Hope, inheritance and power

The hope of his calling

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

In my last post, What a difference the Holy Spirit makes, I emphasized from this passage the fact that Christianity is a heart thing. If you only have an academic grasp and not an emotional grasp of the reality of Christian doctrine, you are missing the personal immediate relationship with Jesus that is intended and promised in Scripture. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a Christian. What is needed is a heart-level revelation of the truth. This is not academic, it is experimental. Holy Spirit applied Christianity if you will.

Now, I want to delve a little into the content of the prayer requests Paul prays, and I recommend we model after him.

First Paul prays that we will have a heart-level revelation of the hope to which he has called us. I think this has multiple levels of application.

The great overarching hope to which we are called has to do with the wrapping up of the entire plan of salvation. It includes the second coming of Christ and our glorious resurrection in our glorified body and introduction into the New Heavens and New Earth. This calls us to be heavenly-minded, very heavenly-minded.

Heavenly-mindedness should dominate our thinking and all life’s decisions. There is a false saying that goes like this, “He is so heavenly-minded, he is of no earthly good.” Not possible in my mind. Being heavenly-minded means I am making decisions in light of eternity and the face of God. That will maintain your integrity and help keep you from sin. That only ruins you for sin in the world and some people may consider you of no earthly good if you aren’t willing to go along with their sin. Tough cookies! Being heavenly-minded means you are finding your pleasure in God and not in this world. Only the Holy Spirit can fill you with that kind of passion.

A secondary hope that I believe can be applied here is the personal calling God has placed on your life. Many, particularly younger Christians, seem to struggle a lot about what God’s purpose is for them. They want to know the will of God for their lives. That is a proper desire. I can’t take space to discuss how one goes about determining that other than to say it ultimately comes by the work of the Holy Spirit giving to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. When this prayer is answered, and it is an ongoing answer; when one is filled with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, there is an abundance of clarity that comes. If you struggle with this question about your life, pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.

The ongoing answer

Being filled with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him is not a one-time event and now I’ve got it. This is a lifelong relationship with the Holy Spirit. That is why I say this is an ongoing answer to our prayer. The Holy Spirit doesn’t suddenly make us omniscient, knowing all things. He reveals Christ to us at a level we are capable of handling. As we grow in Christ, we are capable of handling more understanding. This is both experimental and academic. One doesn’t graduate from kindergarten and gain a Ph.D. There is elementary school, high school, and college before grad school. Our growth in Christ is similar only our primary instructor is the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures aided by gifted, godly Pastor-Teachers.

One lesson here for all of us is that no matter whether we have just come to know Christ as our Savior or we have been walking with him for decades, this prayer for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him applies to us all. This should be part of our prayer life until we see him face to face in the New Heavens and New Earth.

May you be filled with the Holy Spirit in every dimension he has for you.

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