January is often a month of highs and low. We begin the year with hopefulness because of a new start in a new year, and that hopefulness leads some of us to make New Year’s resolutions (lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, etc.). However, by this time in the month, most of those resolutions are shattered like a dropped dinner plate, swept up and thrown away onto the garbage heap of all our previous resolutions and recommitments. Why don’t our good intentions lead to good results?
It could be because we are aiming too low.
A good plan always begins with a good vision, and maybe our plans don’t work out because the vision that we have for our life is too small.
In the third chapter of his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul describes his vision-filled prayer for the people he loves.
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. (Eph. 3:16-19)
Do you hear the vision for life that Paul is sharing?
- Being strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit in our inner being
- Jesus Christ dwelling in our heart through faith
- Being rooted and established in love
- Having power, along with our fellow Jesus followers, to grasp the height, breadth and depth of Christ’s love for us and all people
- To know Jesus’ ineffable love
- To be filled completely with the fullness of God
All of those things are available to you now as a free gift from Jesus.
We are bombarded by competing visions for our life through media of various kinds and the lifestyles of those who seem to have a little more than we do. It is easy for us to adopt those visions as our own because they are very prevalent and they connect with something inside of us that wants to be slim, successful, wealthy and adored. But it takes intentionality for us to rest in Jesus’ love and allow his vision for our lives to seep deep into our soul and take root. When that happens, Jesus’ plans for our life become our plans and the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, makes it happen. And the result, looking back, will be a life lived that was far better than we could have ever dreamed.
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. (Eph. 3:20-21)