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How Deep is Your Love?

Have you ever seen a whirlwind? Tornadoes, tropical storms, cyclones... hurricanes. Each is a force to be avoided rather than reckoned with. It is a cylinder of wind or rain or a combination running ram-shod over what would normally be considered stable or safe. Under certain circumstances, any one of us can be vulnerable to its' power. When it passes, only remnants of was there before remain.

What can prepare you for a whirlwind?

On August 28, 2005, my 37th birthday, Hurricane Katrina reached Category 5, overwhelming the levees of New Orleans, Louisiana and decimating the region. I was on staff at the Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas. Our pastor, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, called us in for an emergency meeting.

It was time to be the church we were called to be.

Food, supplies, clothing and toiletries began to pour into the Kiest Boulevard facility. Strangers became fast friends as volunteers cycled through to help. The first arrivals came on an old school bus painted black. They were still stunned, in shock, but at least they were somewhere SAFE. Grief began to settle in. I held people in my arms and never knew their names. We cried out to God together. The church-become-shelter was now a haven for the displaced.

It was the whirlwind after the whirlwind, and a long time before most of the staff returned to the quiet comfort of our office spaces. I didn’t see mine for six months. Twenty-four hours a day… seven days a week… we lived together in the overflow spaces and the pews of that building. We broke bread together, shopped the clothes closet together, prayed together.

The church would never go back to what it was.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)

I believe every church and every believer has an “Ephesian” moment in their lives… a time when God lines them up with destiny for an experience like never before, revealing Himself in ways we could have never anticipated.

Ephesus would embark on uncharted territory for Christ.

Be the church as no one has ever seen before.

Paul saw it.

The people knew it.

They could never go back to who they were.

Today, God is asking us...