February 1, 2021
Note: Sorry for the technical difficulties this morning. This is today’s reading. The previous, as you may have noticed, was a duplicate of yesterday’s.
Ephesians 1:17-19 (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.
There is more going on in this prayer for great awakening than we realize.
For starters, we are praying to be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Remember why? So that we may know him better.
Next we are praying that the eyes of our heart may be enlightened or opened. Remember why? That’s where we left off. Before going further, though, this piece about opening the eyes of our heart is huge. I see this biblical concept of our “heart” as the convergence of our soul, spirit, body, brain, and overall mind. It is the multiplied factors of all our perceptive faculties, and this illumined by the fire of the Holy Spirit. This is the “knowing” beyond mere knowledge that Scripture speaks of in the second prayer for great awakening in Ephesians 3:18-ff, which we will cover next.
So, we are praying for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened for three reasons. In order that we may “know” (again, beyond mere knowledge):
- 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.
There are at least a dozen PhD’s worth of research to be done in each one of these multi-dimensional cosmic realities. Remember, though, we aren’t going for “knowledge” but “knowing.” We aren’t going to learn these things by research, but by revelation. It’s why we are dealing with these things in the context of prayer.
the hope to which he has called you, . . .
Honestly, I feel as though I am something of a fourth grader when it comes to hope. I think I understand hope until I try to define it for myself in concrete terms, and then it gets rather, shall we say, Hallmark-ish (or for those reading from other nations—sentimental fluffy-ness). The biblical notion of hope is quite durable and weighty. I need revelation on this. I need the eyes of my heart to be enlightened in order to begin to grasp it.
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, . . .
I think we might properly call this “faith.” Think of Hebrews 11 as though it were a bank with enough gold to back up the value of every dollar ever printed (aka Fort Knox). Add to this the faith of every person who has ever lived by faith—also known as “The Communion of Saints.” Add to this the faith of the saints in the making all over the world right now—from Bangladesh and Brazil to your local church and away to the ends of the earth. Here’s an epiphany: he gives the inheritance to us in the form of his people. You know what that makes us for each other? Treasure. Consider “the faith once handed down from the saints” and being passed on through all the generations as though it were gaining exponentially compounded interest year after year after year. It’s off the charts wealth.
What if I began to read the Bible like it were God’s will? Get it? His literal will. As in, a document that details an inheritance. Wow! Maybe I’ve passed elementary school when it comes to faith. I need the eyes of my heart to be enlightened in order to move on to middle school.
and his incomparably great power for us who believe, . . .
There is a word that captures the incomparably great power of God. The greek term is “agape.” It is the love of all loves. It simply does not compare to any other notion we typically associate with the word love. It is love so concentrated it conflagrares (new word for me!) into power. It is a power so amazing and so divine it defines the very nature of God himself: holy love. On this subject, I’m afraid I’m still rocking the training wheels. I need the eyes of my heart to be enlightened. Come Holy Spirit!
See what just happened there. There are three things that last forever, according to Scripture: faith, hope, and love. These are eternal verities—revelatory realities. They come to those who want to know God better; who ask him to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation; who pray for the eyes of their heart to be enlightened. They come not to the strivers but to the surrendered.
Open the eyes of our hearts Lord. We want to know you. We want the knowing beyond knowledge. We want to know you in the unapproachable awe of your glory and in the inescapable grasp of your goodness. We want to press past the conventional religion of our time and enter the realm of revelation; not private but personal, not secret and super-spiritual or elitist but that which is reserved for all who would come to you. Something tells me I am further away than I think and yet closer than I realize. I want to let go of what I cling to and lean with all I have. Come Holy Spirit and open the eyes of my heart. I want to see Jesus in whom faith and hope and love burn most brightly. In his name we pray, Amen.
Where do you need more revelation or more “knowing” a) the hope to which he has called you, b) the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, or c) his incomparably great power for us who believe?
Three invitations here: 1. Reserve your complimentary ticket for A Night with New Room: Ash Wednesday. 2. Check out the 2021 Awakening Calendar. 3. Grab a songbook for Soundtrack.
For the Awakening,
I have wrestled with the knowledge of knowing HIM. Is it a lack of prayer? When I surrender all, am I deceiving myself, and holding tightly to who I am. Positively, I want to soar with the eagles and have the power to break strongholds. BUT how is this accomplished? Lord only you can make such a transformation. This is why Paul prayed that you would open the eyes of our hearts. Paul experienced the glorious richness of Christ, he had something that he wanted all of us to share. But how did Paul get it? God struck him down, blinded him and told him, all that he would suffer for Christ. Are we subject to the same knowledge without the same suffering? Without the same mission and fortitude? God comes in when we are weak, he establishes us when we ask for wisdom. Our Great Shepard supplies all our needs. So is his power and glory only released in our time of need??? Lord you alone know my desire- fill me till I want no more- fill my cup and make me whole!