Knowing God; June 9, 2022


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.

This passage, though exceedingly rich in content and meaning, is very hard to write on because from verse 18 through 23 it’s one sentence in the Greek, making verse and sentence divisions quite arbitrary in any translation. That makes the content of this verse all the more important, because we need God’s help in deciphering what Paul has written! Actually, Paul’s prayer here is appropriate for us to pray for anyone, and for anyone to pray for us, for that matter. God, being infinite, is far beyond our finite intellect to grasp, so we have to have His help in understanding Him. It’s just like He told Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) However, God in His infinite grace does reveal Himself to us in various ways. (Hebrews 1:1-2) That said, we need not only His revelation but also His wisdom, to interpret and understand what He reveals to us. After all, Jesus was God’s perfect revelation of Himself, yet even His disciples didn’t understand that properly. (John 14:9) That’s one of many reasons the Holy Spirit is essential to us. Only He can get past all our preconceptions and ignorance to enable us to know the Father. Many people seek the Holy Spirit for the sake of power. He is indeed the channel of God’s power to and through us, but I think that the more we grow spiritually, the more we agree with Paul, whose goal was “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11) Knowing God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – should be our all-consum­ing goal. That said, knowledge alone doesn’t cut it, because genuine knowledge produces action. Otherwise, we’re just deceiving ourselves. (James 1:22)

This couldn’t apply to me more. I enjoy knowing stuff, and I have been described as a walking dictionary or encyclopedia, but all of that is totally insignificant compared to the “surpassing greatness” (Philippians 3:8) of knowing my God. As the Gaither song says, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.” That is perhaps the greatest joy of spiritual growth for me, and perhaps my greatest anticipation of heaven, because “then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Father, thank You for the incredible privilege of knowing You through Your Son by the power of Your Spirit. Thank You also for the likewise incredible privilege of leading others to know You. It is sweet indeed to share Christ in various ways with people who are open and hungry. I pray that I wouldn’t get in the way, but allow You to work through me to draw people to repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

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