“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 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.” Ephesians 1:16-17
The Apostle Paul prayed this prayer for the believers in the city of Ephesus. I have prayed it many times for myself and others. I want to know God better. I want others to know Him better. I know, from experience, that my faith, hope and trust are dependent on how well I know Him. I also know, from experience, that I need Him to help me know Him better. That is why I pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. I need Him to teach me about Himself. Without His help, I can know about Him but, at best, my knowledge will be very immature and, at worst, my knowledge will be horribly distorted. God, help me know You!
The first time I heard the gospel, I responded to God. I heard someone say that He loved me and had a wonderful plan for my life, so I prayed and asked Him to come into my heart. I heard true things about God and I believed what I heard: God loved me. However, my understanding was that He loved me because I was cute and had potential. Have mercy on me, I was nine years old! When I got a little older and realized that I was neither cute nor living up to my potential, I had to confront my misunderstanding of God and His love. If I had persisted in it, I would have had to conclude that God couldn’t love me anymore, if He ever had. But the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from God led me to know Him better. I came to understand that He did, indeed, love me, but that it never had anything to do with the cute/potential issue (I never was or had either!). His love has always come from Himself to save me from my wretched condition, even when I was unaware of that condition.
Over the 40 years that I have walked with God, I have grown to know Him better. I need to know Him better still. Many times, I have been confronted with the limited nature of what I know. Many times, I have cast myself down, face to the ground, crying out for mercy for my ignorance and grace to know Him better. Many times, I have had to repent for thinking I knew something about Him, only to realize, with the revelation that comes from His Spirit, that I was completely wrong. Many times, I have had to humbly return to the truth I did know, but forgot in the midst of my own ideas and agendas.
Faith or fear, trust or worry, obedience or self-gratification, hope or despair, confidence or dismay: all swing on knowing Him. Not knowledge about Him. Knowing Him from time in prayer and communion with Him, walking with Him and staying close to Him, doing what He does and seeing His love and power demonstrated all around me. Knowing Him and knowing Him even better, by His Spirit. I do ask that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, will give each of us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know Him better.