Ephesians 1:16-17 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”
How do people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Christ? Is being a better person or being more obedient to His Word critical for living as a believer? When someone asks these types of questions it can be encouraging, knowing that someone desires these qualities indicates a heart change that is real.
Years ago I was involved in a small country church in Oregon. There was a dynamic work of God moving in this quiet little place and it was drawing in people by the scores. Within a few short years this church grew from 25 people to 500+ people. On Tuesday nights there was a small group of 100 people or so who would meet to worship, teach, give testimony, and encourage one another. The move of the Spirit was so apparent you would have thought the cloud of God’s presence hovered over that place. One night, a brother in Christ shared with me his desire to understand what Paul was speaking when he mentioned the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. The very idea of being endowed with this Spirit sounded deep and elusive in nature.
Proverbs 4:11-13 “I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.”
The Gift is Given
An important first step is in realizing how to acquire wisdom and revelation is to understand it is a gift.
Wisdom and revelation is directly associated with the Spirit of God.
Personally, I used to think these gifts were a separate manifestation from God, but as I sought after these gifts I began to realize that I can’t acquire these gifts apart from God, I can only acquire them with God.
By searching for the gifts apart from God, it’s easy to miss the real blessing—-the One who gives the gifts.
Job 42:1-6 “Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
you asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”
If we speak of things we do not know, particularly when it pertains to the things of God, we devalue His work. We have very little understanding of how vast God’s work is when it comes to even a single act, if we can only see from our point of view, how are we to see and understand from God’s point of view?
Walking in Humility
The dust has always been a reminder of where we came from and where we will return—lowering ourselves down to the dust symbolically places us in a position where God might be lifted up.
Ashes are a reflection of repentance. The ashes of the altar were continually burning as a means of signifying the death required for sin. The sacrifice of animals was meant to be a type and shadow of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus offered upon the cross.
If we want to know God on a deeper level, we have to be prepared to forsake our old way of thinking. It is the empty vessel that God wants to fill and if these vessels of flesh are filled with pride, fear, lust, or bitterness, we will have difficulty accepting anything of value otherwise it might be corrupted. You don’t place new wine in old wine skins, otherwise they will burst, so it is with the things of God.
Wisdom and revelation does not belong to us….it is God’s. When the Lord opens our eyes to see, He is in essence showing us a part of Himself.
To be filled with the wisdom and knowledge of God is like God pouring His new wine into you. The Lord must make you new for you to receive all that He wants to give you.
When we see God granting wisdom or revelation we see various aspects of His glory, His character, His love, and often His plans are revealed.
Psalm 119:118 “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.” When David began to understand the value of God’s law, his eyes were opened. Knowing and receiving the wisdom of God is knowing where to look.
Numbers 24:16 “the prophecy of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open:“ Balaam was a diviner, a wicked soothsayer who was hired by Balak to curse Israel. When Balaam was pressed to curse Israel, the Lord spoke to Him and commanded him to pronounce a blessing instead. The diviner became a prophet by the Word of God. God took a vessel meant for wickedness and used it for good.
Exodus 33:17-19 “So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Moses’ interaction with the Lord on Mt. Horeb became a moment of clarity. When Moses asked the Lord to show him His glory, Moses did not understand what he was asking. The Lord revealed to Moses that His glory was revealed in His name which demonstrated His goodness. Moses desired the Lord and the Lord showed Him much more.
Ephesians 1:18 “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” When Paul encouraged the ephesian christians, he revealed to them his prayer for them. Idolatry was pervasive in that region and their minds had been darkened to the things of God because of it. When the ephesians encountered the living God, the Spirit of God was manifest to them and their eyes became opened. Paul’s prayer reveals that understanding continues to be revealed as these believers walk in the Spirit.
What we see demonstrated in each of these people’s lives is how each person had a genuine encounter with God. When a person encounters the living God, their life is changed. For those who receive Him, they are changed forever….What follows is a sense of wonder and awe.
When you draw close to the Lord in obedience, you will receive much more than you expected:
* You will have a greater sense of God’s majesty.
*A deeper revelation of who God is and the Hope that is in Him.
*You will gain understanding of what is truly valuable.
*Your path will be made straight.
* You will gain understanding of what true humility looks like.
Do you seek any of these attributes?
If you do, you are not alone. I’ve yet to meet any true believers that don’t earnestly desire more of all that is mentioned here. Knowing where to look, how to seek, and what it means to ask for this type of a relationship is only part of the journey.
I am fully convinced that God doesn’t make anything difficult to acquire. He desires to give us good gifts, He wants us to know Him more, and He understands the joy we gain when we grow in Him.
Isaiah 11:2 “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him–the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD.”
God is waiting for you to seek Him and when you step forward in humility and obedience you will be able to understand what Isaiah spoke of so long ago…
The Spirit of the Lord rests upon you.