“For this reason, I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through His Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” —Ephesians 3:14-17
In The World, Not Of The World
Our oldest child began middle school this week. My wife Lesley Ann and I are very excited about the opportunities that await him at this very unique public school. Focusing on the health and education of the whole person, the school employs a strategy called The Compass. The Compass helps each community member (adult and child) through their own adaptive developmental process.
Each person is expected to be developing their own “inner compass,” which is refined and strengthened by engaging deeply in our various communities. In doing so, each person is encouraged to consistently access and live from their true north. No doubt, there will be many different races, ethnicities, and religions represented in each classroom our son will inhabit. Lesley Ann and I are excited about what such a community could mean for our family. We desperately want our family to be fully immersed in the world in which we live.
What is Your True North?
What is your true north? From a secular perspective, we understand that one’s true north is open to the individual’s own context. I cannot help but notice the similarities in strategies of this secular school with the message to the church in Ephesus. The message that every family in heaven and on earth is named after the Father runs deeply throughout the letter. Put simply, you will never look in anyone’s eyes whom the Father does not love. Everyone is created to have Christ dwell within them. When He dwells within us, He strengthens and matures us into who we are created to be.
When we are in this community, we open ourselves up to be refined and strengthened. As the apostle Paul says, “[We are] equipped for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). For those of us who follow Jesus, we must understand that Jesus has taken up residence in our lives. He is our inner being, our true north, and our compass.
With Christ as Our Compass
My prayer for our son, and for all believers, is that we would not deviate from the path of following Jesus. It is the work of the Spirit to form us as we travel this road. The Spirit forms us into people who are “maturing into the stature of the full measure of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Such selves can live and move about anywhere in the world with confidence that our inner being will shine through and draw others directly to Jesus.
We are designed to continually mature. Our inner being can always be strengthened more and more. There is not a particular place that one is supposed to on this journey. We must simply journey and invite others along with us. And with the compass that is Jesus Christ, we will never be lost.