[b]THE FATHER'S INHERITANCE IN US[/b]
[i]by Devern Fromke[/i]
PAULS LONGING FOR THE EPHIESIANS
When we realize the Church is to be prepared as a spotless Bride for her Lord, we wonder if this might not be at the root of Pauls prayers in the early chapters of Ephesians. As we reach the middle of the first chapter we become keenly aware that Paul was gripped by their need, and he longs for the Spirit of God to reveal it to them. We sense the groaning in his spirit as he twice breaks forth in prayer that the Father might grant this vision to be opened to them.
In the first fourteen verses of chapter one, Paul gives a broad, panoramic background of the ultimate intention which has been in the heart of the Father from eternity. Starting with the Father, Paul reminds them of His purpose for a vast family and discloses how they have been marked out for sonship. He shows how all these plans are being accomplished through the Lord Jesus, and then how we receive through Him all spiritual blessingsforgiveness, acceptance, adoption, redemption and the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Paul refers to this as our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14).
Moreover, the Fathers family of individual sons ultimately becomes the corporate Body of His Son at the end of chapter one (1:23). Through the heading up all things in Christ, the Father gave His Son to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:10, 22- 23). The individual members of the family reach higher to become a union of the corporate Body of Christ, the fullness of Christ Who fills all in all! It was the Fathers intent to make Christ the center and circumference of all things. It was His desire that sonship was to contain and express this universal fullness of Christ.
We are not to minimize or overlook this inheritance, for the Father delights to share with His family. When man sinned, He provided the death and resurrection of His Son that we might be rescued from the Fall. Yet, all God has provided for man to receive is not the primary concern of Paul. As he breaks forth in prayer we can catch the burden of his heart. He wants the Ephesians to have a new and higher viewpoint. Before this point in time, it seems, the Ephesians were occupied primarily with what God had done for them. They were content to camp and glory in what is minetheir theme was my inheritance in Him. How much they were like the majority of believers today?
Now, in verse 18, we hear Paul begin to pray, ... that they might have the eyes of their understanding enlightened to see what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
THERE IS ANOTHER INHERITANCE!
How could these saints be brought to a concern for the Father, and what He might inherit from them and through them? How could they be made alive to His interests? This is Pauls concern. In spite of all God had done for them, they were still inverted and man- centered. Must they continue to live as though all the Fathers universe revolved around them and existed for them? Paul discerned the need for a rectification of their love, a turning of their captivity, so they would truly live unto God and become His inheritance.
Recently as we drove to an evening service, a father confided to me, The more I have given to my children, the more they want. What shall I do to help them see theft selfishness? Although he loved his family dearly, he was able to observe that they were self- centered. While they were concerned with what their father could do for them, he was concerned more with what kind of people they were growing up to be. This man had discovered a basic truth on the human level, but was only faintly aware that the heavenly Father experiences the same problem with His children. As my friend wished to jar his children from their self-centered way of looking at things, so the heavenly Father longs that His children may have a revelation of themselves, and what they are to him.
How does such a revelation come? Christs death was the basis for receiving our inheritance. When we recognize that we died with Him, then the Father begins to receive His inheritance as we walk in newness of life. As in Solomons Song, the Bridegroom led His bride to the winepress of frustration, sorrow and self-revelation. So He will lead each member of His corporate Body to a winepress. This is the place where He allows loved ones, circumstances and friends to inflict the deepest pain. Throughout the Scriptures the winepress is always pictured as the place where God uses the crushing instrument, the squeezing process, the pouring from vessel to vessel to get rid of the dregsall this so that He might bring forth the joyous wine of purified love! He brought me into the winepress and set love in right order within me!
We are apt to relate all such experiences to some future glory which shall afterward be ours. We may bravely and with firmly set jaw pass through multiplied trials, never yielding to the work of love that will bring forth joy now. However, when THE TRUE RECTIFICATION OF LOVE is wrought, we become alive only to the purity and sweetness which pours forth to Him (and to those who are also His).
He, oh, He will eventually become the constant center and object of our affection and attention! Then, Christs Body and the Fathers inheritance in the saints will become central in our concern. We see clearly what Jesus meant when He said, In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. No longer is our Christian life an endurance test. It is an experience of overflowing love. Our constant prayer will be, Lord, show me how I can express this great love Thou hast brought forth within me.
Here is THE FULNESS OF RECTIFICATION. When His Bride truly becomes His, the Lord Jesus finds her ministering to His welfare, concerned primarily with His interests. Christ cannot deliver the kingdom to the Father, until the Church becomes alive to His inheritance in the saints!
Can we see it? As we center our vision on our own needs, and try to believe God for them, we are blind to His great love and His great purpose. When we allow Him to take us to the winepress, we discover Him! We find we have no other need, no other desire, than to belong only to Himfor naught, for no reasons, for no becauses.
"Ultimate Intention".... DeVern Fromke