In today’s passage, Paul prays that the Ephesians will grasp the depth of Christ’s love. Though divine care is beyond human comprehension, the apostle says God will give spiritual understanding so we can experience Him more fully. But there are four things that keep us from getting a handle on His love and resting in it.
1. We think God’s acceptance is imperfect and conditional like ours. Yet the Bible tells us that His compassion comes from His character and is not dependent upon our morality, choices, or thoughts. (See Rom. 5:8.)
2. When we recognize our sin, we often experience guilt. Sometimes this leads to feeling unworthy of the Father’s ultimate love. Instead, let a guilty conscience lead you back to God so that you can repent. Realize that His love and forgiveness are greater than any sin. He promises that there is no condemnation for His followers (Rom. 8:1).
3. There are some teachers who encourage legalism. This traps a person into feeling he or she must earn God’s favor. It also contradicts the divine truth that our Father loves His children without condition.
4. Some of us have a difficult time reconciling God’s love with His discipline. These can exist together, however. His correction flows from compassion, just as loving parents must redirect their children.
Recognizing God’s love will bring peace and joy to your life. At the same time, it doesn’t give license to sin. Like any caring father, the Lord will use discipline to bring you back to Him. Instead, why not let His love motivate you to walk in a holy and obedient manner before Him?