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← Christianity is Christ Dwelling in the Believer - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 9 created 06/08/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Ephesians 3:14.
  2. "For this reason, I bow my knees
  3. before the Father..."
  4. So we know that we have prayer.
  5. The prayer of an apostle.
  6. And what he's praying
  7. for this church in Ephesus.
  8. "For this reason, I bow my
    knees before the Father
  9. from whom every
    family in heaven..."
  10. Or, "from whom the whole family
  11. in heaven and on earth is named,
  12. that according to the riches of His glory
  13. He may grant you to be strengthened
  14. with power through His Spirit
  15. in your inner man (or inner being)
  16. so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
  17. through faith."
  18. "So that Christ may dwell
  19. in your hearts through faith."
  20. Now, we looked at this last week.

  21. And I don't feel like the few comments
  22. that I made last week
  23. on these mighty verses - or even verse -
  24. verse 17, "that Christ may dwell
  25. in your hearts through faith."
  26. I don't believe that they've
    been adequately handled.
  27. I feel like this is one
    of the greatest truths.
  28. I feel like most of us
  29. pass over this verse
  30. when we read Ephesians.
  31. I feel like it has very little meaning,
  32. very little substance,
  33. very little impact on our life -
  34. if the truth be told.
  35. I think this is a window
  36. into some of the richest possibilities
  37. of being a Christian.
  38. And I feel like we would do a disservice
  39. if we simply run on to
    something else right now.
  40. And I'll tell you this,

  41. all through the week -
  42. and I don't believe that this had to do
  43. with the fact that I was sick this week -
  44. but every time I would come
  45. and open up the Scriptures
  46. and I would look at this verse,
  47. the more I looked at it -
  48. you know what this is like -
  49. if you've spent any amount of time
  50. studying and meditating on Scripture;
  51. if something grabs hold
    of you in Scripture,
  52. you begin studying it,
  53. looking at it, mulling it over.
  54. The bigger and bigger it got to me,
  55. it felt like it sucked the energy
  56. and the life right out of me.
  57. What I was reminded of
    was the Queen of Sheba.
  58. You remember how it was said
  59. she saw Solomon's wisdom
  60. and she saw his house
  61. and she saw his servants
  62. and she saw how the whole
    thing was decked out
  63. and she saw the offerings
    that were being given,
  64. and you know what it says?
  65. It sucked the breath or it took the breath
  66. right out of her.
  67. And that's how I felt to this verse.
  68. I felt staggered by it.
  69. I felt ashamed maybe
  70. that a jewel was here
  71. and I haven't seen it for what it is,
  72. but this is how I felt
    about this verse 17.
  73. As I was being confronted by this,
  74. one of the things that I wanted to do
  75. was I wanted to say, Paul -
  76. this was the title of
    the message last week -
  77. Paul, teach me to pray.
  78. And you know one of the things

  79. that really strikes me
    about Paul's prayers
  80. is the way he prays for Christians.
  81. Go back to Ephesians 1,
  82. the first place where we found
  83. Paul's prayers in this letter.
  84. If you go back to chapter 1:16,
  85. Paul said, "I do not cease
    to give thanks for you
  86. remembering you in my prayers."
  87. We have the same thing going on here.
  88. He's praying for the Ephesians.
  89. "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  90. the Father of glory may give you..."
  91. now some of your Bibles say "a spirit."
  92. I think it should be "the Spirit."
  93. I think he's talking
    about the Spirit of God.
  94. In the original, it's difficult to know
  95. whether it should be a capital "S"
  96. or a small "s," but "the Spirit."
  97. Now, let's say he's talking
    about the Spirit of God.
  98. Praying for Christians
  99. that they be given the Spirit.
  100. They have the Spirit.
  101. And even if it's a small "s,"
  102. "the spirit of wisdom and of revelation
  103. in the knowledge of Him."
  104. What are we saying?
  105. Are we saying that they're void of that?
  106. Are we saying that these Christians
  107. at Ephesus lacked any bit of wisdom
  108. and of revelation in the
    knowledge of Christ?
  109. Listen, v. 18, "Having the eyes
    of your hearts enlightened
  110. that you may know what is the hope..."
  111. Now get this.
  112. That they might know what
    is the hope of their calling,
  113. or the hope to which He has called you.
  114. The hope of God's calling.
  115. But what are we going to say?
  116. Are we going to say that these people
  117. don't know anything of that?
  118. If they've experienced it, obviously.
  119. If they've been called of God
  120. and they're saved,
  121. they know something about this.
  122. Or, what's the next thing?
  123. "That they might know what are the riches
  124. of His glorious inheritance
    in the saints."
  125. Or the next thing,
  126. "what is the immeasurable greatness
  127. of His power toward us who believe
  128. according to the working
    of His great might."
  129. You see, what I'm learning
    about Paul's prayers
  130. is that Paul,
  131. all through this letter,
  132. do you know that every place
  133. that talks about his prayers,
  134. he's praying for something
  135. that at least in part,
  136. these people already had.
  137. And what that does,
  138. is it so powerfully comes home
  139. that there is so much more
  140. in the Christian life.
  141. You've got to see that from these prayers.
  142. That he's talking to God
  143. about the needs of Christians,
  144. and he's praying for the very things
  145. that if we were to be honest we would say
  146. they probably already have -
  147. at least, to some degree.
  148. See, that's the issue. To some degree.
  149. Why is he praying?
  150. Because he knows that they don't have it
  151. to the degree that they could have it.
  152. That's the issue.
  153. That's the issue all the way through here.
  154. These prayers don't mean
    that the Ephesians
  155. were void of these realities.
  156. It's enlargement. That's it.
  157. Enlargement.
  158. What more we could have.
  159. And that's what I want
    us to get a feel for.
  160. Before I just run on to something else,
  161. we need to feel it.
  162. I could have more.
  163. I could have more if I were to pray,
  164. if others were to pray for me
  165. and ask God for these very things.
  166. I could have much more.
  167. Christianity.
  168. Oh, I forget where it was.

  169. It's just coming to my mind right now.
  170. Spurgeon talking about the Christian life,
  171. and he sees it as many
    men in the Christian life,
  172. they wade in the shallows.
  173. And he said some, a few,
    they go out deeper
  174. to where they're waist-
    deep in these waters.
  175. And he said, oh, just a scarce amount -
  176. the very fewest -
  177. dive in and find it an ocean to swim in.
  178. (incomplete thought)
  179. There's a possibility here.

  180. He's praying,
  181. "Christ may dwell in your
    hearts through faith,"
  182. to people who are already Christians.
  183. And you've got to let that register.
  184. They're already Christians.
  185. He's praying that Christ would dwell
  186. in their hearts.
  187. This - do you feel it?
  188. This is what you were meant to be.
  189. This is what we're to press on to be.
  190. This is what's possible for us.
  191. And I don't want us to be content
  192. to sit stagnant in our Christian life.
  193. Do you realize this about yourself?
  194. The potential.
  195. What more there is to be had.
  196. It's precisely because this reality exists
  197. that Paul prays the way he prays.
  198. If this reality didn't exist,
  199. if the Spirit of God was saying to Paul,
  200. "Paul, there's no more.
  201. Once you've become a
    Christian, you've got everything.
  202. You don't need anymore."
  203. If that was the reality, the Spirit of God
  204. would not have moved upon Paul
  205. to pray this prayer.
  206. The very reason that he's praying this way
  207. is because this reality is possible.
  208. Greater, greater.
  209. This is what is possible
    for you in this life.
  210. And I would just say this to all of us,

  211. can you be content
  212. when there's such verses as this?
  213. I'm telling you as this
    got bigger and bigger
  214. before my eyes and sucked the breath
  215. right out of me,
  216. it makes me want more.
  217. My greatest fear is that as a preacher
  218. that I would handle this
    verse in such a way
  219. as to just leave you all that way.
  220. Just the same and content.
  221. And walk out of here
  222. with no greater expectation
  223. than what you had before you heard
  224. me preach on these verses.
  225. And I fear having a church that knows
  226. very little in experiential fashion
  227. of what this verse means.
  228. See, this is the thing,
    when we even hear it,

  229. when we hear Paul praying
  230. that according to the riches
  231. of the glory of God,
  232. that we would be strengthened
  233. with power by His Spirit
  234. in our inner being,
  235. that we might have Christ
  236. dwell in our hearts through faith.
  237. When we hear that,
  238. what?
  239. My fear is that we would say,
  240. "I don't know what that is.
  241. I can't relate.
  242. I mean, yeah, that's nice.
    Let's go on to something else
  243. because that doesn't really
    move me, that doesn't stir me.
  244. I don't really know what
    Paul's talking about there.
  245. I mean, yes, we walk
    by faith, not by sight.
  246. And I've got this faith that
    Christ is there somewhere
  247. and that He's real.
  248. I believe the facts.
  249. I believe Jesus died.
    I believe He rose again.
  250. And I don't know about this,
  251. but you know, I guess I assume
  252. it should be true that Christ is in me."
  253. That's not what we want.
  254. That's not what Paul's talking about.
  255. Paul isn't talking about something
  256. that you should take by faith in your head
  257. to know it's true, but there's no
  258. experiential reality behind this.
  259. That is not what this is about.
  260. Because where he's going
    to go on with this
  261. is that we might have
    strength to comprehend
  262. with all the saints
  263. what is this breadth and length...
  264. This gets into the realities
  265. of being rooted and grounded
  266. in the love of Christ
  267. and having that love burst forth on us.
  268. If we get to the place where we say
  269. we don't know anything about this,
  270. I don't know whether we should
  271. bow our heads and weep,
  272. or we should just try another religion.
  273. Or go back to the starting point,
  274. because if that's all we're getting out
  275. of what Christianity is all about...
  276. Paul is telling us something.
  277. Look, the Christian is called

  278. that one who hungers and thirsts.
  279. And I hope that there's
    a longing in your soul.
  280. And I was just reminded
    of Psalm 81 that says,
  281. "Open your mouth wide,
    and I will fill it."
  282. It's like, Lord... give me this.
  283. Give us this.
  284. Give us the more.
  285. Don't tantalize us.
  286. Don't dangle this in front of us only.
  287. I'll tell you what this is all about.
  288. Craig talked about the glory.
  289. It's about that glory coming inside.
  290. It's that glory becoming real.
  291. The possibility.
  292. I want us to pursue this
  293. until we can all say,
  294. "yes, I know at least something
  295. of what Paul's speaking of."
  296. This is one of the greatest truths
  297. that a Christian can
    ever be confronted with -
  298. the possibility of more of Christ.
  299. Surely then, what could
    be more important to us?
  300. If that is a reality that for each of us
  301. to know what this is - what is this?
  302. And to know how to pursue it,
  303. how to arrive at this position.
  304. And I want us to think.

  305. I want us to think what's
    actually being said here.
  306. And we're just going to focus
  307. right in on verse 17
  308. and the first part of chapter 3.
  309. Verse 17, "so that Christ..."
  310. So that Christ -
  311. let's give the emphasis there first.
  312. "...That Christ may dwell in
    your hearts through faith."
  313. Christ.
  314. And what I want you to see
  315. as the apostle's prayer
  316. is that Christians might possess
  317. the indwelling Christ in the heart.
  318. This is Christ - actually Christ
  319. dwelling in the heart.
  320. What is this?

  321. It is far, far more than when we say,
  322. "Well, I bear you in my heart."
  323. Or, "I have you on my heart."
  324. And Paul talked that way sometimes.
  325. He would say things like this,
  326. "make room in your hearts for us."
  327. "We've wronged no one.
    We've corrupted no one.
  328. We've taken advantage of no one.
  329. I do not say this to condemn you,
  330. for I said before that
    you are in our hearts."
  331. That's not what Paul's talking about.
  332. What is that?
  333. That means I have affection for you.
  334. I'm thinking about you.
  335. But that's not what Paul's talking about.
  336. We don't want to limit it to that.
  337. In Ephesians 3:17, Paul is speaking about
  338. far more than having
  339. feelings in our heart for Christ.
  340. Don't try to water this down
  341. by saying that it means that we simply
  342. have thoughts about Christ
  343. or warm fuzzy feelings toward Him
  344. or that our lives even resemble Him.
  345. That's not it.
  346. That's not what Paul's praying for here.
  347. Do you realize a dead Mohammad
  348. can produce that in his followers?
  349. A dead Joseph Smith can produce that
  350. in his followers.
  351. What? They think about him.
  352. They even are inspired by him.
  353. They even resemble him perhaps.
  354. They imbibe his teachings.
  355. But that's not it.
  356. What Paul is talking about here

  357. is the living Christ dwelling,
  358. dwelling in you.
  359. The living Christ does not
    influence His people
  360. far away, separate, from the grave.
  361. It's nothing like that.
  362. What Paul sees is this:
  363. The people of God being influenced
  364. by an actual living Christ
  365. that takes up His dwelling inside
  366. the believer.
  367. He is actually inside.
  368. It is the presence of His own self
  369. that influences us.
  370. Not just what we read about Him
  371. in a book.
  372. You see, if that's all
    that Christianity is,
  373. that is a miserable kind of Christianity
  374. where your Christianity comes from a book,
  375. where your faith is simply
  376. these abstract facts that are removed.
  377. That is not biblical Christianity.
  378. Biblical Christianity is Christ
  379. actually coming inside the believer,
  380. into the heart of the believer,
  381. within us,
  382. exercising influences upon us
  383. which are inseparable from His presence.
  384. That's it.
  385. Paul uses the term "dwell."

  386. And as I said last week,
  387. it's got a "kata" on the front.
  388. It means "down."
  389. He settles down into the believer.
  390. This is not some shallow thing here.
  391. And as I reminded you last week
  392. from John 14:23,
  393. I mean, hear Jesus' words.
  394. He says that "My Father and I,
  395. we will come to him
  396. and make our home with him."
  397. No matter what you
    want to say about Islam,
  398. Mohammad can't do that.
  399. "We will make our home with him."
  400. And I mentioned to you Revelation 3:20.
  401. There's Christ. He says,
  402. "I'm knocking at the door."
  403. And He says, "To those who hear
  404. and open that door,
  405. I will come in
  406. and I will sup with them and he with Me."
  407. You need to hear that.
  408. "I will come in."
  409. See, this isn't some teaching like,
  410. oh, this is just speaking of affections
  411. and feelings.
  412. Like: I bear you on my heart
  413. because I have a deep love for you.
  414. Sometimes the New Testament
    speaks that way,
  415. but when it comes to
    Christ in the believer,
  416. that is not the issue.
  417. He says, "My Father and I,
  418. we will make our home
  419. in you."
  420. "I will come in."
  421. Paul is not praying merely
  422. for some thing to happen.
  423. He's not praying that we would simply
  424. grasp the truth of this.
  425. We're talking about Him.
  426. He wants us to be strengthened
  427. to receive Christ Himself,
  428. Christ in our hearts.
  429. We're not just pursuing
    some truth about Christ.
  430. That's not it.
  431. It's Him.
  432. And this isn't just theory here.
  433. It's to where Christ comes in.
  434. Brethren, do you recognize?

  435. You get some people,
  436. and I had a brother telling me recently
  437. about his concern for people
  438. who they seem to talk the talk,
  439. but they seem to lack
    a sense of the reality.
  440. And you know when your Christianity
  441. is all theory, that's bad.
  442. That's bad because Christianity
  443. deals with more than
    just a knowledge up here
  444. of what the truths are.
  445. You know what I see?
  446. I see some people -
  447. and we don't want to be these people -
  448. they know the truth
  449. and they try to persuade themselves
  450. that what is true of biblical Christianity
  451. because it's described in this book,
  452. they try to persuade themselves
  453. that it's true of them.
  454. But we're talking of something -
  455. listen, if Christ indwells your heart
  456. and you're rooted and grounded
  457. in that love that He saturates you with,
  458. and you begin to have some idea
  459. about the breadth and length
  460. and height and depth
  461. and to grab hold of this
    unsearchable love of Christ,
  462. and you're filled with
    all the fullness of God,
  463. I guarantee, that's not the kind of thing
  464. where you have to sit back and say,
  465. "Well, I don't feel the reality of this,
  466. but because I believe it in my head,
  467. I'm going to try to persuade
    myself that this is real."
  468. That's not what's happening here.
  469. That's not the kind of
    Christianity we find in Scripture.
  470. Let me ask you this:
  471. is Christ real to you?
  472. Is Christ real within you?
  473. I'm not talking religion and church
  474. and reading your Bible
  475. and singing the hymns.
  476. Is Christ real to you? Him!
  477. Has He come in?
  478. And in the same way
  479. that He would sit down with somebody
  480. and have supper with them,
  481. and you would know it,
  482. do you know that reality?
  483. Because if not, I'm telling you,
  484. don't be content.
  485. Look, if you're not ready
    to go further here,
  486. if you're content with this,
  487. you can be content with that.
  488. But I think verses like this
  489. are meant to make us not content
  490. and to take the prayer
  491. as an indication that this is a promise.
  492. If Paul weren't under inspiration,
  493. we might question:
  494. Well, he's fallible.
  495. Could he be praying for something
  496. God wouldn't maybe perhaps
  497. really be willing to give us?
  498. But he is under inspiration,
  499. which means Paul asking this for us
  500. is as good as it being a promise.
  501. This is God telling him,
  502. "Paul, pray that way for them
  503. and let's record it
  504. in the letter to the Ephesians
  505. for all the future generations to see
  506. that this is a very valid and
    legitimate thing to ask for
  507. because I intend to give this."
  508. It's a promise.
  509. Christ came.
  510. You think about this,

  511. Christ came from the glory,
  512. and He dwelt among us,
  513. He tabernacled among us.
  514. And what happened?
  515. He lived and He died.
  516. And He died on that cross
  517. and after three days,
  518. He came forth.
  519. Death couldn't hold Him.
  520. And for 40 days, He was here.
  521. And then He ascended to
    the right hand of His Father,
  522. and Scripture says that He is there
  523. to intercede on our behalf.
  524. And I'll guarantee you this,
  525. as much as it is a reality
    that He sits in Heaven,
  526. there situated at the
    very right hand of God
  527. making intercession for His people,
  528. I'll tell you this, it is just as true
  529. that He is within every
    believer in this room.
  530. That is a fact.
  531. Not just that you have an
    affection on your heart
  532. and soft, warm, fuzzy feelings about Him,
  533. it is that He actually has come in
  534. and He dwells there.
  535. He lives within the believer.
  536. That is a reality.
  537. We're not talking just about some theory
  538. or some "thing" or some "it."
  539. It's not just some doctrine.
  540. This is Christ - more of Christ -
  541. that Paul prays for.
  542. And look, I would say, we must pursue it.
  543. Because He dwells there by faith.
  544. And if we really understand faith,
  545. then it's something that
    we're going to pursue.
  546. Before I get to that,

  547. Paul isn't just using
    some figure of speech
  548. which actually doesn't mean, after all,
  549. that Christ is in us,
    but some other meaning.
  550. Do you remember what Paul himself
  551. said to the Galatians?
  552. He said, "I was crucified with Christ."
  553. And then what does he say?
  554. "I live, yet not I,
  555. Christ lives..."
  556. Christ who lives in me.
  557. Or Colossians - Craig's been
    going through Colossians.
  558. Colossians 1:27,
  559. "Christ in you,
  560. the hope of glory."
  561. Now you should just
    stop right there a second.
  562. If you simply have a
    head knowledge of this
  563. and you're trying to
    persuade yourself of this,
  564. because there's no real evidence.
  565. You're just trying to
    hope and persuade yourself.
  566. You're seeking to persuade yourself
  567. that Christ is in there even though
  568. you're not really sensing this
  569. in any tangible expression.
  570. How can Christ in you
    be the hope of glory?
  571. You see what Paul's saying?
  572. To have Christ in you is the very thing
  573. that gives you the hope
  574. that Heaven awaits you at the end.
  575. Christ in me.
  576. Christ.
  577. I would say it again,
    do you know the reality of this?
  578. Are you experiencing Christ in you?
  579. Inside.
  580. When Christ manifests Himself to us,
  581. this is not merely a figure of speech.
  582. It's real. It's actual.
  583. If it's not real, it can't give us
  584. the least hope of glory.
  585. So, it's Christ.
  586. Christ who dwells in you.
  587. Now let's think about the next thing.

  588. Christ may dwell in your
    hearts through faith.
  589. I want to look more closely at the heart.
  590. What is the heart?
  591. What is it?
  592. It's you.
  593. I mean, let me ask you this:
  594. Where are you?
  595. Where are you?
  596. You say, well, I'm right here.
  597. Can't you see me?
  598. Well, to about the fifth row.
  599. I can't see you after that.
  600. I see you.
  601. But see, I see your body.
  602. That's not what I'm asking.
  603. I'm not asking where your body is.
  604. Where are you?
  605. Where are you hearing me?
  606. Right here, but where are you
  607. processing what I'm saying?
  608. Where are you?
  609. Where is the center of
    consciousness right now?
  610. It feels like it's in our head, right?
  611. In our brain somewhere.
  612. And yet, we feel. We feel here.
  613. We can feel.
  614. And it's all mixed together
    in this mysterious way.
  615. Where are you?
  616. That is the heart.
  617. And Paul often talks about the heart.
  618. He loved the term.
  619. It comes up in his writings a lot.
  620. And let me just give you a sampling

  621. of the way that he used the term.
  622. Because I want us to get a feel
  623. for what did he mean by it.
  624. When he talks about Christ
  625. dwelling in your heart,
  626. where is the heart?
  627. What is the heart?
  628. Where is Christ dwelling?
  629. Where should we look for
    evidence of His dwelling?
  630. Well, in Romans 1 -
  631. don't look at these,
  632. because I'm going to
    shoot through them fast.
  633. You won't have time to get there.
  634. But Paul talking about fallen humanity,
  635. he talks very specifically
  636. about them being futile in their thoughts,
  637. their foolish hearts darkened.
  638. Their foolish hearts darkened.
  639. The heart is where the thoughts are.
  640. Their thoughts - they're
    futile in their thoughts.
  641. The thoughts of the heart.
  642. Only evil continuously.
  643. It's where we think.
  644. It's where we're thinking now.
  645. Paul talked about the lusts of the heart
  646. a little later on in Romans 1.
  647. The lusts of the heart.
  648. Or, the desires of the heart.
  649. It's where we desire.
  650. It's where we think.
  651. He also speaks about an impenitent heart.
  652. You know what that means?
  653. That means we repent in the heart.
  654. That means we feel sorrow for sin
  655. in the heart.
  656. There is a turning of the will
  657. in the heart.
  658. That's where that happens.
  659. The work of the law - this is Romans 2 -
  660. the work of the law
  661. is written on their hearts.
  662. What does it mean to have the law
  663. written on your heart?
  664. It means you know it,
  665. you feel convicted by it -
  666. conviction, the conscience.
  667. That's where the heart is.
  668. "The love of God poured
    abroad into our hearts."
  669. Have you ever read that one in Romans 5?
  670. What does that mean?
  671. That means we feel God's love for us.
  672. We have some cognizance of it
  673. and we're feeling His love.
  674. He bears witness of His love for us.
  675. That happens at the heart level.
  676. Or you read this, Romans 6,
  677. "obedient from the heart."
  678. Obedience.
  679. Where I'm surrendered.
  680. Where my will is operative.
  681. That is at the heart level.
  682. Or, "let the peace of God
  683. rule in your hearts."
  684. Being at peace, not at war.
  685. "With the heart one believes."
  686. You see where we're at?
  687. It's where we think.
    It's where we know.
  688. It's where we believe.
  689. It's where we desire.
  690. It's where we repent.
  691. It's where we feel - he talks about
  692. the sorrow of the heart.
  693. "Deceiving the hearts of the naive."
  694. Or, "the imagination of the heart."
  695. "The purposes of the heart."
  696. "Their hearts may be encouraged."
  697. Or, "thankfulness in your hearts."
  698. You see everything that's
    attributed to the heart?
  699. And here's my question:

  700. The heart is you
  701. at the deepest level - it's you.
  702. It's at your level of consciousness.
  703. Your level of knowing,
  704. your feeling, your desire.
  705. That's where Christ is going to dwell.
  706. Remember.
  707. It means to settle down.
  708. Where are you?
  709. Are you able to look where you are
  710. and say yeah, Christ is here with me.
  711. That's what Paul's praying for.
  712. Christ would settle down.
  713. That's what He means when He says,
  714. "I stand at the door and knock."
  715. You open that door.
  716. I'll come in and I'll sup with you.
  717. I'll have dinner with you.
  718. I'll eat with you; you with Me.
  719. There's going to be a closeness
  720. as there is when you have communion
  721. with somebody across the dinner table.
  722. And in Eastern mindset,
  723. this is extremely close.
  724. We don't take it like they did.
  725. Can you look, where are you?
  726. And just think.
  727. Look. Look where you are in there.
  728. Not your body.
  729. Not your physical eyes.
  730. But are you able in your consciousness
  731. to look above and beneath and beside
  732. to the right hand and to the left hand
  733. and say Christ is here with me?
  734. He dwells with me.
  735. Oh Lord, I want You here more.
  736. Or do you look around
  737. and you're just trying to
    persuade yourself that it's true,
  738. but when you look around,
  739. if you're going to be honest...
  740. The heart is you.

  741. It's the deepest part.
    It's the consciousness.
  742. Where are you?
  743. See, this is what Paul's praying for.
  744. You're not alone anymore
    when this happens.
  745. Oh, how the world
    struggles with loneliness!
  746. But you're not alone.
  747. This is the greatest communing
  748. and fellowship that can be imagined.
  749. He comes in and He settles down.
  750. And so when you arise in the morning,
  751. when you go off to sleep at night,
  752. you know what happens?
  753. He's there.
  754. He's close.
  755. And you know He is.
  756. Where are you?

  757. Is Christ there?
  758. Because you see, this is what
    Paul says is the hope of glory.
  759. It's when you turn and you say He's here,
  760. and I hear His voice.
  761. Oh, the hope of glory!
  762. This is the seal that I'm heaven-bound.
  763. He wouldn't come with me now
  764. if He wasn't going to take
    me to be with Him then.
  765. That's the issue.
  766. You remember the two
    on the road to Emmaus?

  767. Because that's a tremendous visual
  768. of Him coming in to eat.
  769. Did not their hearts burn within them?
  770. Why? Because when Christ
    comes into your presence,
  771. it does something.
  772. Their hearts burned.
  773. Christ came in.
  774. And He dined with them.
  775. And you know what? While He was there,
  776. their whole self was
    consumed with that reality,
  777. that this One sat at their table.
  778. And you know what they weren't doing?
  779. They weren't trying
    to convince themselves:
  780. this is true.
  781. Well, we're trying to persuade
    ourselves that He's really here,
  782. but there's no evidence of it.
  783. We don't see Him. We don't feel it.
  784. Our hearts really don't burn.
  785. We basically are sitting
  786. with an empty table -
    it's just you and me,
  787. the other guy on the road to Emmaus
  788. and we're just sitting here
  789. and we're trying to imagine
    Him being over in the seat.
  790. That's not what they did.
  791. Oh, I know they didn't
    recognize Him for awhile,
  792. but they were totally consumed
  793. with this One.
  794. This is no theoretical thing.
  795. This is true.
  796. This is not the kind of thing

  797. where we don't know it's true,
  798. but we're always trying to
    persuade ourselves this is true.
  799. This is the possibility
    being held out by Paul
  800. in this prayer to all of us
  801. that Christ might settle in.
  802. Not like those two guys
  803. where Christ vanishes,
  804. but where He settles in
    and He doesn't vanish.
  805. Basically, He settles in
  806. and He comes more and more
  807. in His fullness and He takes you
  808. right on out to the eternal day
  809. when you'll see Him as He is.
  810. This is Christ in His personal presence
  811. and power in the center of your being.
  812. That's what this is.
  813. This is being permeated with Christ.
  814. This is Christ coming,
  815. Christ breaking in upon the soul
  816. with His presence.
  817. Brothers and sisters,
    there's more to be had.
  818. That's why Paul is praying.
  819. He wasn't doubting the salvation
  820. of the people back there in Ephesus.
  821. He believed every bit they were saved.
  822. In fact, he says confidently,
  823. you were chosen before the foundation
  824. of the world.
  825. He was confident.
  826. He wasn't doubting their salvation.
  827. But then on bended knee he pleads,
  828. Lord, strengthen them with the power
  829. of the Spirit of God
  830. according to the riches of Your glory.
  831. Strengthen them and sweep them
  832. into these fuller realities of Christ.
  833. Now, I want to emphasize

  834. the last two words.
  835. That Christ may dwell in your hearts
  836. through faith.
  837. These two words,
  838. they convince me
  839. that none of us should be content
  840. to simply let Paul pray for us,
  841. or let somebody else pray for us
  842. that Christ might dwell in our hearts,
  843. or that we just simply pray for it.
  844. We should.
  845. We should pray for it.
  846. But if you say, well,
    that's all we can do.
  847. Paul's praying, by the way,
  848. and you know, he's
    not really telling us
  849. that we should do
    anything else. It's by faith.
  850. We simply take this at God's Word
  851. and isn't that what faith is all about?
  852. We just sit passively by and wait
  853. for Christ to come into our hearts.
  854. And I would just ask this,
  855. since when is faith ever passive?
  856. It isn't.
  857. Since when does true, God-given faith
  858. in any aspect of life
  859. just sit passively by?
  860. Do we say God's going to save some
  861. from every tribe and tongue
  862. and so we're just going
    to passively sit back?
  863. We don't say that.
  864. Do we say that God is going to save
  865. whosoever He wills so we're
    not going to evangelize?
  866. Are we going to say,
    well, God's going to do
  867. what God's going to do, so we don't pray?
  868. We don't think that way.
  869. That isn't the way we want to think.
  870. Through faith. Faith.
  871. Listen, listen.

  872. Jesus Christ coming to a church,
  873. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door."
  874. To a church.
  875. "I'm standing at the door
  876. and I'm knocking.
  877. You open the door."
  878. He says, "I will come into him."
  879. And so I think the thing
    that we should ask is this:
  880. Do you believe Christ can come in?
  881. Do you believe He can come in more?
  882. Do you believe He can settle down more?
  883. That's certainly what Paul's praying for.
  884. For the life of the Ephesians.
  885. Is that reality that he's praying for
  886. in the life of the Ephesians
    also possible for us?
  887. I don't believe these truths are meant
  888. to simply apply to the
    Ephesians and not to us.
  889. This is the Word of God.
  890. It's profitable for every one of us
  891. for doctrine, reproof, correction,
  892. instruction in righteousness,
  893. that the man of God -
    that's for all of us,
  894. not just for the Ephesians.
  895. Shouldn't we ask ourselves the question:

  896. Lord, okay, You stand
    at the door and knock.
  897. That picture in itself is showing
  898. a responsibility on our part.
  899. Wouldn't you agree?
  900. If we are to open and He will come in,
  901. I think the question arises,
  902. how do we open?
  903. What do we do?
  904. We need to be strengthened here.
  905. Strengthened - that's where Paul started.
  906. Strengthen us!
  907. Why? Where do we need strength?
  908. Maybe in the area of resolve?
  909. Maybe in the area of the will?
  910. I mean, you can get
    gripped by this reality.
  911. There's a door here.
  912. Christ is saying, "I'm on the other side.
  913. Come and open, and I'll come in."
  914. And you know what?
  915. You can sit in a message like this
  916. and you can hear this and you can say,
  917. "Yeah, I want that."
  918. "I want that."
  919. Have you ever noticed -
  920. maybe the word "fickle" is a good word -
  921. have any of you ever been in the place,
  922. you sat under powerful preaching,
  923. you had a sweet time in prayer
  924. or powerful season in the Word,
  925. and you're resolved.
  926. I want that.
  927. I want to go deeper.
  928. I want to go further.
  929. I believe it from Scripture.
    I can have it.
  930. But what happens?
  931. Any of you ever been there
  932. where you look up
  933. and it's like what happened?
  934. How did I get distracted?
  935. I mean, I was resolved for this.
  936. How did I get here?
  937. I was determined. I wanted that.
  938. I made certain resolutions.
  939. Have you ever been there?
  940. You make these spiritual resolutions
  941. and then what happens?
  942. What's the difference between
  943. the people that press on to know the Lord
  944. and the ones that kind of give up
  945. or are always struggling?
  946. Always falling short?
  947. What's the difference?
  948. Well, I think it comes back to this.
  949. I think it comes back
    to being strengthened
  950. by God Himself to have
    a will that's committed.
  951. I think it comes to having appetites
  952. that are strong.
  953. I mean, we know it.
  954. You know what, I got sick this week.
  955. My appetite has not been there.
  956. Do you ever go through
    seasons in your life -
  957. maybe you're saying yeah,
    way too many of them -
  958. where you're hungry?
  959. You're hungry all the time.
  960. You can eat and you're still hungry.
  961. What's the difference?
  962. Well, there's a difference
  963. in the health of that appetite.
  964. I'll tell you,
  965. if our appetite itself
  966. were to be magnified a hundred fold,
  967. we desperately needed Christ.
  968. Maybe some of the trivialities
    that have sidetracked us
  969. and derailed us -
  970. did any of you after last week's message,
  971. any of you go out of here thinking,
  972. yeah, I want that?
  973. I want that.
  974. I want you to want it!
  975. I hope so!
  976. See, that's the kind of
    thing that I'm afraid of.
  977. That you went out of
    here not thinking that.
  978. I hope you did! I hope some of you did!
  979. You were feeling like: I want that!
  980. I want to know more of the fullness
  981. of Christ settling in to my heart.
  982. I want that. I want it deeper.
  983. But, tomorrow came and what happens?

  984. We forget.
  985. We become distracted by something else.
  986. Oh, you were fully resolved a week ago.
  987. A week ago right now, it was like,
  988. ah, I want that!
  989. I'm going to open the door!
  990. I want Christ to come in.
  991. You prayed last week:
  992. Lord, give me that!
  993. The thing that Paul prayed for.
  994. Give me people to pray that for me!
  995. I want it.
  996. But the cares and the concerns
  997. and the trivialities of the world -
  998. and you see, our commitment is weak.
  999. Our will is too weak.
  1000. Your faith is too weak.
  1001. I mean, you hear the man in Scripture:
  1002. "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief."
  1003. And I guess one of the things
  1004. that I would have our faith to go to
  1005. in the very beginning is this belief
  1006. that there is a God who can and will
  1007. and does strengthen His people.
  1008. Has your faith even
    latched on to this reality?

  1009. That there is more -
  1010. I can have Christ settle in.
  1011. I can have Him come into me
  1012. in a way that He's never come into me.
  1013. Go back and read the Song of Solomon.
  1014. You want to feel this at the level -
  1015. marriage is only the picture!
  1016. The intimacies of marriage
    are only the picture.
  1017. And you can go back there
  1018. and you can say yes,
  1019. "my Beloved, He put His
    hand to the door latch."
  1020. And what happened?
  1021. "Well, I already washed my feet."
  1022. Is that not the sad commentary
    on too many of us?
  1023. Yes, I want it! He stands at the door!
  1024. He's knocking! I want to let Him in!
  1025. But it's just like the Song of Solomon.
  1026. We hesitated.
  1027. We hesitated.
  1028. Something else was more important.
  1029. You know what will happen?
    The Lord will test your heart.
  1030. I wanted to sing that song:
  1031. "I asked the Lord that I might grow."
  1032. Because you know what happens oftentimes?
  1033. You say, "Yes, Lord. I want this.
  1034. And I'm going to seek to be careful
  1035. to not let the kinds
    of things into my life
  1036. that might grieve and offend You.
  1037. I want You to find my heart
  1038. a sufficient place for
    You to dwell deeply in."
  1039. And you know, you begin to pray for this,
  1040. and you begin to long for this.
  1041. And what happens?
  1042. You begin to pray,
  1043. "Lord, strengthen me for this.
  1044. More of this. More of Christ."
  1045. And then you know what happens?
  1046. The Lord tests your heart.
  1047. You remember the song.
  1048. Suddenly Newton's hymn breaks in upon us.
  1049. It can seem very discouraging.
  1050. Yes, brother, I went
    out of here last week.
  1051. I was very determined, but you know
    what I found during the week?
  1052. I found such manifestations
    of pride in my own heart
  1053. and idolatry or something else.
  1054. I asked the Lord that I might grow.
  1055. But you see, you forgot the song.
  1056. Because you hear things
    like this and it's like:
  1057. That's glorious! Christ coming in!
  1058. And oh, bringing His fragrance,
  1059. His power and His presence
    in my inner being.
  1060. Yes! I want that!
  1061. I asked the Lord that He might come in.
  1062. And Newton said,
  1063. "and seek more earnestly His face."
  1064. Yes, I want to seek more
    earnestly to open that door
  1065. that He might come in.
  1066. "'Twas He who taught me thus to pray."
  1067. Isn't Paul teaching us to pray this way?
  1068. That Christ may come in.
  1069. Lord, You're teaching us to pray.
  1070. "And He I trust has answered prayer,
  1071. but has been such a way as
  1072. almost drove me to despair."
  1073. See, that's often what happens.
  1074. Lord, please come in.
  1075. Come close.
  1076. Indwell.
  1077. Come in and sup with me.
  1078. And see, we hope the
    same way Newton hoped.
  1079. "I hoped that in some favored hour,
  1080. at once He'd grant me my request.
  1081. By His love's constraining power,
  1082. subdue my sins and give me rest."
  1083. Instead of this:
  1084. "He made me feel the
    hidden evils of my heart,
  1085. let the angry powers of hell
  1086. assault my soul in every part."
  1087. And you know what happens?
  1088. You suddenly feel like,
  1089. Lord, I want this.
  1090. I want to go deeper.
  1091. But as soon as I set my heart to it
  1092. and I begin to pray I feel like
  1093. I'm further away than ever from Christ.
  1094. You may actually feel much
    worse now than before.
  1095. Why? Because things have come up.
  1096. They've come to the surface in your heart
  1097. that you never imagined were there.
  1098. It drives you to despair.
  1099. It drives you to be desperate.
  1100. But you know what I say?

  1101. Is look, this is often part of it.
  1102. This is often what God is doing.
  1103. Why? You have to remember this.
  1104. I think this is key.
  1105. Those Laodiceans -
  1106. if Jesus would have
    just broken in right away
  1107. and said to them,
  1108. "I stand at the door and knock.
  1109. Open up."
  1110. Well, you know what they were saying.
  1111. We're rich.
  1112. We've got our act together.
  1113. We don't need anything.
  1114. We've prospered. In need of nothing.
  1115. And you see, you feel so boldly
  1116. and confidently, "Yeah, I'm good."
  1117. "Christ, come on in."
  1118. But Jesus said this to them:
  1119. You know what the problem is?
  1120. You don't recognize
    the reality about yourself.
  1121. What?
  1122. The reality is that you're wretched,
  1123. miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
  1124. And you see, what we
    have to recognize is this:
  1125. That when Christ comes in,
    we don't deserve it.
  1126. We don't deserve it.
  1127. Our faith needs to go there.
  1128. Our faith needs to
    latch on to that reality.
  1129. Christ coming in and settling down,
  1130. it's entirely a mercy.
  1131. You don't deserve it
  1132. and your performance
    isn't the basis of it.
  1133. Look, it's true,
  1134. you can do things to
    drive your Master away.
  1135. There's no question about that.
  1136. But how does Jesus want the Laodiceans
  1137. to approach the door?
  1138. Confident? Got our act together?
  1139. Let me tell you this.
  1140. If you began to pray
  1141. and you began to seek this,
  1142. and suddenly God began
  1143. to show you things in your heart,
  1144. then you know what?
  1145. What you want to do
    is like the Laodiceans,
  1146. you want to repent.
  1147. You want to recognize what you are
  1148. in your own strength.
  1149. And recognize that this is
    God's way of taking you on,
  1150. taking you deeper.
  1151. To sweep that heart
  1152. that Christ may come in.
  1153. Don't resist that.
  1154. And don't be in despair because of it.
  1155. Oh, the devil will be right there saying,
  1156. "Look at you. You're a mess.
  1157. You think Christ is going to
    come in and dwell there?"
  1158. Listen, whatever his foul language may say
  1159. you remember this:
  1160. Christ came to save sinners.
  1161. And He came to save them
  1162. and He came to love them
  1163. and He came to commune with them
  1164. and He came to dwell within them.
  1165. And never because of
    any merits on their part.
  1166. Simply because for their sake,
  1167. He's willing to die and to do this
  1168. that the glory of God might be shown.
  1169. Several years ago,

  1170. actually when I was in
    this portion of Scripture,
  1171. maybe a verse or two removed
  1172. from where we are right now,
  1173. I first brought up this picture.
  1174. Praying Payson - Edward Payson.
  1175. I'm going to his hometown.
  1176. I've seen his grave.
  1177. I'll be heading there in August.
  1178. In Payson's works,
  1179. you remember the concentric circles.
  1180. He basically paints a picture.
  1181. Imagine the sun in the middle.
  1182. Concentric circles moving out.
  1183. Concentric means they
    all have the same center.
  1184. Concentric circles moving outward
  1185. like the orbit of planets
    in the solar system.
  1186. Christ is in the middle.
  1187. And you know what?
  1188. The tighter the diameter,
  1189. the more - more real, the closer
  1190. that Christ is dwelling.
  1191. And listen, Payson paints
    the picture like this:
  1192. he says those that are closest in -
  1193. closest to the sun -
  1194. he says, "they're the ones who value
  1195. the presence of their Savior
  1196. so highly that they cannot bear
  1197. to be at any remove from Him.
  1198. Even their work..."
  1199. He recognizes they need to work.
  1200. They can't be in prayer all day
  1201. or just sitting in their Bibles all day.
  1202. But even in their work,
  1203. "they will bring up and do it in the light
  1204. of His countenance."
  1205. They're knowing His presence
  1206. right there,
  1207. and they're mindful to find that presence.
  1208. Some of you have heard how Wesley said
  1209. he was determined to pray until he prayed.
  1210. He was willing to pray until he found God.
  1211. That's the kind of Christianity you want.
  1212. You want it to where you
    are going to press on
  1213. until you find Him.
  1214. These people - they don't
    want to ever lose Him.
  1215. They don't want to lose
  1216. "one ray, one beam of His light."
  1217. Now, he takes us out

  1218. to the next concentric circle.
  1219. He says, "Others,
  1220. who to be sure would not be content
  1221. to live out of Christ's presence,
  1222. but they're yet less wholly absorbed by it
  1223. than those on the inside.
  1224. And it may be seen a little farther off.
  1225. Engaged here and there
    in their various callings.
  1226. Their eyes generally upon their work,
  1227. but often looking up for the light
  1228. which they love."
  1229. But they're just not as sensitive.
  1230. Then he says there's a third class.

  1231. A third circle.
  1232. A bigger, broader diameter.
  1233. Further away.
  1234. It's beyond the first two.
  1235. "But, it's yet within
    the life-giving rays."
  1236. They're Christians.
  1237. "It includes a doubtful multitude."
  1238. And by "doubtful," he doesn't mean
  1239. doubtful whether they're saved.
  1240. He says they are within
    the light-giving rays.
  1241. They're doubtful
  1242. about what they really want most in life.
  1243. "Many of whom are so much engaged
  1244. in their worldly schemes.
  1245. They may be seen standing
    sideways to Christ."
  1246. Brethren, if the truth be known,
  1247. how many of us are sideways standers
  1248. to Christ?
  1249. "...Looking mostly the other way.
  1250. Only now and then turning their faces
  1251. towards the light."
  1252. Now he goes further out.

  1253. "Yet farther out, amongst the last
  1254. scattered rays of the sun.
  1255. So distant that it's often doubtful
  1256. whether they come at all
  1257. within the influence
    of those light beams."
  1258. They may not be real.
  1259. "It's a mixed assemblage of busy ones,
  1260. some with their backs
  1261. wholly turned upon the sun.
  1262. Most of them so careful and troubled
  1263. about their many things
  1264. as to spare but little time
  1265. for their Savior.
  1266. The reason why the men of this world
  1267. think so little of Christ is
    they do not look at Him.
  1268. Their backs being turned to the sun,
  1269. they can see only their own shadows
  1270. and are therefore wholly taken up
  1271. with themselves.
  1272. While the true disciple,
  1273. looking only upward and inward,
  1274. sees nothing but his Savior
  1275. and learns to forget himself."
  1276. I would say this,

  1277. if Christ does not settle down -
  1278. this is the prayer -
  1279. that Christ may settle down
  1280. in your heart through faith.
  1281. If Christ doesn't settle down in you,
  1282. what do you have?
  1283. If you're in there by yourself,
  1284. and you look around and it's just you -
  1285. your will, your desires -
  1286. what do you have?
  1287. What loneliness!
  1288. What emptiness!
  1289. Are you there alone?
  1290. Or is the presence of Christ's
    own self there with you?
  1291. His personal presence. His power.
  1292. At the center of your being,
  1293. the center of your consciousness,
  1294. living there.
  1295. What the height of foolishness
  1296. to say, well, I believe.
  1297. So whatever you're talking about,
  1298. it must be real.
  1299. Height of foolishness
    to be content with that.
  1300. Look, you want to be like these people
  1301. who look up and there He is.
  1302. There are the beams of His light,
  1303. of His glory that radiate
  1304. and you have a sense:
  1305. I'm not alone.
  1306. He's here with me.
  1307. I'm not alone.
  1308. His blood has covered me.
  1309. I'm not alone. His voice speaks to me.
  1310. I'm not alone. I smell the
    fragrance of His presence.
  1311. I feel Him here.
  1312. I feel Him on my conscience.
  1313. I feel Him in my thoughts.
  1314. I feel Him in my desires.
  1315. I feel Him in my hungering and thirsting.
  1316. I hear Him.
  1317. That voice.
  1318. You don't want to just say,
  1319. no, it's not true, but I'm a believer,
  1320. so it must be true.
  1321. You try to persuade yourself of that.
  1322. The question is this:
  1323. is Christ a living reality?
  1324. And you know what it seems like
  1325. to those who say, "yes, He is"?
  1326. Those are the ones more
    desperate to get more.
  1327. Oh, this is good.
  1328. Lloyd-Jones said this -

  1329. and I feel it's spot on -
  1330. he says, "I've often felt that there are
  1331. many people today
  1332. who have taken so much by faith,
  1333. that they have nothing."
  1334. You hear what he's saying?
  1335. Of course, he's not talking
    about genuine faith.
  1336. Because I'll tell you
    what genuine faith does.
  1337. You know it - those
    champions in Scripture,
  1338. or you find people that "by faith..."
  1339. one guy did this,
    "by faith" she did this,
  1340. "by faith..."
  1341. What did they do? They pressed forward.
  1342. They saw the promise.
  1343. And they sought to embrace that promise.
  1344. They saw a city
  1345. whose foundations were of God
  1346. and they pressed forth.
  1347. And you know what it says?
  1348. It says they had opportunity to go back,
  1349. but they didn't go back.
  1350. And you know what? You
    have an opportunity to go back,

  1351. just like it was before you
    ever heard this message.
  1352. But you know what they did by faith?
  1353. They embraced the promises.
  1354. They obtained the promises.
  1355. That's what faith does.
  1356. Faith presses in.
  1357. Faith goes on.
  1358. What Lloyd-Jones is talking about
  1359. is the kind of faith
  1360. that is not true faith at all.
  1361. It believes some facts
    it's content therewith
  1362. and it just seeks to persuade oneself
  1363. that all these theories in their brain
  1364. are somehow reality.
  1365. But it doesn't act on what it believes.
  1366. Listen, if you believe this;

  1367. if you believe there is a way
  1368. to go over and open the door,
  1369. then I would take up your mind
  1370. and your thought and your meditations
  1371. and your Scripture readings
  1372. and your prayers with:
  1373. "Lord, show me and teach me
  1374. and strengthen me
  1375. according to the riches of Your glory
  1376. that I might have the strength
  1377. to persist enough to
    make it over to the door
  1378. and open it up.
  1379. I want You in here.
  1380. I want to know something about You
  1381. beyond what I know now!"
  1382. Anybody else want that?
  1383. I hope you do.
  1384. Embrace it. Chase it. Pursue it.
  1385. Open that door.
  1386. Pray. That's what Paul was doing.
  1387. Pray.
  1388. We need to be strengthened to persist
  1389. and to pursue:
  1390. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
  1391. Lord, I want this,
  1392. but help me to want it more.
  1393. Strengthen me to pursue.
  1394. Strengthen me to press in.
  1395. Because we can get all lathered up,
  1396. and I know many times
    through my Christian life
  1397. I've been right there.
  1398. You feel so powerfully affected,
  1399. like, oh, I could never go
    back to how I was before.
  1400. And then what happens? A week later,
  1401. you're back to where you were before.
  1402. Why?
  1403. Why?
  1404. Because we need to be strengthened.
  1405. We need more resolve.
  1406. We need more commitment.
  1407. We need more humility.
  1408. We need to see ourselves more like
  1409. what Jesus was telling
  1410. those Laodiceans they needed to see them.
  1411. You're miserable.
  1412. You're wretched.
  1413. You're poor, you're blind,
    and you're naked.
  1414. By ourselves, we are.
  1415. Separate from Christ,
    that's exactly what we are.
  1416. "Vile" is how Wesley put it.
  1417. As Christians, aren't we obedient?
  1418. As Christians, aren't we good?
  1419. Yes, but you can view those realities
  1420. separate from Christ.
  1421. When we become self-confident -
  1422. that's where the Laodiceans
    were - self-confident.
  1423. You know what kind of
    Laodicean lukewarm attitude,
  1424. how it would manifest itself here?
  1425. It's just: I'm good.
  1426. That's what they were: "I'm good."
  1427. We got it. We're okay.
  1428. We're rich.
  1429. We've got our act together.
  1430. Things are good.
  1431. And you get done
    with this, and it's like,
  1432. "Whatever. I'm good."
  1433. "I'm out of here."
  1434. That's a present-day Laodicean.
  1435. May God help us to abhor that

  1436. and press on.
  1437. Don't be content.
  1438. Don't be content to not be able to say,
  1439. you know what?
  1440. I don't know the fullness of that text;
  1441. I don't know the fullness
    of Ephesians 3:17,
  1442. but you know what, ever since
    I heard it preached on,
  1443. I have longed, I have thought on it,
  1444. I have meditated on it,
  1445. I have given myself to thinking about it,
  1446. I've prayed for it.
  1447. I am pursuing God for it.
  1448. And you know what?
    You know what the reality is?
  1449. I don't know as much as
    I think I can know about that,
  1450. but God has broken in.
  1451. There has been light.
  1452. There has been a closeness.
  1453. Things are happening.
  1454. Because when Christ comes in -
  1455. "I will come into him."
  1456. That's what He promises.
  1457. "I will come in."
  1458. Look, if it happens,
  1459. you're going to be able
    to have a testimony
  1460. that you're going to be able to share.
  1461. What could be better?
  1462. What can be more glorious?
  1463. What? You're too busy?
  1464. Are you too busy to sleep?
  1465. Are you too busy to eat?
  1466. Are you too busy for this?
  1467. What's more important?
  1468. Man doesn't live by bread alone.
  1469. What's most important?
  1470. Look at that prayer and say:
  1471. God promises something in that prayer
  1472. and I want it.
  1473. Lord, give it to me.
  1474. Please, Lord, give it to me.
  1475. Father, I pray for all of us.

  1476. Give us more.
  1477. Give us more.
  1478. And give us a discontentment
  1479. to simply drink of the broken cisterns.
  1480. Give us more.
  1481. I pray in the name of
    our Lord Jesus Christ,
  1482. Amen.