“The quality or state of being filled completely; possessing a richness or intensity” (Dictionary.com).
We all know that feeling of being full, especially at the Thanksgiving table. You have that one last bite of pumpkin pie (we lived in Florida for a while, so ours was always key lime!) or that last morsel of turkey and dressing, and BOOM! You are over-the-top full. You are suddenly thankful for elastic waistbands and look for somewhere to stretch out and give your body time to recover.
The Bible talks about fullness too. This kind of fullness is not the painful result of overindulgence but a fullness that indicates a completeness or a ‘rich intensity’ that causes us to overflow.
As with all things, this fullness begins with Christ. “For God was pleased to have all His (God’s) fullness dwell in Him” (Christ) (Colossians 1:19; 2:9).
Christ came to us as an emissary of God. He represented God perfectly because He was filled with God. He was God (John 1:1). He came to show us what God the Father was like and His heart, love, compassion, and holiness. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
He was full of the grace and truth that filled the Father. He came so we would see it and believe it. He came to show us the way to the Father SO THAT we would be full of the same stuff that filled Christ. Amazing!
In Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, he says that his purpose was “to present to you the word of God in its fullness. . . SO THAT we may present everyone fully mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:25-28).
One of Paul’s beautiful prayers for his friends includes this thought of being filled with Christ: “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (1:9).
He even stated his primary goal for writing to them was, “that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, SO THAT they may have the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.”
The full Word of God, the full riches of complete understanding, fully mature, and filled with a knowledge of His will is what we have access to in Christ Jesus!
That is a staggering job description – and we haven’t done a thing to earn it or deserve it! (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is a gift. It is given to us when we believe in Christ. It is lavished on us (Ephesians 1:7-9). It is freely given (Matthew 10:8; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:12), and it empowers us: “I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29; Romans 1:16).
And what is to be our response to all this fullness? We are to:
- “Give joyful thanks to the Father” (1:12)
- “Overflow with thankfulness” (2:7)
- “Be thankful” (3:15)
- “Be watchful and thankful” (4:2)
- “Let your conversation be always full of grace” (4:6)
- Be “faithful ministers” and “faithful brothers” to others (4:7, 9)
- Be “mature and fully assured that you may stand firm in all the will of God.” (4:12)
We spend a whole lot of time looking for a full life. We often complain that our lives are too full because they are full of the wrong things. Look for the full life that has God at the center and Jesus as your example and way-maker. Come to the One who can make you full of the right, life-giving things and who loves you eternally.
“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)