Author: Ron Graham
Ephesians 3:16 says, "May God, according to the riches of his glory, grant you to be strengthened in your inner being through his Spirit". In our modern society there is a recognition and reawakening of the inner being.
For a long time now, our society has been operating largely at the materialistic level. Everything has been centred upon industrialism, politics, money, technology, and so forth. The human spirit and the reality of spiritual forces and kingdoms has been ignored or marginalised. Today, however, many people are turning back to the inner person, the spiritual being that is distinct from the mortal and physical being.
Today many people are recognising that life should be thought of, and experienced, as a spiritual Path and a Quest, an inner walk to higher ground transcending this temporal realm. In the Bible, Christianity is called a "way" (Hebrews 10:20), and Christians are seen as "sojourners and pilgrims" in this world (1Peter 2:11). Jesus himself said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6). Jesus calls us to follow his way to true and eternal life, and to God his Heavenly Father. It has always been the only true way.
Ancient wisdom spoke of this way which even then was already ancient. "Stand by the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths wherein is the good way, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls" (Jeremiah 6:16). Jesus spoke of the ways from which we may choose. There is the broad, popular, and so-called modern way, which pretends to lead to life but really leads to destruction, for it is the way of earthly things which hold false promise and which perish. On the other hand, there is the old narrow and difficult path that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). This path transcends earthly things. It is the path of the soul led by the Great Shepherd.
None of the inner being's needs can truly be satisfied with material or worldly things. Sadly, many people spend their lives fruitlessly trying to satisfy their souls from the physical world. Either we madly consume and acquire material goods and status, or we gaze at those who do and waste our lives wishing we could get some of the action! We are like the rich fool who built a great big barn, filled it with stuff, then congratulated himself: "Soul, you have many goods laid up in store for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry" (Luke 12:19). The same night that he said this, his soul was required of him, and he died.
The promises of prosperity in certain passages of the Bible (usually made to the children of Israel) are not what salvation of the soul, or the satisfaction of the inward person's longings, are about. Rather they are a type or symbol of the spiritual. God promises to satisy the basic needs of the body such as sufficient food and covering, if we will seek first the more important needs of the soul — his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). He has already said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth... but treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:19-21).
There are three basic spiritual longings which need to be satisfied: Fraternity, Destiny, and Mystery. In Ephesians 3:14-21 we find each of these three spiritual basics expressed in a most beautiful way.