “in,” and phanio, “to cause to shine.” Therefore, Jesus manifesting Himself is a shining of His glory in our inner man. This goes back to us being strengthened in the inner man as we see the glory of God.

Lord, we thank you for desiring to dwell with us. We appreciate Your coming to us but we want more than anything else for you to make Your abode with us. Holy Spirit, we ask you to strengthen us to have and keep the commandments. We ask for the glory of God to shine on our inner man, strengthening us for communion. We love You Lord. In Jesus’ name.

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