January 30, 2021
Ephesians 1:17-19a (NIV)
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 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 his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
We are on a journey together. It is the journey of awakening. As I often say, the greatest impediment to my own awakening is the fact that I’m pretty sure I am already awake. In other words, I suffer with the condition of, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” You too? What a relief to know I am not alone in this. I know what I do know. And here’s what I’m learning—there is so much more of Jesus to know. It’s why I consider this prayer in today’s text as a prayer for great awakening—in me.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
I am awake and yet there are parts of my soul that remain asleep. I want to be fully awake. In fact, I want, as Paul leads us to pray in his second great prayer for great awakening, “to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
But how does this happen? I have learned a thing or two along the way about this. I have learned it doesn’t happen by my trying harder to make it happen or by my striving after God as this were somehow something I could achieve, or worse, earn. Notice Paul prays God to give you and me “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.” What is that? I’m not entirely sure, but I want it. It tells me I am not in control but God is. It tells me this has to be “revealed” to me; that I have to receive it as a gift from God.
This is the place at which most of us experience our brokenness (present company included). Our “receiver” is broken. We struggle to believe in the reality of a truly free gift, like unconditional love. Our experience has taught us otherwise. The gospel, however, is 100% gift. We must receive it as gift or not at all. We cannot earn it. We cannot pay it back. Even our efforts at being more committed to becoming a “better” Christian will get in the way of truly receiving what God wants to freely give us.
So am I suggesting we just passively wait around on God to do something so we can receive it? No. Here’s what we can do to posture ourselves to receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation—agree with the reason he wants to give this to us:
so that you may know him better.
This is the whole thing—knowing God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—better. Everything else springs from here. This is the beginning, middle, and end of the Christian faith, of eternal life, of life itself—knowing him better.
So how do we do this? Is this just some kind of spiritual state we need to cultivate; a knowing-ness-ness? Is it a special Jesus-y kind of feeling we are going for?
If we want to know God better, we begin with Jesus. He is the revelation. And when it comes to knowing Jesus better we have four new best friends on the ready to help us. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
This is where our Awakening Calendar comes into play. The calendar brings the whole story of Jesus into real time; into our every day walking around what’s next on my calendar life. The Awakening Calendar helps us follow Jesus from “before the womb to beyond the tomb.” It’s all about knowing him better.
So I ask you, do you want to know him better? That’s all we really need to know. We will pick back up with the prayer at v.18 tomorrow.
Our Father, we want to know you better. I want to know you better. I am ready to go to the next place of knowing you. Would you give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to this end. I confess, it’s tempting to want to know your solutions to my problems, to want to know more of your power, but all of this comes back down to just knowing you better. That’s my heart. Lead me forward into this way. In Jesus name, Amen.
Do you want to know God better? Sit with this question. Ponder it. Let it sink into the core of your inner being. Do you really want to know God better?
For the Awakening,