The Lover of my Soul
My devotion from this morning talked about this concept of Christ as the lover of my soul. Wait, what? Okay, I had a difficult time grasping this and maybe you are too as you read this now… what does that really even mean? How is that possible? What does that practically look like? As I continued diving in, I wondered if that’s the point of what Paul is saying in the verses that were focused on from Ephesians, that it’s not supposed to innately make sense. There’s a mystery to this idea that he is praying for and inviting us to lean in to…
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, together with all of the saints, 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.”
It’s a love that surpasses knowledge and understanding. He prays that we may come to know it because it can only be taught / revealed to us by God (not of our own accord). He prays that in love "being rooted and established" we may have the power to grasp and to know and we should also pray, as it is Paul’s hope, that we are filled with all the fullness of God.
What I’m coming to understand (a least a little better) this morning, is that God’s love is not a thing we can logic our way into grasping. It’s not a matter of head knowledge or acquiring more information. But rather, “to know” meaning to experience, to feel (see reference below for explanation of yada). In the message translation, it states to “reach out and experience” the love of God. Experiencing something brings a new, deeper level of understanding that can’t come from simply reading words or having information relayed to us. If we are to have this experience with Christ’s love, then he really does become the lover and caretaker of our souls. He wants to be that if we will only let him.
Our relationship with Christ in this devotion I’m referencing (from Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence) was explained as one of an intimate couple; “they do not need to use many words in order to communicate”. That is also possible and maybe the point to which we come to understand this wide, long, high, and deep love that is available to us if we are open to it. To know the love of God is to experience something powerful and mysterious that does not make sense because it is not meant to. This is a personal, soul changing, and awakening experience. This agape love, reckless love, is not a part of God, it’s who He is and that is what we come to know.
-- MW --
Song reference for this post: God is Love by Chris Renzema
Additional reference: yada “to know.” This verb occurs in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Phoenician, Arabic (infrequently), biblical Aramaic, and in Hebrew in all periods. This verb occurs about 1,040 times (995 in Hebrew and 47 in Aramaic) in the Bible. Essentially yada means: (1) to know by observing and reflecting (thinking), and (2) to know by experiencing. The first sense appears in Gen. 8:11, where Noah “knew” the waters had abated as a result of seeing the freshly picked olive leaf in the dove’s mouth; he “knew” it after observing and thinking about what he had seen. He did not actually see or experience the abatement himself In contrast to this knowing through reflection is the knowing which comes through experience with the senses, by investigation and proving, by reflection and consideration (firsthand knowing). Pulled from: http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Vines_Expositary_Dictionary.pdf
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