“I have not stopped… asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ… may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him.” (from Ephesians 1:16-17)
A few days ago, we began talking about normal Christian living and how Jesus defined it with the amazing promise that a dedicated belief in Him would enable “whoever believes in Me” to do what Jesus did… and even greater things.
What Jesus came to initiate (and provide) was a kind of living that is supernatural… beyond natural human living. As Jesus demonstrated, this is the very essence of empowered, normal Christianity.
So why do we not see much “normal Christianity” in our day and age (especially in our current culture)? Why does Jesus’ definition seem more “special” (available only to a few) than “normal” (available to everyone)?
There are a couple of reasons. But one reason is NOT education. Most Christians know a fair amount of Bible truth – but true Christian living is seldom about what we know.
This was the focus of the apostle in our verse for today. If we truly believe in Jesus, we have a “knowledge of Him.” But we need something more. Something that can only come from beyond ourselves. These were the things the apostle was committed to praying for the Ephesian church… and his inspired words give us some important insight into what we really need.
The apostle was praying for two main things to be given to God’s people. He was praying that God would give them…
What is the apostle talking about?
First, wisdom is most simply understood as God’s viewpoint of things. How God sees things. In essence, it is all that is true and most helpful. What God does is always the best way of doing things because it is always based on His “wise” viewpoint.
One of the real secrets of true Christianity is the reality of how God sees us. Specifically, how He sees us because of what Jesus has done for us. If we take the time to really study Scripture, we begin to see some amazing truths about who and what we ARE because of our relationship with Him. Jesus has provided a new life, a new reality, and a new status – all because we have received what He did on our account.
This is the core of what we find in all the apostolic letters. New information. New realities. New possibilities. New standing with God… ALL because of Jesus.
But second, we not only need God’s wisdom, we need revelation about God’s viewpoint. We need to experience how God’s viewpoint applies to our lives. This cannot come from thinking it through, or from studying all the minuscule details of theological truth. This has to come directly from God… into our hearts (see Mt. 16:17!). It is the “aha!” moment when the proverbial “lightbulb comes on” and we actually see what God’s view of us, means to us – how it actually applies to us in the here and now.
This is no small thing… it is life-changing. When we truly see what God has provided to us because we have believed in Jesus AND we have received divine revelation into HOW all this applies to us… we will find ourselves suddenly walking in what Jesus described as normal Christian living.
The best news is this… all this is not something we become with time and incremental “improvements” – it is something we are immediately upon receiving Jesus’ work on our behalf. We are NOT becoming new creations… We ARE!
The challenge of faith is always to walk in all that God has provided to us.