Have you ever had one of those awkward moments when you met a new person and you just didn’t click? For whatever reason, there was no connection or desire to go deeper into the relationship. But yet, if we are to have meaningful and exciting relationships with others, we must get to know the other person more deeply. We must gain a deeper knowledge of who they really are. This truth holds the same when we evaluate our relationship with God. In order to truly grow in our relationship with Him, we must get to know Him better.
This is Paul’s exact prayer for us as believers in Ephesians 1:15-23. He prays that the Holy Spirit would open the eyes of our hearts to know God better. He writes in Ephesians 1:17-19: “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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Is that the prayer of your heart? Do you want to know God more deeply and intimately? Are you satisfied with just a casual and distant knowledge of the heavenly Father or do you have a burning desire to know Him more fully? I encourage you to make this prayer a high priority in your spiritual life. I encourage you to daily ask the Holy Spirit to draw you closer and closer into the presence of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Would we be like King David who cries out in Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Paul’s overall prayer in this passage is that we would know God better, but he also gives three specific requests related to this. First of all, he prays that we would know the hope of our calling. One of the ways we get to know Christ more fully is when we focus on the hope of our salvation. God has called out of darkness into light, out of slavery into freedom, and out of bondage to sin into adoption as God’s children. When we think about who we were before our salvation and how graciously God has saved us through Jesus, we grow closer to Him in this hope. In 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Paul writes, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
Secondly, he prays that we would know God more fully by focusing on the riches of our future inheritance. When we focus on Jesus as our prize and heaven as our final destination, we begin to know Him more fully. Thirdly, Paul prays that we would experience the incomprehensibly awesome power of God in our lives.
Do you long for God’s power in your life? In your marriage? In your family? In your church? What does it look like when we truly do experience God’s power? Paul clearly tells us that power comes when we are thoroughly Christ-centered. In Ephesians 1:19-21 Paul describes this extraordinary power: “ That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
Paul gives three examples of God’s power and they all focus on the beauty of Jesus Christ. First of all, God exerted His power in the resurrection. God put His exclamation point on Jesus’ death on the cross by raising Him from the dead and that same power is available to us as believers. Secondly, God demonstrated His power when He exalted Christ to His right hand. Jesus is seated in heaven having completed all of his atoning work on the cross and when we focus on the risen, exalted Christ, we in turn experience God’s power. Finally, God’s power culminates in putting all things under Jesus’ feet and making Him sovereign over all the universe.
One of the best ways to get to know God better and experience his power is to focus on the sovereign reigning Christ as the King of the universe. May we all have the passion of Paul who said in Philippians 3:8-10: “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ– the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 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.”