February 27 I Sunday
“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.” —Ephesians 1:17
As Christians, we know we have been indwelt by the Spirit of God, but what happens next? Are there steps we have to take or rules we have to follow in order that we may somehow solidify the Holy Spirit’s presence within us? None of these are needed—no steps, no rules and no solidifying. Once the Holy Spirit is in us, He is in us to stay, but it is quite another thing to experience His working in our lives. One of the best things we can do in this regard is to take to heart Paul’s prayers.
In Ephesians, Paul’s prayers are not so that we may receive something, but that we may know something that becomes experiential in our lives. Paul is praying for things only God can do, which is that we come to know Christ better. The preacher cannot do this for us, nor can the church, a spouse, friend or any type of program, method or technique. Paul’s prayers drive us back to a condition of dependency on God, for he asks for things that are not possible apart from the intervention of God.
The Amplified Bible (Classic Edition) elaborates in another of Paul’s prayers, “May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts!” (Ephesians 3:16-17). This is more than asking Jesus to come into our hearts but is asking that we enjoy a rich relationship with Him, built on the fact that we can personally come to know and experience Him.
It cannot, however, be stressed enough that the Christian life is not just an experience, though many experiences are involved, but a relationship with Jesus Christ. In John 17:3, Jesus says, “Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” We may know God in part through observing creation or by meditating on Scripture. But what Paul is praying for in the opening verse of this devotion is not that we know God through observation or meditation, but by revelation of the Holy Spirit. This is discernment and understanding that is not derived from our natural thinking but is received from God and is consistent with His Word.
Jesus is presently sitting on the pinnacle throne of the universe, and it is Jesus whom Paul prays we would come to know better—not just as doctrine, but experientially as knowledge of Him grows and thrives in our hearts.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for an intimate relationship with You and ask that Your Holy Spirit brings me into a deeper knowledge and experience of You. Thank You, Lord.