Douglas Coupland, in his book “Life After God” reflects on being part of the generation which grew up without God. Whilst previous generations might have grown up going to church and Sunday school, that was not Coupland’s experience. As a result of the widespread jettisoning of faith by the generation before him, there was a sense in which he grew up in a world with “Life After God.”
At the end of his book, Coupland writes these words,
“Now-here is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God- that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.”
Coupland, who does not have a faith in God so far as I know, understands our limitations. He understands that we cannot change ourselves. We need help. We need God.
The apostle Paul, as he writes the letter to the Ephesians, earnestly desires for Church to be this amazing new community in Christ, where we are changed people. Where we are becoming more and more like Jesus, so he prays for us, that we might have Christ dwell in us.
The idea is that our relationship with Jesus is not just a one off, temporary, or occasional experience, but that we would know what it is like to have Jesus permanently dwell in us. He is our only hope to be the people God knows we can be. It is through our ongoing connection with God that we give ourselves the opportunity to become more and more like Christ.
The reality of what it means to be human is that at times we push God away. We may want to do things our own way. We might fight the transformation Jesus is desiring to bring to our lives. So Paul prays for the strengthening of their inner being.
My prayer for you and me, is that we might not find ourselves experiencing a life without God which Coupland describes. A life where we are stuck. A life where growing in our capacity to be generous, loving, and kind is unattainable. My prayer is that we would keep allowing Jesus to occupy that core place in our lives, in our inner being, and that we would know a life of being transformed, little by little, every single day.