Ephesians 1:16‐19 I do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Yesterday we considered the state of our Heart. We applied oil and wine to soften it up and renew it. The state of our heart dictates how we hear God and how we see in the Spirit. We saw yesterday how when Isaiah’s heart was renewed that his spiritual ears were opened and he could hear God speaking. The language there is interesting. It doesn’t say “God began speaking” …. It implies that He was continually speaking, Isaiah couldn’t hear Him until his heart was renewed.
Today in Paul’s magnificent prayer for believers in the Book of Ephesians, he prays again for our hearts. In particular that the eyes of our heart would be opened so that we could see. The state of our hearts is really critical it determines how we will HEAR and how well we will SEE and as Solomon states in Proverbs will dictate the course of our lives. Proverbs 4:23 says Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLV)
Paul prays two interesting things in the area of “seeing”. He prays that we will receive a Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. Its important to understand the distinction here. Revelation is revealed knowledge. Knowledge gives you understanding. With understanding you see differently, you might have a greater appreciation for something, a greater awareness of its complexity, its beauty. Art can be this way – you can look at a picture and misread it, but when you understand the Artist, what he was doing, what he was trying to convey, you can see it completely differently and begin to “love” it.
Its critical that we “see” Jesus, that our understanding of who He is continually develops, for it is this seeing that deepens our love for Him and fires our desires to know more of Him and His ways. Unbelievers have no desire for God because they have no understanding of Him. Until the Spirit of God removes their blindness they can neither know Him or desire Him. Once the blindness is taken away, the Holy Spirit teaches them – gives them understanding of who He is. So understanding is critical. I want that Spirit of Revelation working in my life, I want to know Him more and gain more understanding.
Wisdom is different. Wisdom is always linked to action. Proverbs is full of the differentiation between wisdom and foolishness. Foolishness is the action of a man or woman who has no understanding. What they do and how they live is a result of what they know or believe. For instance Proverbs 11:24 says “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” The second person is locked in a place of fear, believing that “what I have I need to hold on to, I need to look after me” they have no understanding of how God has created the laws of the Universe. The result of this lack of knowledge is an action – withholding, Solomon observes that this action brings poverty. The first person is different, they have understanding. Though it goes against their natural inclination, they choose to give. Observing further Solomon records that the result of their “giving” action is that they gain more and more. So, we can see that each persons action was a result of their understanding.
Wisdom is the power that births action, it is literally knowing what to do. When Paul prayed this prayer, in essence what He was praying was that the Church would have understanding, that they would know Jesus in ever increasing ways …. AND …. that they would be anointed with a Spirit of Wisdom that they might know what to do as a result of receiving that knowledge.
Knowing Him more should result in a change of action, it should move you in a different direction. That direction may go against what your natural mind says, but the understanding you have received will create the platform for your jump. Wisdom is knowing how to jump, when to jump, it’s the action anointing.
Many of these actions will be internal, you will do things differently the more you see Jesus. Some will be external. Whether internal or external the Wisdom anointing will bring success in your life. That is why Solomon said, “For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it. Prov 8:11 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! yea, to get understanding is rather to be chosen than silver. Prov 16:16”
Solomon is a great example here. When asked by God what he wanted, Solomon asked for Knowledge and Wisdom …. 10 “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” 11 God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you.”… 2 Chron 1:10-12 Solomon asked with intelligence. He prioritized knowledge and wisdom above the things that his soul desired. The result – God rewarded Him with what he asked for – and blessed him abundantly, enriching every part of His life.
As you seek God today and pray Paul’s prayer, do it with the intensity of someone who understands that this prayer is key to the future. Do you want to be powerful for God …. Cry out for wisdom and understanding. Do you want to achieve something great in God …. Cry out for wisdom and understanding. Do you want to affect this world for God ….. Cry out for Wisdom and understanding. Do you want to win people to Jesus …. Cry out for Wisdom and understanding.
I pray this for you today ….. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him
Isa 6: 1-3 In the same year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a grand throne way up high with a flowing cape that filled the whole temple. 2 Bright flaming creatures waited on Him. Each had six wings: two covering its face, two covering its feet, and two for flying. 3 Like some fiery choir, they would call back and forth continually. Holy, holy, holy is the Eternal, the Commander of heavenly armies! The earth is filled with His glorious presence!
Keith Green wrote some amazing lyrics. The late singer/songwriter had a way of encapsulating complex themes in the simplest words.
I’ve listened over and over through the years to his short song of petition, “My eyes are dry”, I love its complex simplicity, it always moves me. It’s the cry of someone desperate for more of God … I want to be that person – always crying out for more.
My eyes are dry
My faith is old
My heart is hard
My prayers are cold
And I know how I ought to be
Alive to You and dead to me
But what can be done
For an old heart like mine
Soften it up
With oil and wine
The oil is You, Your Spirit of love
Please wash me anew
With the wine of Your Blood
Worship takes us to the Throne Room where we see Him in His Glory. How we respond to seeing Him is a matter of the heart. If our heart has become cold and hard, we will walk away unmoved, though still perhaps encouraged by being in His Presence. If our heart is soft we will be moved and will cry out for more of His Grace and Power to renew and change us into His image.
The Prophet Isaiah, during a time when he was suffering the pain of loss in his life, suddenly encounters God in His magnificent Glory as he worshiped in the Temple. His response was “ I am in so much trouble! I’m ruined! I’m just a human being—fallible and stammering. My lips are encrusted with filth; and I live among people just like me. But here I am, and I’ve seen with my very own eyes none other than the King, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. Isa 6:5 Isaiah was overwhelmed by His sense of inadequacy and poverty, and more than that …. His past negative and perhaps destructive conversation, which had flowed from a hardened heart … For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Mat 12:34.
Confrontation with a Holy God can be a painful experience, yet it is His great Love that reaches into our lives and confronts us with the reality of who we are. His desire is to use us. So He touches us with fire, purifies and restores our hearts to that pliable state of innocence, softened again by the touch of God. There is no reproof, no lecture, no condemnation, just love, forgiveness and cleansing.
Many things harden our heart. Its not important to list them, it is just important to know that whatever causes us to lose the softness of our hearts is a cancer. However small something starts it will always grow and create hard places within, causing us to be unmoved by His Presence.
As you spend today seeking Him, you can do no better than ask Him to soften your heart. Take the oil, the Spirit of Love, apply it to your heart and spend an intimate time with Jesus asking Him to wash, cleanse and renew your heart by the wine of His blood.
How effectively you do this will determine how well you hear His voice ….. “Who shall I send” …. He is looking to release you into a new chapter of your walk with Him.
Is your heart soft enough to respond?
A Message for Sunday
Isa 2:2-3 Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
As we begin our day today we are focusing on Worship. It’s important to build a strong foundation for the day that we will spend before the Lord in this way.
Worship orientates us upon God and helps us escape the continual pressure to be focused upon ourselves, our circumstances, our needs and our desires. This is the struggle we face every day as we battle to prioritize the things of the Kingdom of God in our lives. Our natural man pulls at our emotions, uses logic to manipulate our thoughts and uses every kind of mechanism to keep us focused upon our self. We must exercise a kind of violence in order to escape this , that violence is Worship.
“Come and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord”, cries the Prophet. This is the violence, to set our eyes on the Throne, to leave what screams for attention and to climb. Yes, climb. Anyone who has ever climbed a great hill or a mountain will agree that you must keep your eyes fixed on the goal of reaching the top. Otherwise, your self will use the experiences of discomfort, tiredness and pain to convince you that the climb is just not worth it and that it is better to return and “rest”. So it is with Worship, there is a goal – and a continued pressure to “give up” to “make do”. After all surely God understands what I’m going through right now!
Worship always begins with a decision, a determination to “Praise the Lord”. It requires you to fix your eyes upon Jesus and allow the God installed anointing in your Spirit man to drive you beyond your own realm and feelings into the Heavenly Realm where you can encounter His Presence and “learn His ways”. The act of Worship requires a continued pressure to press in, to go higher, for your natural man will always be happy to “make do” and “rest”.
Make today about Worship. As you go to Church, go determined to Worship, to press in, to ascend the Mountain. Join with your friends to weave the supernaturally empowered harmonies of Worship and encourage them by your leadership. Determine that nothing less than the corporate experience of His Presence will do.
The more you stay in the place of Worship today, the more you lay a solid foundation for the week ahead. You’re preparing yourself to hear His voice, you’re preparing your heart so that nothing will detract from your voice being heard by your Heavenly Father. You’re preparing for encounters, for visitations, dreams, visions and Prophetic Words.
I’ll paraphrase the Prophet’s words – come on, let’s do this, let’s go after God like never before, let’s Worship Him. We want to know His plans and hear His voice. We can do this, people!