I wonder sometimes if we really see how much we are truly blessed in Christ? My guess is no. Oh sure, many of us know the truths of God’s grace and love in our lives. But do we truly understand them? As I’ve been meditating on this chapter, I’m starting to feel almost like I’ve only been wading in the shallow pools of these truths, though I have been a Christian for over 30 years.
Perhaps that’s why Paul felt it important to pray for the Ephesians in this way.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (18-19a)
Paul prays here that God would give the Spirit to the Ephesians that they may know him better. Not that they didn’t already have the Spirit, but that the Spirit within them would give them the wisdom and understanding needed to know God better. Because without the Spirit, we would quickly run into a wall as to how much we can truly know God.
But Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2,
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (10-11)
In other words, through the Spirit we can come to know God, not just facts about God, but to truly know him. This is not to say that we will ever know God fully. The depths of God are such that it will take all eternity to fully know him, and even then, will there ever be a day when we don’t discover something new about him?
But through the Spirit living in us and revealing the Father to us, we can come to know him more day by day.
The Spirit doesn’t stop at just teaching us who God is, though. Paul tells us,
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (I Corinthians 2:12)
What has God given us? Paul tells us in his prayer for the Ephesians.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)
Do we know the hope that he has given us? Hope that this world, dark as it is, is not all there is? And hope for the day that Christ reigns over all, not just in the spiritual realm where he conquered Satan at the cross, but in the physical realm as well when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord? When death, the final enemy, will itself be conquered?
More, do we know the love God showers on us? That he calls us the riches of his glorious inheritance? That he looks forward to the day when we are fully redeemed in our resurrection bodies that are free from sin, sickness, and death?
Do we know his power that is available to us? Do we know that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that keeps us as his children, that sanctifies us day by day, and that one day will glorify us in our new bodies? Do we know that that same power is available to us to overcome all the struggles that we go through now?
And finally, do we know who we now are in Christ? That we are now part of Christ’s body, called to go out in to all the world and spread his presence everywhere, filling each place with his love and grace?
Do you see? If we could see, how different would our lives be?