“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. 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.” Ephesian 1:17-19a
One of the more terrifying experiences of my life was the moment when I began dating. Interactions between myself and girls had been limited to one or the other chasing each other around the playground. I do recall a few crushes through grade school, although if I remember correctly none of them were reciprocated. So by the time I reached MBA, I was definitely a duck out of water when it came to dating. What I recall about my freshman year attempts at dating are better left undocumented. It is much better for my self-respect that they remain unknown, and therefore prevent a recurrence of my misery and very probable outlet for your humor!
My sophomore year was definitely shaping up to be a repeat of the former year. Although the last half of my freshman year I had a senior for my roommate; he took pity on me and erased many of the nerdy qualities that had plagued me in the first half of the year. This made the beginning of my sophomore year a little less traumatic. However, in reference to dating, much remained the same.
Then one day when I was in the administration building a girl came in to collect the mail for the girls dorm. I was puzzled because I hadn’t seen her on campus before that day. No use trying to deny what happened next! I was smitten completely, totally, irrevocably, forever in love. I don’t know how I knew it, I just knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
Unfortunately, she had absolutely no clue that I even existed. So how do you go about meeting, getting to know the one who is holding your heart, and doesn’t even know she is holding your heart? There it is, the unscalable wall, the chasm without a bridge, the ocean without a boat.
The day finally arrived when we had our first date, then a second, followed by a string of successive dates. We spent time on the lawns talking, sitting on the steps of the campus store, either talking or just enjoying being quiet together. Through each opportunity to be together we learned about each other, what was important, what our lives were like. We talked about music, which for me was limited to Country, and she moved me to a more modern genre. I became more eclectic in my choice of musical styles.
This year we celebrate almost 40 years of marriage. We have grown to know each other better. The love I had for my wife nearly four decades back pales in comparison to the depth of love we share today. The love God gave us has bonded us into an amazing oneness that He has gifted to us, something we look forward to growing for an Eternity.
During every day, month, and year we had choices to make. Some were easy, others were not so easy. Over each one God was providing protection. Even when we were not so sure we wanted Him involved in our lives, He was there anyway. There was an immense amount of growing up we needed to accomplish personally, and together. We had to be committed to the vows we took; we chose knowing each other better rather than giving up.
Paul relates to the Ephesians what he has been specifically praying for them. The gifts Paul asks God to give the Ephesians are wisdom and revelation. These two particular gifts which would further the ability of them to know God better.
What might be the outcome if we channeled our prayers into similar requests for each other?
Could it change the atmosphere of a church? How about the relationships between a husband and wife? Would it be possible through the gifts of wisdom and revelation supplied by God for a couple to become more than they already are? Could seeking God’s provision of wisdom and revelation in knowing Him better change our relationships— all of them? What if we prayed for those who are single that they also receive wisdom and revelation with the goal of knowing God better!
And it doesn’t stop there, Paul’s request to God is for the Ephesians’ hearts be open to know the hope God has called them to receive. It is an inheritance of God’s glorious power at work in and for all who believe. I wonder how many times believing is tied to our seeing “God’s Fingerprints” all over us. (Thanks to Oswald Chambers for the reference.) Jesus tells us to believe, God tells us to believe, even the Comforter comes with the message to believe!
Here it is, we are going to believe someone. As far as I can tell, the bottom line is who will you choose to believe? A third of the angels believed Lucifer, the enemy of God. Adam and Eve chose to believe the serpent, also known as the dragon, originally known as Lucifer, the enemy of God. As you read this paragraph, who would you choose to believe? The answer is pretty clear when we see it in black and white, written down on paper.
Whether it is written or shared verbally, the outcome remains the same. God loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him. To that end He is doing everything possible to convince mankind to choose to know Him better. At the same time, there is an enemy who only wants to destroy you, for in destroying you he will cause God pain.
When Jesus went to the cross carrying everything of humanity that could not survive in the presence of a Holy and Righteous God, the enemy was defeated forever! So all that’s left to him is taking out as many of those God has created as is possible.
The Process of Grace is knowing God better. It is God revealing Himself to you, to me. Sometimes we see Him working, sometimes we don’t. As we navigate through life we will discover God’s invitation to connect for an eternity. We will also be invited to receive Him as the final authority in our lives. God’s Grace in our Process is preparing us for our future, experiencing God without any barrier, without any protection from His Glory. Even now the Glory of God is working in us and through us, and for us. He is changing everything from beginning to end.
“My goal is that their hearts would be encouraged and united together in love so that they might have all the riches of assurance that come with understanding, so that they might have the knowledge of the secret plan of God, namely Christ. 3 All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him.” Colossians 2:2-3 Common English Bible