“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in your inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith …”.
An essential part of being strengthened in the inner man is Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith. The word for “dwell” is the Greek katoikeo, which is a combination of kata (down) and oikeo (to inhabit a house). The message is not simply being in someone’s house; rather, it is the idea of being at home there, settled down as a member of the family.
When we have true faith in Jesus, when we abide in Christ, he is “at home” in our hearts. What Paul is saying is to give your heart fully to the presence and power of the indwelling Christ. Make your heart Christ’s home.
Life is lived from the heart. What occupies your heart—what fills your heart—will guide and direct your life. This is Jesus’ message in the Sermon on the Mount when he said to be very careful what you treasure, because “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
What you treasure guides your heart; your heart guides your life; therefore what you treasure guides your life.
Your heart will grow stronger or weaker based on what you feed it. Your heart is designed to be a vessel. It is not built to be empty. It is built to be a container. It is imperative, then, that we feed and fill our heart with the right stuff.
“Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4.23)
As goes your heart, so goes your life. Therefore, Paul prays for us that we would give our hearts fully and completely to Jesus, and that we would trust in the power of his transforming presence in our lives. Paul prays that we would cultivate inner strength for everything we do every day.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word … I have laid up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119.9-11)