September 21, 2015


Ephesians 1:17 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.

We’re back to trying to figure out how to divide up Paul’s long sentences! However, this verse and the first part of the long sentence to follow make it clear that it takes an act of God for His magnificence really to get through to our puny human brains. Thankfully that’s something He enjoys doing, if our hearts are open to Him. The point, though, is that it is a heart matter rather than something strictly intellectual. Those who try to approach God just from the intellectual angle really don’t get very far at all. That’s why so much “theology” is just pious mud, if that. Some “theologians” have even discarded piety! As the Bible says so many times, it takes fearing God to have any wisdom in the first place, and those who make pronouncements about God without having their hearts submitted to Him in love do no more than proclaim their own foolishness. However, to those who really are submitted to Him in love, God delights to open His treasures of wisdom and understanding, just as Paul is praying here.

As one who desires to know more and more of God, I need to keep my heart focused on loving obedience. It’s not that reading what others have written about God isn’t helpful, it’s that my starting point must be the cross and the Word. If the author I’m reading makes light of either, then I know that what they have written is useless at best and a devious trap at worst. It is indeed a blessing to read the testimonies of others who love God and have found Him to be faithful, but I have encountered too many writers who use the Bible as no more than window dressing for their “theory of the hour.” I am not to be distracted by such things, but as has been said, “chew up the meat and spit out the bones.” As a pastor, I’ve got to remember that intellectual arguments aren’t going to do any lasting good for anyone. I am not to run from them any more than Paul did, but my goal must be the operation of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of my hearers, so that His life may be manifested in their lives.

Father, thank You for the opportunity I have this morning to speak explicitly of spiritual things to the people gathered for this meeting. Thank You that there will be two more Christians besides Cathy and me present. I pray that I would be an open conduit for Your love and grace to flow through me by Your Spirit, so that all present may be drawn closer to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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