What comes next?

You’ve heard the Good News of Jesus. You’ve believed and “given your life to Christ.” Is that it? Are we done here?

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, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Eph 1:16-21)

According to Paul we’re not done – we have a whole-life’s work to do. Elsewhere he called it a race to be won.

Paul prays for the Ephesians. Giving thanks and remembering them. Then he goes on to say:

  • That God may give you the Spirit of wisdom (specifically the kind of wisdom that comes from experience – practical wisdom)
  • and revelation (uncovering, unveiling) in the knowledge (the kind of knowledge requiring active participation of the learner) of him
  • that the eyes for your heart will be enlightened (clear to all)
  • that you may know (understand) the hope he’s called you to
  • what are the riches of his inheritance
  • what is the greatness of his power

He describes a building knowledge. He uses different words that in English are just “knowledge.” Behind that one word is some very different meanings.

1. Knowledge from experience. That means that you’ve used it. That the knowledge has grown through practice. It’s practical, It’s useful.

2. Then he mentions revelation. The unveiling of what had been hidden. That leads to another kind of knowledge. This one involves our work. The learner is working with God to understand and grow. To take what has been unveiled and make their own.

3. All of this is to get to the last “know”. That you understand the gift of hope he’s given. And the riches of your inheritance. And the greatness of his power.

Why does it all lead to understanding the gift, the inheritance and the greatness? Those things sound so passive. If it was the end of the story, it would seem like kind of a letdown, wouldn’t it? But, think about it. Understanding the gift, the riches, and the greatness gives us the incentive to continue. It gives us our purpose and focus. A lens to see everything through. To work to know more. To understand more. To start again with more experience knowledge. More learning knowledge. And more understanding knowledge. Continuing to keep in step with the Spirit.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Gal 5:25)