"...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love..." (Ephesians 3:17).
In order for something to last, it has to be firmly established. Paul knew that faith wasn't faith if it were built around a moment, and emotion, or a circumstance, for any of those could change at a moment's notice. Paul taught the church at Ephesus that what they needed from God was NOT a mere visitation, but a full on indwelling in their hearts, the very core essence of their being. This would never be sustainable with this new church based on the facts of what they knew or the feelings that came & went. It would be based on a transformational faith as a result with a real encounter with Jesus.
Paul's prayer was that they get beyond scratching the surface and get into the depths of who Jesus really is, why He came, and what He wanted to do in each of them, and through them. He continued by emphasizing & ecouraging them to grow in the love of God that began with God showing love to each of them through the revelation of Jesus. Without growing in love, they would never grow in Jesus, and they would never truly know God. To be rooted and established means to know what is right and real, grab hold of it, and make that the standard by which all decisions are made. This was why Jesus came, why Paul did what he did, and was the catalyst that would change the world around them.
Have you ever had to live paycheck to paycheck? The idea of living only to survive is fine for a while, but begins to diminish one's sense of value, belonging, and purpose. The fact is, you weren't created to merely survive, but purposed to thrive. What God wants to do in your life is more than just a "paycheck to paycheck" relationship where you survive from Sunday to Sunday, desperate situation to desperate situation, or on the leftovers from someone else's time with God. He has called you to thrive, to know the power of God through Jesus living and dwelling on the inside of you. He wants you to know the power of faith over feeling, to walk in a confidence that He is always with you no matter what it is that you are facing in the everyday.
To thrive is to continue to grow even when the conditions around you are not conducive to growing. When the chips are down, the attacks are coming, and the feelings are gone, you can still thrive because of a faith that God is by your side, is giving you the strength to press on, and the victory to overcome! You can thrive in the love of God and thrive by showing the love God even when love is not what you feel. Don't allow the way things look or feel to rob you of what God has begun in you. Hang on, hold on, and don't let go. You weren't created just to survive. You were called to thrive!
'Lord, there are days when the motivation to move forward has slowed down, when the "get up & go" has done got up & left. But I thank You right now, in the Name of Jesus, that I am not called to just survive on some puny paycheck to paycheck spirituality. I have been created by You and called of You to thrive in all that You have placed within me to be & to do. When I'm feeling low, help me to remember that humility is always the starting place for worship. When the enemy has me low with the intent of defeat, help me to remember that that is the place where I can grow, thrive, and look to you. I thank You that it is your love that has changed me & keeps on changing me. I thank You that in You I have purpose and peace. I pray in Jesus Name for anyone that reads this today and sets their faith in agreement with mine in this prayer, that they, too, know the call of God to thrive, not just survive. I thank You for all of this now in Jesus' Name, Amen."