Elbow Prints

  4 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [a]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [b]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God....Ephesians 3:14-19

 

Francis Chan asked the question, "Has anyone ever remarked about you that gave witness of being filled with all the fullness of God?" Then he asked another question. He wanted to know what would take place in the Church if, when we came together, everyone was filled with all the fullness of God? Then he asked a final question. He wanted to know what would happen if those given charge over the spiritual well being of the Church began to pray and intercede for their people with the kind of fervor and heart displayed by Paul in the above prayer from Ephesians? What would happen if we ceased calling together our strategy meetings, goal setting sessions, and vision casting times, and simply fell to our knees before Him and cried out that what Paul sought for his hearers would take place in the lives of those He has given us charge over? What would be the result of such a Church, such a people? Surely it would transform the Body, which would once again, "turn the world upside down."

Chan said that what he looked for in a leader of the home group movement he leads was not great preaching or administrative ability. He was not concerned with how great their vision for their group was. He wanted to know if they would intercede for their people with the kind of fervency and urgency that Paul did for the Ephesians? Would they pray that those spiritual traits and characteristics that Paul wanted to define the Ephesians, would be present in and mark the lives of those they were to shepherd? Would they pray that their people would be ones that others recognized as being "filled with all the fullness of God?" Would they be leaders who were literally on their knees before Him, crying out that these ones He had given them charge over, be a people overflowing with His life? Would they? Would we? Would you? Whether pastor, parent, friend, or neighbor, would we, do we, cry out for the souls and lives of those He has given us with the kind of fervency displayed by Paul? Do we passionately seek for them the kind of life Paul sought for the Ephesians? It's a piercing question. How do we answer it?

 

Beth Moore tells the story of one of her friends who struggled with the rebellious behavior of her son. His life was falling into ever deeper darkness. One night after he came in and went to his room, he angrily came back downstairs to confront his mother. In a rage, he wanted to know if she had once again been praying for him? He said that he knew that she had because he could see her elbow prints on the covers where she had knelt by his bed, crying out for him. Not long afterwards, he surrendered his life to the fullness of Christ's.

Here's a question for us all. For whom and what are we leaving elbow and knee prints? Have we left any at all? In what and for what have we directed our prayers? Spiritually, whose "bed" are we bowing our knees before Him at, crying out that they would be filled with all the fullness of Him? Paul was not praying that he might have a good church filled with good people at Ephesus. He was praying that they be a people filled to overflowing with the fullness of His life. Victorious, overcoming, world changing life. The prison cell Paul was kept in no longer exists, but were we able to observe it, I believe we would find his knee and elbow prints there. Prints that impact the Church even today. What prints are we leaving? Eternity will not likely remember our best sermons, plans, and strategies. I don't think they'll be seen there. I do believe that the knee and elbow prints we leave here will be seen there. Where are ours? Can anyone see them? Can He?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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