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. – Ephesians 1.16-17 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus drips with His pastoral spirit. He is desirous that the believers there come to know Christ, of all the glorious things they have in Him, and of how their lives are to be lived in grateful, loving obedience considering Who He is and what He has done for them. I really cannot do better than that in my praying for you at Grace Church!
Paul is praying that God would give these believers spirits characterized by wisdom and knowledge of Him that is revealed by God’s Spirit. As he writes in 1 Corinthians 2, God’s Spirit is the One who reveals the things of God to us. As Isaiah 11:2 prophesied of Messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”
What Paul is praying for the Ephesians (and my prayer for us) is that we would have spirits that are receptive to the truth about God that the Holy Spirit reveals through His Word. There is no new revelation about God today apart from the revelation of Scripture. If someone claims to have some new revelation that cannot be found in the written Word, run for cover! The Spirit of wisdom enables us to live wisely by applying the knowledge of God through His Word to our daily lives. The Spirit of revelation opens our eyes to see truths about God from His Word that natural reason and understanding cannot grasp. All things must be weighed and evaluated in the light of God’s Word. All our thoughts and attitudes, our reasoning and rationale, must square with the written Word of God. And to understand it, we need the help of God the Holy Spirit. Do you feel that need? Do you call upon Him to give you wisdom and understanding of Him?
The Spirit of revelation opens our eyes to see truths about God from His Word that natural reason and understanding cannot grasp.
Suppose you had a rainwater catchment system on your house that fed to a large tank. If you have a valve on the line that runs from the house to the tank, for the tank to fill, the valve needs to be open. You could have metres of water pour upon your house, but not a centimetre’s worth in the tank unless the valve was open. As I sit under the ministry of the Word, have I earnestly and prayerfully sought from him wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him? Have I “opened the valve”? I fear that we often don’t benefit from the Word, that we are so lacking in knowledge of God, because we haven’t prepared to hear from Him.
As we prepare to sit under the ministry of the Word this next Lord’s Day, as we gather in our Community Groups, in family worship, and approach the Lord individually, this ought to be our prayer: “Lord, open my eyes, that I might behold wondrous things out of your Law!” (Psalm 119:18).
Blessings in our Lord Jesus,