Hope, inheritance and power

The immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 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,18 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s prayer is for experiential knowledge, the enlightening of your heart, not just your brain. Good academics, sound doctrine, is very good. I get thrilled with academically sound doctrine.  But, sound doctrine, even with a little questionable academics, that has been seared into your heart by the Holy Spirit’s spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him is far better. It is truth that has been made powerfully alive in you as a result of this encounter with the Holy Spirit that Paul is praying for the Ephesians, and we should pray for ourselves.

This third point in Paul’s prayer (maybe this is where preachers get the three points and a poem?) is that we might know the immeasurable greatness of God’s power toward us experientially. The power Paul refers to is the same power that was demonstrated in the resurrection and ascension of Christ along with his reigning over all other powers both in this world and in the New Heavens and New Earth.

I love Paul’s descriptor: immeasurable greatness. Paul has given us an analogy in the power exerted in Christ’s resurrection, exaltation and eternal power over all other powers. The analogous power is immeasurably great. Christ is head over all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named.

Paul prays that we would have experiential knowledge of that immeasurable greatness of Christ’s power toward us.

When the Holy Spirit burns that into our hearts, we recognize that we too have been raised with Christ and are seated with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). When the Holy Spirit enlightens our heart to experience this knowledge intimately, it changes our prayer life. We begin to find ourselves reigning in life with Christ (note I wrote “with” Christ) and in prayer, we don’t give in to our enemies in this life. We don’t bow to the enemies of our soul that would drag us into sin and defeat. We don’t give in to those enemies that would frighten us away from sharing the gospel with our friends and relatives who don’t know Christ. God has designed that our encounters with the Holy Spirit give is power to be witnesses (Acts 1:8).

Do you believe you need a fresh encounter with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the experiential knowledge of him so you will know firsthand the immeasurable greatness of his power toward you? I find I need fresh encounters on a regular basis because my chief enemy does not want me to live in this immeasurable greatness of God’s power. But it is my desire and that of my Savior that I do live in that place of power in Christ to witness to his death and resurrection and his soon coming.

I will share again the prayer I shared a few weeks ago that you might make a model for your prayers for this encounter with the Holy Spirit I am writing about today.

Father of glory, grant to me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Open the eyes of my heart. Enlighten me that I may know the hope to which you have called me. Enlighten me to know what are the riches of your glorious inheritance in me,  and enlighten me to what is the immeasurable greatness of your power toward us who believe, according to the working of your great might that you worked in Christ when you raised him from the dead and seated him at your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And you put all things under your feet and gave Jesus as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

I pray now that God will grant to us all this powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit that makes all that Christ has done for us a profound experiential reality in our daily lives, in Jesus’ name.