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. Eph 3: 16-18.
I knew that God had clearly called us to Nigeria and we were in the process of getting there---mission board applications, winding down the practice and explaining our insanity to family and friends. On a weekend break from a busy medical practice we were camping by a creek on Crowley’s Ridge. My wife and 5 year-old daughter were still asleep in the tent. I was skipping rocks in the creek, tormented by my future. How could I take my family away from all they loved and place them among strangers in strange lands? It was not fair of me to ask. They were willing but I was not.
“I can’t do it, God!”
And that was that, for about five minutes. And then I heard, “Yes you will.” And I knew I would, and we did and those years in Africa changed who I was and changed my knowledge of God.
What does it take to know God? Paul in Ephesians talks about seeking the power of God to know Christ in His fullness. What’s that all about?
Much of my life I have sought to know my Savior and I have attempted to do so by asking Him sincerely to walk with me, trying to listen and learn and love. It was only with the call to Africa that I learned better way.
As long as I walk my path and seek Him, Jesus will be with me, but at a respectable distance. It is when I decide to step onto His path and walk with Him on His way that I really come to know Him, and in knowing Him I learn to love Him more.
There will always be a “respectable” separation from our Lord if we insist on traveling a path in life that we have chosen. Our Lord has a better plan for us and for His glory and that plan walks a path that we will have not chosen. The Lord’s path is not an easy one. This is where a power greater than our own is required. In Ephesians and in my own experience it takes the power of God, both to step onto His path and to continue beside Him. The path of our choice continues to beckon us back to our will and our way. Praise His name that God is able to move us where we would not go and keep us when we prefer to stray, and through His power allow us to walk beside Him day by day, growing in knowledge and love.
Grant me the power to step onto Your path so that I may walk close to You and know the height and depth of Your love.