Paul writes down some of his prayers for the Ephesians. By looking at what he prays for we can learn more about what parts of our inheritance in Christ are available to us now. These things that Paul prays for aren’t automatic or he wouldn’t need to pray that the Ephesians receive them. Instead, they are available but must be pursued.
“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…”Ephesians 1:17-20
Here are more things that come with the inheritance of Christ. Every believer has access to these but must pursue them:
- “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation”: this is when the Holy Spirit in us begins to supernaturally download God’s wisdom to us. It is insight that can’t be attained through natural means. God reveals things to us by His Spirit. When we get glimpses of the mind of Christ, we get to know Him better.
- “eyes of your heart…enlightened”: this is the ability to see and sense things that we couldn’t before. Sometimes it is sensing things about another person. Sometimes it is an “ah ha” moment when reading Scripture. Sometimes it is just the ability to view a hard situation from God’s perspective. Specifically, Paul prays that the Ephesians would have the eyes of their hearts enlightened so that can come to know two things – hope and power.
- “the hope to which he has called you”: hope is part of our inheritance as believers. Part of the reason we can have hope in any situation is because of the riches of this glorious inheritance that has been given to us by Christ. The hope of the gospel is an unconditional hope not dependent on circumstances. But this hope isn’t automatic; it must be pursued and held onto.
- “his incomparably great power”: believers have access to the same power that rose Jesus from the dead. This is part of our inheritance! This power comes from the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Romans 8:11 says, “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you.” This power is not something to take likely. More power is entrusted to those who are good stewards of what they’ve already been given. Miracles become a more regular part of a believer’s life when they begin to operate in more power from the Holy Spirit.
As one can see, we’ve not only been given salvation in Christ but so much more!
Imagine a teenager living in poverty with a huge inheritance sitting in his bank account untouched. He doesn’t know it’s there and he doesn’t know how to access it. When family members have tried to tell him about it, he doesn’t believe them. When family members tell him that the first step in receiving what’s in the account is believing it is really there, he skeptically responds, “If this inheritance was real, I shouldn’t have to believe it is there for it to exist.” He ignores their response as they tell him his unbelief doesn’t change the reality of its existence but instead hinders his ability to access it. The longer he refuses to access his inheritance (or learn how to access it) the more he struggles in poverty.
This is much of the American church. We live in such spiritual poverty that we struggle to believe in the reality of the inheritance that has been given to us. The “riches of his glorious inheritance” is beyond measure! Are we willing to pursue it and receive it?