When trying to understand our world, we turn to math and science, right? Formulas and hypotheses help us measure and understand forces and dimensions, making sense of what we see. Did you know the Bible contains a formula for which man has no measure? The implications of its absence in our academic world blows my mind.
It’s found in Ephesians 3:14-19, a powerful prayer in which Paul petitions God for the church in Ephesus. It’s one of my favorite scriptures to pray for myself and others. He says:
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
I’ve seen and heard this scripture countless times, but when I ran across it the other day while researching the term rooted, the formula jumped out at me. Do you see it?
width x length x depth x height
I wondered to myself, “Do we have a formula for this? What does it measure? Does it exist in math or science?” So, like any good American, I searched the internet. And guess what? According to my research, man does not have a formula for width x length x depth x height.
Length x width measures the area of a rectangle, and length x width x depth measures the volume of a box, but I could not find a single formula that measures all four dimensions.
Notice which dimension is missing: height.
Here’s where God overwhelmed me. What is the highest measure of height?
“Is not God in the height of heaven?” (Job 22:12).
God is missing from all of man’s formulas! And guess what? He can’t be measured!
“No one can comprehend the height of heaven” (Proverbs 25:3, NLT).
But get this, width x length x depth x height is a legitimate formula! It measures God’s love, which can’t be measured in earthy terms. It can only be measured in the heavenly. The height!!!
And the only way we can comprehend God’s love is with heavenly power – the power of the Holy Spirit. In another favorite scripture to pray for myself and others, Paul says:
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:15-21).
The only way we can comprehend God is for Him to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, for Him to enlighten the eyes of our understanding!
Nothing about this life makes sense without height.
height = heavenly enlightenment
height = the Holy Spirit
And when God does enlighten the eyes of our understanding, we begin to experience His love.
width x length x depth x height = God’s love
We’ll never make sense of our world without God. He is the dimension man can’t measure. When He’s missing, nothing makes sense.
And then God showed me one more thing. As with science and math, we observe something and then we try to explain it. As Paul continues in Ephesians 3:20-21, he describes what we observe of God:
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).
We observe God’s ability to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. It’s an expression of God’s love. So the complete formula is actually this:
width x length x depth x height = God’s love = exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine
My friends, this is the kind of math by which I want to live my life, having faith in the One who created all things, including the academic and scientific disciplines by which we try to dismiss His existence.
Life will never make sense without God.
The mystery of the gospel is a mystery because it’s the ultimate expression of God’s love, but without God’s enlightenment, it can’t be understood. The height is missing.
May your day be measured by width x length x depth x height today. May God’s love overwhelm you as He accomplishes exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or imagine.