Last Saturday morning, I woke up feeling very grumpy. The house needed to be cleaned, I was tired, and I was hoping that I would sleep at least an hour longer than I did. I shuffled into the kitchen, made coffee, and turned on Netflix to watch Blue Bloods (my newest Netflix addiction).
But as I sat down and was about to turn on the next episode, I saw my Bible sitting beside me. My Bible that has only been seeing the light of day on Sundays. Sure, I listen to the Bible on audio every now and then, and I pray every day, but I haven't been opening up my Bible and just meditating and drawing near to God. But I've already told you that.
Saturday was different though. The Holy Spirit was pulling me to give that time. To spend just a moment of my day doing what I should do, instead of doing the random things that bring about no lasting benefit. Besides, Netflix will still be there an hour later.
I asked God to show me where to read, since I didn't really have a specific book I'd been reading in (I've been listening to Mark, but that's just occasionally).
I found a bulletin in my Bible from a few years ago from Providence church. The pastor who married Taylor and I was still there at the time and the bulletin I found was from a day when he was preaching on sin.
The first set of verses came from Isaiah 59:1-15, which is a seriously depressing passage about our sins and just how sinful we really are. But the other passage Josh chose was from Ephesians 1:15-23:
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand... (emphasis added)
I remember a long time ago, my mom told me that this was a great passage to pray for myself and for others. I definitely have desired the things listed in this passage for quite a while, but have only prayed this for myself once or twice. But every time I read this passage, the more I realize how much I need to be reminded of its truths.
I am sinful, yes. Much more so than anyone else realizes. Only me and God know the full spectrum of my sinful thoughts, intentions, and desires- that's true for every human being. We are sinful.
But for those of us who are in Christ, we are also children of God, children of the Light, and a peculiar treasure that God has given a glorious inheritance too. Some of our inheritance is eternal- something we won't see until we pass into Heaven. The other part of our inheritance, however, is what this passage in Ephesians talks about: we have a hope. And we have a savior who gives us strength, "the greatness of His power towards us who believe".
We also have the ability to know Him more. In these verses, Paul says that he has been praying for the saints (fellow Christians), that they may have the wisdom to have a deeper knowledge of God. I think that sometimes, we get so caught up in the things that we can't know about God- the mysterious things, the things that confuse us- that we forget that there is a lot left that we can know about God. We forget that we need, desperately need, to see who He is more clearly. We forget that a knowledge of His character will help us see the world in a more accurate way; and will help us recognize many more sins, lies, attacks of the enemy, wrong thinking, and wrong living in the world around us and in our own lives. Knowing God more will produce more holiness in us, and hopefully, will produce more joy in us as a result.
To me, this passage is all about the power of God working through us, and the desire Paul had to see that power come alive. He was praying this for Christians, which says to me that we need to be praying it too. We need to call out to God for our hearts and minds to be enlightened and that we be given wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of God. We should be asking that we see Him, His truths, and His power more clearly in our hearts and minds.
If it's good enough for Paul, I'm thinking it should be good enough for us too ;)
Do you struggle to know God more? Do you struggle to see Him, His greatness, and His power working in your life? Me too. Do you think this passage can help you in these struggles? Comment below.
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