March 20, 2018 • Life for Leaders
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.
Would you like to know God better? Would you like to know God more truly? More intimately? More confidently?
Ephesians 1:17 helps to answer the question: How can you know God better? It suggests you can know God better through wisdom and revelation inspired by the Holy Spirit. Let’s unpack this answer a bit further.
Wisdom is not accumulating lots of knowledge but using knowledge well. Wisdom seeks that which is meaningful, relevant, and helpful. It looks for the best among many good things. Wisdom allows you to sift through all that is said about God, identifying that which is true and worthy and relevant.
Revelation does not mean visions of the end of history, such as are found in the biblical book known as Revelation. Rather, the word “revelation” (in Greek, apokalypsis) means “uncovering” or “unveiling.” It refers to times when God makes something known to us, helping us see what we had not seen before.
In Ephesians 1:17, the source of wisdom and revelation that help us to know God better is the very Spirit of God. God shows us more of who he is so that we might know him better and live our lives more consistently with his will.
The Spirit-based blessings of wisdom and revelation referred to in Ephesians 1:17 do not displace the foundational wisdom and revelation of Scripture. In fact, every true insight into God’s nature will be fully consistent with biblical teaching. Often, we receive gifts of wisdom and revelation as we are reading, studying, meditating upon, praying over, discussing, and living the Scripture.
The simple good news of Ephesians 1:17 is that God, through the Spirit, will help us know him better. God does this because he seeks relationship with us (see also Ephesians 1:5 and John 4:24). God wants you to know him better! Thus, we are encouraged to pray as Paul prayed, both for ourselves and for others. May the Lord give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know him better.
Something to Think About:
Have there been times in your life when you have been aware that the Holy Spirit was giving you wisdom or revelation so that you might know God more deeply and truly?
How do you respond to the fact that God desires relationship with you, that God wants you to know him personally?
Something to Do:
With a Christian friend or in a small group, talk about what you have learned about God through the Spirit. Such sharing helps us to clarify what God has been revealing to us.
Gracious God, thank you for making yourself known to us. Thank you for the gifts of wisdom and revelation that come from your Spirit. Today, Lord, I ask for these gifts, so that I might know you better. Open my mind and my heart to a deeper and truer relationship with you. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Lady Wisdom and the “Beginning of Wisdom” (Proverbs 1:20-32; 9:10)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.