How Long, How Deep, How Wide
"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." - Ephesians 3:16-19
NBA Basketball Court: 94 feet long, 50 feet wide, 10 feet high (hoop)
Olympic-sized swimming pool: 50 meters long, 25 meters wide and 2 meters deep
400-meter track: 580’5” long, 303’6” wide and (lane) depth of 4’ each.
How long, how high, how wide. We see measurements like this every day in our athletic lives, but how often do we stop to acknowledge the reason behind them?
There are a few instances in the Bible that God gives His people exact measurements for building structures. The first one we see is in Genesis 6:15 when God gives Noah specific numbers for the building of the ark: “This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.”
The Word of God goes on to give exact measurements for the features of the tabernacle (Exodus 25), the temple in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 28:19) and a new city (Ezekiel 40-48). For centuries, we see God’s presence and salvation represented in the ark of Noah, the tabernacle and temple. God was precise about His presence on earth. It was contained for specific people to encounter Him. But in this new heaven and earth, we see the glory of God that can’t be contained (Revelation 11).
In Christ, we have an outbreaking of God’s love for the encounter of the world. The veil has been torn (Matthew 27:51). Ephesians 3:18-19 reads, “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.” The Holy Spirit has exploded our physical understanding of God’s love and presence in our lives.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit—"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). In Christ, there are no more measurements of God’s presence. It cannot be contained. No width, no length, no height or depth of God’s love can be measured. In verse 19, we know that we are filled to all measure. And just when you think there is an idea of that measure, Paul goes onto say that it he is going to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
- In what ways have you put God in a box of your own understanding?
- Where do you need God’s love and presence to break through in a “immeasurably more” kind of way? (health, relationships, decisions, plans, etc.)
- Through the practice of stillness and meditation on how incredibly BIG the love of God is, sit and allow yourself to feel the love of God rest on you.
Ezekiel 48:35; 1 Corinthians 6:19;Revelation 11:1, 19
Father God, thank you for being the God of all things—past, present and future. You have laid the foundations of the world and you continue to care about the intricacies of my future. Your love knows no bounds, yet you sit with me in intimacy. Thank you for the way you love your people in ways that are far beyond my understanding. Give me a glimpse of your grandeur so I can rest in the fullness of your love.