Ephesians 1:18-19 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Ephesians has several examples of Paul’s incredibly long, complex sentences, and this is part of one of those. The English and the Japanese naturally break those up differently, and verse divisions are arbitrary in the first place, so that can make it difficult to pull out a section to write on. However, ancient Greek had no punctuation, and the concepts that Paul was writing about are marvelously intertwined, so it’s understandable that we have this issue. That said, we need the help of the Holy Spirit to grasp what is really being said, because it is marvelous beyond words. That’s why Paul tripped over himself trying to say it! When this prayer of Paul is answered in a believer’s heart and mind, it is absolutely transforming. We have a small conception of God’s power in the first place, and the reality that such power can operate in and through us is more than we can wrap our natural minds around. We love stories of “super heroes” and the like, and people pursue magic and the occult to obtain special power, when God has already provided something that puts all of that to shame. The thing is, God’s power operates according to God’s will, and it isn’t something we can wave around at our whim. The reason people pursue the occult and such is they want something they control, rather than being submitted to God. The true stories of Moses, Daniel, and Daniel’s three friends, for example, top just about any fiction! There are countless verified reports of miracles today, including walking on water as well as resurrections. God’s power is in no way diminished, but as the hymn says, we’ve got to trust and obey.
I have maintained for many years that when Japanese believers wake up to who they are in Christ, not only the nation but the whole world will be transformed. The thing is, I too am in need of a fresh infusion of faith! After all, I’m not yet to the age at which Moses started his ministry! I have seen what might be classified as “minor miracles” operate through me, and I have also tried to produce such things on my schedule, to no avail. I earnestly desire a massive move of God in this nation and I would be delighted to be useful in that, but I also need to be at peace with simply getting out of the way, if that is God’s plan. I identify totally with something my father once did, prostrating himself on the floor and crying out, “God, if I am standing in the way of revival in Japan, then take me out of the way!” My father had observed the Shantung Revival in China, and was even encouraged to relocate there so as to have a more fruitful ministry, but his commission was to Japan, and he was convinced of it. I have always had a place in my heart for China, which is why our church tithes general offerings to New Life League for Bibles to be printed and gotten into China, but I too know that my assignment is Japan. With many things in the world pointing to the Last Days, I need to trust that Japan is still on God’s schedule before the end, and hold myself available for however He might want to exercise His power through me.
Father, Ephesians has always resonated in my spirit in a special way. Help me not treat these truths as academic, but live them out in every facet of my life, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!