I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.I love these verses. I love inspiring prayers written by guys who planted churches that changed the world. I love the imagery that pops into my head when I imagine just for a moment what the huge warehouse of God's "glorious, unlimited resources" might look like glimpsed from the door. And I love the idea that as I learn to trust Jesus that he will make his home in my heart and that somehow through that process, I will gain inner strength and deep, strong roots.
Except that the more I thought about it, the less I understood what Paul was trying to say.
At first, I thought I'd peek over into a different translation, given the fact that the New Living Translation (from which the above is drawn) might be a little too free with its word choice. Only that just made things worse. From the New American Standard, the most literal and technical of the usual English suspects, says this:
...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man...Strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man... What does that feel like on an ordinary day? What exactly is the inner man, in relation to the rest of me walking around? What sort of strength does Paul have in mind? Strength to do what? And what relationship does this have with the "God's strength is made perfect in our weakness" theology?