Yesterday, we discussed that God knows everything about us and loves us. That led me to think about us knowing God better. If I don’t spend the time with our Lord God every day, it’s easier for me to act and react like the world would, instead of following the path He directs and lights for me. If I don’t spend time with Him, it is much easier for my sinful nature to take over – and that seldom works out well. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
If you have eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, you have come to know God. Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) And yet we need to know God far more deeply than we do. After 25 years as a believer, the apostle Paul said that he had not yet attained to knowing Christ as he ought, but he pressed on toward that goal (Phil. 3:8-14). And if that was true of Paul, who wasn’t exactly an average believer, how much more is it true of us! As the prophet Hosea wrote, “let us press on to know the Lord.” (Hosea 6:3)
That his readers would know God more deeply is the main theme of Paul’s prayer. “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 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. I pray 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 His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when he raised Christ 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 name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” (Eph. 1:15-23).
He had just unfolded that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. These blessings include being chosen by the Father (1:4-6); redeemed by the Son, who has also revealed to us God’s eternal purpose (1:7-12); and, sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). Then Paul writes (1:15), “For this reason…” and goes on to tell them how he prayed for them. The logical connection is, “Because God has given us such a wealth of spiritual blessings, I pray that He would grant you a deeper experiential knowledge of Him.” Paul’s prayer shows us that we should pray often for one another and what we should pray when we do pray.
We should also apply Paul’s prayer to ourselves. We also ought to be praying, “Lord, give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing You. Grant the same for my mate and my children, and for all of the saints in our church.” Paul’s prayer here teaches us that…We should pray that God would grant that His people know Him more deeply.
Knowing him personally involves knowing many facts about him, but it involves more. Personal knowledge involves a relationship. It requires time spent together. Paul is not praying for an academic knowledge of theology about God, although that is necessary in the process of knowing God. Rather, he is praying for a personal, experiential knowledge of God Himself through Jesus Christ, who is the only way to know the Father (John 14:6, 9).
Are you growing to know God personally through Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit reveals Him to you through His Word? Is spending time with God in His Word a priority to you? Knowing God is your supreme need. The quest of your life should be to know Him more and more. With Paul, you should be able to say (Phil. 3:8), “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
- Life Application Study Bible (NIV)
- Knowing God More Deeply