A Deeper Knowing

November 26, 2023
A Deeper Knowing

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 1: 15 - 23 (NIV)

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I 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. 18I 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, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far 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. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.


MessageA Deeper Knowing

The man who’s praying…

These are the words of a man expressing a serious wish to the readers of his letter

Paul is exited to hear about the faith of the Ephesians - thanking God for their faith

How nice is not to receive a letter from someone saying that he is excited about your faith and that they thank God every day for our faith!

This gesture tells a story about who Paul was

Paul is in prison in Rome when he is writing these words - again!  (Biblical scholars know of six instances where Paul spent time in prison and estimate about 5 and half years of prison time)

Let’s just remind ourselves that prison was a horrible place

There’s a good chance that Paul was tortured in prison

A good chance that got real sick in prison - diseases and bad food

Yet he finds a way to write - and he writes, sharing his excitement about their faith!?

Seeing the faith of the Ephesians gave Paul huge satisfaction - it was a fulfillment of his life purpose

He was called by Jesus himself, on the road to Damascus, to spread the faith

He was a changed man and where Paul came on his journeys, he inspired others to follow Jesus

There was something different to this man!

He was the guy that was known to sing worship songs to God while being locked up in chains

He is the one who writes to believers telling them how excited he is about their faith…

A wish for a deeper knowing

Paul then he goes further in his letter to pray for them to “know” (Greek word Giknowskoo)

He is asking God that they would have more than just factual knowledge 

He is praying for an understanding or realization of Who God is and of the hope they carry in their hearts

He is praying to a deep inner knowing, way more than just a factual knowledge

His prayer is asking God to bless the readers of his letter with the same deep inner knowledge of Who God is and the hope that there is in Jesus

In effect, he praying:  “God, give them what you gave me”

Because Paul knows that it is this deep inner knowledge of God in his life that gives him the strength to endure all the difficulties that crossed his life path

Paul is asking:  “God, give the deep knowing of Who you are so that they might endure when the tough times come!”

I am always fascinated by the stories of the apostles enduring… singing while in prison… glorifying God while being stoned to death… the thought that they literally gave everything to be followers of Jesus and that they did it with a great passion

Can I tap into that?

Is it possible for me to discover some of that same resilience in my life when challenges comes my way?

What a deeper knowing might look like

Although we don’t find ourselves being thrown in prison for being followers of Jesus today, this same deeper knowledge that Paul speaks of is seen around us today

We can thank God for the faith of believers around us today that inspires us

And in line with Paul’s prayer, my prayer is that we will discover this deeper knowing that we read of through the inspiration of faith and hope we see around us

We need to open our eyes and look around us how a deeper knowing of Who God is and the hope in Jesus help people to endure challenges

Think of the believer that is diagnosed with cancer and keeps believing and serving God through the terrible news

Think of the believer that gets up and keep going in spite of emotional challenges

Think of the believer that keeps on coming back despite being hurt by lovelessness

Think of the believer that completely trusts that God will provide despite the odds being stacked 

Think of the believer sings to the glory of God while there is more than enough reason to lament

Think of the believer that refuses to give up on a relationship even though the person in this relationship is insensitive and hurtful

Think of the believer that makes a conscious choice to forgive when everyone else says what was done is unforgivable 

That is what a deeper knowing of Who God is and a deeper knowing of the hope in Jesus looks like

It is all around us - this deeper knowing Paul is praying about…

The Power of a deeper knowing

Hearing these words of Paul today, God is calling us tap into this deeper knowledge that Paul talks about

Let us recognize what power this deeper knowing Paul talks about holds

Let us turn to God when the hard times come

Let us hold on to the hope we have in Jesus when we run out of answers

Because it is the power of growing to know God more and more…

And the power of discovering the hope of Jesus time and time again…

That will give us the ability to endure!

The ability to sing when we are in chains and the ability glorify God when we are being stoned!



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