Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Going Further In – to ‘Know’ God Deeper

[Paul wrote] 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 1:18-19 (NIV).

We almost always never confront ourselves with the fact of our own resistance to spiritual growth—to find those things of spirituality that are there to be found by us. Above here is Paul’s imploding hope for the Ephesians unto all believers.

He centres, for us, on going further into the temple of the living God residing, and hid, deep within us (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)—the reconciliation of hope to the realisation of God’s very potential for each of us.

1. Knowing the Hope to Which We’re Called

“We have a higher calling.” This is one of the mantras of my favourite Christian radio station. This hope to which we’re called is manifest in many things and in many ways; not the least of which it is hope for a future, for plans that will prosper us and not harm us (Jeremiah 29:11).

Hope for prosperity is nothing like what many preach—it’s a spiritual prosperity to the closeness of God that we seek. We’re called to this higher place, due foundationally to the historical event and basis of our salvation, the sacrificing of Christ on the cross and his raising from the dead by the Father.

This place—this hope—is the source of all good things, so far as going further on in is concerned.

It is also, fundamentally, the genuine hope of salvation—the knowledge of salvation that we still do not know, because of its unfathomable depths. God wants us to want it revealed. He wants us to increase our knowledge of salvation. We might be ‘saved’ but we always have a way to go in the truer knowledge of this salvation.

2. The Riches of His Glorious Inheritance in the Saints

Those who’ve gone before us—those inspirational saints of bygone eras—are our confidence-on-loan for what is achievable on this earth as we abide in the true spiritual life of faith.

Imagine one day actually meeting Abraham, the apostles, Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin—these merely pointing us to the One who is, who was, and is still to come! (Revelation 1:8).

As we study the saints who’ve lived before us, we see what God has managed to do through them—to the impacting of lives; their own and others’. This is a great indication of the sort of inheritance God has employed tripartitely for us, others and ultimately for himself, to the beneficence of all creation.

Finally, God redeems his inheritance at the coming of Christ.

3. Cognisance of His Incomparably Great Power

Whilst the previous two focused on the past and future respectively, this part of the passage focuses us on the present.[1]

His great power: we ought to never forget this, though we’re destined to do that from time to time. This incomparably great power enfolds many things, not least these which we discuss here.

Going further in, upon our God-blessed development, is contingent to a very large degree to the sounder knowledge of the all-attending power of God for us—and to have confidence in this knowledge.

Going further in is to know God deeper. This has no limits and is a function purely of the wondrous desperation we can have for more of God.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] Harold W. Hoehner, Ephesians – An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2002), p. 267.

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