“until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
What do you think of when you hear the word fun? First, I think of my aunt. Fun is not only her favorite word, but also her favorite state of being. She loves to describe much of life as fun and she does so with a joyful spirit, and a deep, passionate love for Jesus. I remember camping with her in the Sierras as a child. One of my favorite moments of each day was visiting her trailer in the morning, for the sole purpose of joining her in “screaming on pitch” to a Sandi Patti song. I felt so free!
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with Ephesians 4. Look at verse 13 in the NIV: “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Now read this verse in the Message: “until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” Both translations use the word mature, but the Message certainly expands on its meaning. The word mature in the Greek is telos, which is a goal-oriented word defined as: having reached its end; complete. That begs the question, what is “the end”? What does God desire for his children?
When I think of the word mature, the image of a very proper, and correct person comes to mind; maybe Ward or June Cleaver? I certainly don’t think of fun, and I don’t think this image of maturity is God’s end for us. Scripture frequently speaks of the abundant, life-giving joy that God longs for each of us to experience as we delight in him.
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 15:11 “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
Do you laugh with God? Are you giddy at what he can do in your own life and in the lives of others? Do you ever jump for joy when he reveals himself through the truth of Scripture? Do you feel free to have fun with him? Or do you feel trapped by the common image of a mature believer? Living life to the full is an expression of “the end” that God longs for you to experience. Have fun with God … you might be surprised!
LIVE THE STORY: Go on a walk with God and ask him to reveal something amazing in nature. He will! Then try praising him out loud, freely expressing your joy and gratitude. (It’s ok, you won’t look crazy; people look like they are talking to themselves all the time when they are wearing ear buds.) It just might be fun!
Women’s Ministry Director