Ephesians Series - Part Four
by Pastor Andrew Malek
August 25, 2018
This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. - Ephesians 1:15–19 (HCSB)
Thank God that you have accepted these truths: You are a child of God, you are blessed, and you are adopted. Paul is giving thanks for the faith of the church, but he wants us to know that there is more.
God wants to give us “a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.” Paul’s prayer is that we wouldn’t stop at just the head-knowledge of God, but that we would experience the depths of who he is and receive an all-encompassing understanding of him.
Before we have made a choice to follow Jesus, we live based on our own thoughts, feelings, bodies, and social influences, and we develop patterns of behavior based on our experiences. When we make the decision to follow Jesus, we allow the word of God to mold our thoughts, feelings and actions. When Christ’s spirit enters our hearts, we learn how to be who God has called us to be.
The hurt and pain we experience in life causes us to build up walls of self-protection in our hearts. Because we have built walls in our hearts, our will becomes hardened against God's will. As a result, we do not receive God's blessings or truth, because we have filtered them through our experiences that have left us broken.
In Ephesians, Paul offers us the idea that we cannot do it on our own--we cannot rationalize our way to God. The knowledge of God is not something we need to learn more about; it is something we need to receive.
The church in Ephesus had learned the truth about God, but they had not experienced the fullness of who he was. Paul wants to show them a better way so that they can experience the more that God has for them. What does it look like to allow God’s spirit to minister to ours?
Hope: Paul prays that the Ephesian church would “know the hope of his calling.” The best definition for hope is the combination of a desire for something and the belief that it is going to happen. Real hope is grounded in reality and experience that leads us to trust and believe, despite what we see.
Confidence: Paul prays that we would have confidence in “the riches of your inheritance among the saints.” Our inheritance in Christ means that we can have confidence that we are sons and daughters of the King. Our doubts will try to come against our identity in Christ when we compare what we see to what God says. Our worthiness is not based on our behavior; it’s based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross. When we say yes to Jesus, we are counted among the saints. God is transforming us from the inside out-- he is not working on us; he is working in us when we allow his word and spirit to fully permeate our hearts (Romans 8:15-17).
Power: Paul encourages us to receive “the immeasurable greatness of his power to us who believe.” Because we are in Christ, we already have the power to overcome all things. When we accept Jesus, the same power comes to live in us that rose Jesus from the dead. We have miracle working power in Christ.
When we find our identity in Christ, God wants us to receive a full revelation of who he is with hope, confidence, and power.
Have you ever prayed for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God? If not, pray that prayer today.
What doubts are you facing that could be limiting you from experiencing the fullness of God?
Is there an area where you have hardened your heart? If so, pray that God would minister to you in that area.