Questions & Answers
What are the dimensions of God's love?
First posted: June 12, 2005
What are the "width",
"height", "length", and "depth" of God's love
mentioned in Ephesians 3:18?
In Ephesians chapter 3, Paul wrote the following in the Spirit:
"17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Let us now look at each of the 4 dimensions mentioned in verse 18 above.
In essence, the "breadth" refers to how God's nature reaches out to cover all things, from one extreme to the other, the way a mighty conqueror wants to conquer all. If you look at the mighty human empires in history, you will see how their conquerors would not settle for a little piece of territory and how they always ambitioned to conquer everything in sight. Think, for example, of Napoleon, who would not settle with having most of Europe under his control, but ambitioned conquering Russia as well. Think of Alexander the Great, who in a mighty military sweep was able to conquer everything east of Greece, reaching all the way to India. The "breadth", therefore, refers to God's conquering nature -- He is not satisfied with having a little "niche". He wants to conquer all things, and, as His sons and daughters, we are to manifest that conquering nature as well. God does not want a Church that settles with a nice, little respectable "niche" in human society, coexisting with other belief systems and simply waiting for the "Rapture". God wants an aggressive spiritual Church that is out to conquer and take dominion of the spiritual atmosphere on Earth, and He will raise up a latter-day remnant that will do just that.
This "conquering" will not be done through human activism and by forcing Congresses around the world to pass legislation forcing everyone to "pray" Christian prayers, for example. It is not by purchasing TV time to place massive ad campaigns that convince teenagers that Christianity is "cool". This "conquering" has to be done through prophetic intercession and through the unleashing of spiritual judgment word into the air that will transform the spiritual atmosphere of the Earth. When we comprehend the "breadth", we will comprehend God's conquering nature, which desires to conquer all.
As we have said before, evangelists are spiritual conquerors who expand the Kingdom of God by dethroning Amorite giants in the spiritual atmosphere. Therefore, the "breadth" of God's love points to God's evangelistic nature.
As we have seen before, Scripture speaks of 4 faces which we must develop in order to manifest the life of God in us, and the face that represents God's evangelistic nature is the "ox" face. Therefore, we can say that the "breadth" of God's love corresponds to the "ox" face.
The "length" refers to how God's nature is willing to go "long distances" in order to reach others. It speaks, therefore, of "marathon-style" perseverance. Consider, for example, all the troubles and suffering that the apostle Paul went through as he went from one place to another to preach God's word (1 Corinthians 4:7-13, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12). He was willing to suffer persecution, stonings, hunger, and shipwrecks so that others might be reached. The "length", therefore, speaks of God's willingness to pay a price and endure long suffering so that others may be reached. God wants us to comprehend the "length" so that we may also be willing to pay a price and endure long suffering so that God's righteousness may be fulfilled in the lives of others.
As we have said before, perseverance and endurance are most related to the apostolic ministry, which is also the ministry most related to spiritual judgments. Therefore, the "length" dimension is manifested in our lives when we are willing to go through the long and painful process of God's judgments until His righteous nature may be manifested in our own lives and in the lives of others.
As we have seen before, the face that represents God's apostolic nature is the "lion" face. Therefore, we can say that the "length" of God's love corresponds to the "lion" face.
The "depth" refers to how God is willing to humble Himself so that others may be reached. Christ Jesus, being in "the form of God", was willing to humble Himself and took the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, in order to save us:
"2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:2-11)
Comprehending the "depth", therefore, means allowing this facet of God's nature to be manifested through us. In Philippians 2:5, God calls us to manifest this willingness to humble ourselves and be obedient unto death, in the same way that Christ was willing.
After Jesus died, He descended to the depths of Sheol:
"8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)" (Ephesians 4:8-10)
As we have said before, the prophetic anointing prompts us to give ourselves in sacrifice and suffer through Hittite anguish for others. Therefore, the "depth" of Ephesians 3:18 speaks of God's prophetic nature.
As we have seen before, the face that represents God's prophetic nature is the "eagle" face. Therefore, we can say that the "depth" of God's love corresponds to the "eagle" face.
The "height" refers to how God's nature is eternal, as opposed to weak man's temporary nature.
"1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)
In the passage above, the Lord wants us to understand that we are, in essence, spiritual beings who reside in earthly vessels. We sometimes get so focused on earthly things that we forget the eternal origins of the spirit that was placed in us when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The word "Hebrew" literally means "one from beyond", and, as Christians, we are "spiritual Hebrews". God has deposited His eternal and everlasting nature in us, and He wants us to manifest that eternal nature on Earth.
"3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
[The "promises" of verse 4 refer to the Promise of being One with Him for eternity]
The "height" of God's love speaks of how He wants to raise us up from temporary earthliness so that we may be One with the Most High. The "height", therefore, points to the face of weak "man", which, as we have said before, means that it is related to the pastoral and teaching ministries.
All of the above can be summarized in the following table:
As Ephesians 3:18 declares, the Spirit of God wants us to comprehend these 4 dimensions with "all saints". This means that we must allow God to fashion these dimensions in our hearts (v17) so that we may bless all the saints. As those dimensions are wrought in us, we are to long that the saints around us have these dimensions wrought in them as well.