July 13-14, 2019. Ephesians 1:22-23. Blessed day 39: The Blessing of Jesus’ Headship.

Ephesians 1:3-21. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… that you may know… what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe… that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Our union with Christ is the source of every one of our spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. These blessings are all rooted in who Christ is and what God has made him to be for us. He is the resurrected One. The glorified One. The Ruler of all things. The Head of the church. And the Fullness of God.

In a letter that is all about the church this is its first mention. And what a glorious first mention it is. The church is the apex of humanity’s union with Christ. We manifest Christ as his body. Together with Christ we share a common life. His life is ours. Our life is his.

The language here in 1:22 is stunning. Christ has been made the head over all things for the church. That is, for the benefit of the church. Christ was raised for the church. He was glorified for the church. He fought the great cosmic war for the church. He is crowned and seated as Lord for the church. He will return for the church. None of this was for himself alone. He already had a throne and a crown and glory before his incarnation. The plan of redemption is for us. To restore us. Humanity. The church. To restore us back to where we were meant to be to the praise of his glorious grace.

The blessing for us here is two-fold:

The blessing of Christ our Head.

Christ rules all things. Not some things. Not even most things. ALL things. Including those nasty rulers, authorities, powers, and dominions we talked about yesterday. Christ’s rule over all things exists for the benefit of us the church.

Pause and ponder that.

This is a huge statement that I would dare say none of us think enough about (if ever). We share everything that is Christ’s. His death and resurrection. His suffering. But also his victory. His reign. His authority. His dominion.

Nothing can defeat us. We are invincible as he is invincible. Even death is just a doorway to the fullness of his life.

What do you think is defeating you today? Where are you feeling fear of failure, guilt, shame, or the unknown. Do you know that Jesus is reigning for you? He rules as your servant-king. Everything is coming under his authority and every enemy under his feet. Is this the Christ you worship and serve?

The invincible army of the dead, not unlike the church, except we’re alive of course.

The blessing of the Church his Body.

The cosmic head of the universe is manifested in your local church. You know the one you get frustrated with, skip going to way too often, and generally take for granted. Your ordinary church with all of its problems and drama is ruled by the King of all creation. Your church, no matter how big or small, urban or rural, rich or poor, contemporary or traditional, is empowered by Christ, sustained by Christ, purified by Christ, enriched by Christ, led by Christ, beautified by Christ, glorified by Christ, and saved by Christ.

Remember, the body is never severed from the head. Christ dwells in the church. He gives it its life. The church is a living organism filled with Christ’s divine eternal zoe life. The church is how we experience the phenomenal blessings of Christ.

But what about all the failures and problems in my church?

Yes. But what if those failures and problems are exactly HOW we experience the gospel of Jesus Christ our head? What of those things that seek to divide us are the things that would drive us to the grace of the cross and unify us under its banner of love and mercy?

What if every time you change churches or skip church for frivolous reasons you’re denying the headship of Christ?

“To live is Christ” is most likely far greater than you and I ever imagined. It is the headship of Christ FOR our benefit. Our salvation. Our redemption. Our restoration. Our rejuvenation. Our exaltation. And all of this through the Church. The Body of him who is our Head. What a glorious gift the church is. What grace of God to join us to Christ as one spirit for the glory of God.

July 12, 2019. Ephesians 1:21. Blessed day 38: The Blessing of Jesus’ Rule.

Ephesians 1:3-21. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… that you may know… what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe… that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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.

In this spectacular “Jesus creed” at the end of Ephesians 1 Paul is bursting at the seams expressing the greatness of our Lord. Jesus is our blessing. And for good reason. He is the resurrected one. The glorified one. The ruling one. The head of the Church. And the fullness of all things.

Jesus is the ruling Lord of all. Look at 1:21 above. Paul piles it on thick here. There is no corner of the universe left unturned. Jesus is above everything. Forever. Full stop.

I want to emphasize here again what we said about Christ’s glorification. Reading Ephesians 1:21 sounds like a description of God – so no surprises there. But we are talking about the man Jesus here. Yes, he’s God. But he’s also human. Wait. What? A human has authority over all of the cosmic powers of the universe?

This reality is enormous for us as mankind. Christ’s union to humanity and humanity’s union to Christ make it possible for us to rule and reign above all the cosmic rulers, authorities, powers, and dominions.

But this has always been our destiny. Humanity is the climax of God’s creation and the vehicle of his own rule and reign on earth. We were made to be co-rulers with Christ since day one. Of course we blew it on day two (or whenever it happened) and we’ve been dominated by the rulers, authorities, powers and dominions ever since, instead of the other way around.

That is until Jesus came. Jesus defeated all of the cosmic powers and openly shamed them when he died on the cross and then rose from the dead.

Colossians 3:13-15. 13 And you… God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

At the cross Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities. They have been effectively defeated, even though they are not yet fully defeated. Soon all of Christ’s enemies will be under his feet, his footstool, but not yet (Psalm 110:1). Skirmishes still occur in the great battle for humanity. Resistance by the cosmic forces. A last desperate attempt to destroy Christ’s Kingdom. But it will fail. It already has. It failed as soon as God decided to take on flesh. It failed when he incarnated. It failed when he died. It really failed when he rose. And it will ultimately fail when he returns.

OK but what are these rulers and authorities, powers and dominions? What are we actually talking about here? Well you’re in the right book of the Bible. Paul talks about these powers all throughout Ephesians. In a nutshell, these powers live in the heavenly realm, are subject to Jesus, influence the course of the world, are baffled by the gospel, and seek to destroy the sons and daughters of God (Gloria Furman. Alive in Him). It can all sound overwhelming and scary except that we are blessed by Christ’s rule over all of these powers.

There are some very different opinions on what or who exactly these powers are. Are they simply human rulers or governments? Probably not. The language Paul uses seems to go way beyond a mere human. Are they conceptual powers or “systems” such as greed, materialism, sexual sin, racism, pride? A strong argument can be made connecting the powers to these big ideas for sure.

But are they also spiritual yet personal forces that have rebelled against God and seek to enslave humanity? Most likely. So these rulers and authorities, powers and dominions are the created spiritual beings that rebelled against God and use the systems of greed, sexual lust, pride and the like to control people and keep them enslaved.

What power controls Macbeth? I think we all know the answer to that?

If this all sounds very ominous it’s because it is. But we would be wise to see that the powers that are against us are primarily manifest in the worldly systems around us but they are not IN us. The rebellious powers have produced within this world a system of power. A system that seeks to gain power through force, through oppression, through greed and control. These are the powers and the false power that your union with Christ has not only freed you from but given you authority and dominion over.

Too many Christians fail to strike the right balance when it comes to the powers that seek to enslave us. Many western Christians ignore the idea of evil powers all together. They have no idea that a battle rages around them. Obliviously they succumb to the world’s thinking plodding through life unaware that they are living as slaves to this world’s system.

Other Christians place way too much emphasis on spiritual powers and turn everything into a demonic attack. Every dream. Every illness. Every temptation. They fail to see the powers as something outside of us, a system that needs to be opposed and stood up to with the armor of God (6:10f). They fail to see that scripture rarely mentions these spiritual powers and is way more concerned with your own personal mindset (the Flesh).

The great blessing for us who are in Christ is that we are free from the slavery of these powers and to the power that they have been selling since the Garden. In Christ we know that true power comes from weakness. From sacrifice. From grace. We live in an upside down kingdom where losing is winning and giving is gaining. Death is life and dying is living. The great spiritual forces of the cosmos are pathetic compared to the power of Christ’s life in us. We don’t ignore them. But we also don’t fear them. They are raging within this world, but we stand immovable with the spiritual blessings of God in the heavenly places ready to oppose the selfish mindsets that they promote.

“To live is Christ” has placed us high above these spiritual powers while at the same time smack dab in the middle of a world plagued by these same powers. Where does that leave us? It leaves us with great courage to face the conquered powers that would seek to destroy those around us. It leaves us walking in justice and mercy as Christ lives through us as the Ruler over all rulers, authorities, powers, and dominions. It leaves us going into all the world with the authority of Christ ready to live and love and change the world.

The Bible Project guys on spiritual powers.

July 11. From the Archives: How to Love Your Enemies Part 1: Remember Your Sonship.

– This past Sunday at my church we started a sermons series entitled “Love Your Enemies.” The first sermon from Matthew 5 and Luke 6 has generated a lot of questions and discussion. So here is the blog post that kicked off the To Live is Christ series called How to Love Your Enemies. Hopefully it keeps the conversation going. Our current series “Blessed” will return tomorrow.

Romans 12:14; 17-21. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Before taking a break from Romans for Holy Week we completed a 13 part look at “How to Love” from Romans 12. All 13 of those blogs dealt with how to love our brothers and sisters in Christ with “genuine love” (12:9). The things Paul says in Romans 12 about love are convicting, challenging, and sometimes seemingly impossible. And we haven’t even gotten to the hardest part yet – love of our enemies.

Love of enemy is the highest level of love. In fact, it doesn’t even exist in the Old Testament Law. By Jesus’ day rabbis were teaching that the law actually said that you could hate your enemies.

Matthew 5:43. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

This is of course not true. The law did not allow for hate. But to be fair, it didn’t tell me to love my enemy either. But Jesus did. He flipped the law on its head with these words:

Luke 6:27-28; 32-36. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

The command to love and pray for your enemies was unheard of. Think about what Jesus is saying. It’s not just a command to avoid trouble, or stay neutral, or even to just not retaliate. It’s not peaceful co-existence, or non-violent protesting. It’s actively doing good to an enemy. It’s preemptively doing for others what you want done to you. It’s being kind to the ungrateful and evil. It’s genuine agape love. The same love that drove Jesus to the cross for his enemies – you and me.

Surely this kind of love is impossible. I can’t even love my friends and family well. Most days I’m happy to just avoid conflicts. But in Jesus’ mind this is not impossible. It’s son-ship – you will be sons of the Most High.

They make it look so easy.

And Paul has the same theology. Nothing he is saying to us in Romans 12 is actually impossible for us. Why? Because we are sons.

Romans 8:14-15. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

But how does my son-ship allow me to love my enemies?

You are a son by God’s grace alone, the same grace your enemy needs. You were once the enemy of God, but he saved you by his mercy. And God can save them by that same mercy. Do you believe this? Do you want this?

Because you are a son of God, you will inherit the universe. Your enemy can’t actually take anything from you. Anything good that you lose will be restored by your Dad. Anything good that you miss out on will be given to you by your Dad.

Because you are an adopted adult son, you have access to the Father at any time. God’s presence is the continual blessing of all who are IN CHRIST. No enemy can block you from the presence of God. You can have God’s joy and peace even when surrounded by enemies.

Because you are a son of the Most High, you are deeply loved and respected. Everything your heart longs for is found in Christ. Love. Acceptance. Respect. Power. Comfort. Security. Honor. No enemy can take these from you, for they are in your heart.

Because you are God’s adult son, you have a purpose beyond the things of this life that an enemy might threaten. Your career, status, romance, reputation, these are not your mission. In fact, your enemy IS your mission, for she is God’s mission.

Because you are a son of God, you can trust God with every part of your life, even the things that an enemy might try to destroy. God is using all things to conform you into the image of Christ the Son. Even persecution. Especially persecution.

Because we are sons of God we have been loved genuinely. Because we are sons of God we can love genuinely. And the most genuine love in the world is to love an enemy. “To live is Christ” gives you everything your heart needs to love. Even those who will never love you back. Even those who persecute you. Even an enemy. Do you believe this?

July 10. Ephesians 1:20-21. Blessed Day 37: The Blessing of Jesus’ Glorification.

Ephesians 1:3-23. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers… 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Paul has taken us from petition to creed. From praying for us to declaring the greatness of Christ. He’s spent this whole chapter telling us about our blessings IN Christ, now he is telling us ABOUT Christ. Jesus is not only the resurrected one, he is the glorified one. He isn’t just alive, he is gloriously alive. He is in the presence of the Trinity again. He is seated on the throne of Heaven at the right hand of God.

This place of honor and power is the fulfillment of God’s prophetic plan for the Messiah. Psalm 110 is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. It begins:
Psalm 110:1. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

When we think of Jesus as God it is no surprise that he is on the throne next to the Father where he belongs ruling the universe. But the shocking part of this prophecy and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ is that a HUMAN is sitting on the throne of heaven ruling the universe. One of us.

The man Aragorn is crowned king.

What God granted to us in the Garden- dominion, authority, and rule- are now finally ours in Christ. Christ is the new Adam and we are the new Eve who reign over the earth. Subduing it, serving it, loving it, and protecting it.

It is because Jesus is on the throne, and because we are in Christ, that Paul can go on to say in Ephesians 2:6 –

[God] raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

We share in the great blessing of Jesus’ glorification and reign. This may be the most shocking of all of our blessings honestly. It is the climax of our blessings for sure. It’s much easier to think about the blessings of mercy that God bestows on us like forgiveness and adoption. We are pitiful and God rescues us out of our despair. Which is, of course true. But to see God putting a crown on our heads and placing us in authority over creation next to Jesus, next to the Father – this is too much. Mercy is mercy and even the pathetic get mercy. But this is grace. Glorious grace beyond belief.

There is great blessing in knowing that we serve an enthroned but embattled king. Look again at Psalm 110:1. Jesus is on the throne but the battle to bring all of his enemies under his feet still rages.

This “already but not yet” reality should bring us great comfort. When life feels like a war that’s because it is. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to make us long for heaven. The heaven where Jesus is orchestrating and awaiting his great and glorious return of the King. But also when life feels like a war we are blessed in knowing that all of Christ’s enemies (and ours) are destined to be under his feet (and ours).

“To live is Christ” means that all that happens to Jesus happens to us. We share in it all, including his glorification. There is nothing in us that deserves this abundant grace and mercy. It is all to the glory of God alone. Soli deo gloria!

July 9. Ephesians 1:20. Blessed day 36: The Blessing of Jesus’ Resurrection.

Ephesians 1:3-23. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers… 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

In Ephesians 1, first Paul lists our spiritual blessings in Christ (1:3-14). Then he prays that we will truly know and experience our blessings in Christ (1:15-19). And then, as if he just can’t help himself, in the middle of praying for us to know God through these spiritual blessings he bursts into one of scriptures’ most majestic descriptions of Christ. This is what we read in 1:20-23. Jesus the resurrected one. Jesus the glorified one. Jesus the ruler of the universe. Jesus the head of the Church. Jesus the fullness of all things.

Jesus IS our blessing!

Today let’s look at the blessing of Jesus’ resurrection.

The resurrection is our starting point. No resurrection, no hope, no life, no glory, no point.

1 Corinthians 15:19. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

We are alive in Christ because he was raised from the dead. We are blessed in Christ because he was raised from the dead. He is the first fruits. We are the bumper crop.

Before Christ, lots of other people were raised from the dead. So what makes his resurrection so special? Christ was raised in glory. Lazarus died again. The widow’s son died again. Jairus’ daughter died again. Jesus will never die again.

Likewise, you and I will die unto a resurrection whereby we will never die again. And the cool thing is that this resurrection power has already begun to do its work in us. It has quickened our spirits. Currently our bodies are mortal yes, but our spirit is immortal. It will never die. The death of the body will send the spirit to the embrace Jesus. To the arms of the Father. And one day the body will “catch up” so to speak.

The Dark Knight’s resurrection.

This is the blessing of union with the resurrected Jesus:

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that God is committed to our full reconciliation – body and spirit.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that evil will not have the final say.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that everything wrong will eventually be made right.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that living a life of sacrificial love is not a waste of time, in fact it is the only way to find real life.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that pure goodness and beauty are alive in this world and made available to us in Christ’s life.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that God wins! All of his promises will be kept, all of his plans will come to completion.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that all the shame of our nakedness will be exchanged for the glorious robes of his honor.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that nothing is meaningless. All that is evil can be turned into glory, and all that is good will never end.

“To live is Christ” joins us to every blessing of Christ’s resurrection. Not just some day. The impact of resurrection power is ours today and every day.

Do you believe this?

July 8. Ephesians 1:19-20. Blessed day 35: Power.

Ephesians 1:3-20. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 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, 18 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1 starts with a glorious list of our spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ (v.3-14). It then shifts into a prayer by Paul for the saints (v.15-23). A prayer for knowledge – that you may know. He prays that each of us would know three things: the hope to which God has called us, the riches of glory that we will receive as God’s inheritance, and finally (the climax of the prayer) the immeasurable greatness of God’s power toward us who believe.

God’s power toward us.

This could be a very scary thought. God aiming his immeasurable greatness, and great might at us and pulling the trigger. Apart from our union with Christ this would be certain doom.

But because we believed now God’s power toward us has done an extraordinary saving work in us. Rather than destroying us it has made us alive. As alive as Jesus. It saved us just like it saved him. From what? From sin and death.

Jesus died. Jesus died guilty. On the cross he became sin for us. But then God aimed his power toward Christ. He rescued Jesus from death and separation. How do we know? There’s only one answer. The resurrection. The greatest display of God’s power ever.

This is the same power that God has used on us.

Let that soak in.

The divine power that raised Christ has raised you and me out of sin and death. Paul’s logic is that if God can raise Jesus, then he can surely raise you and me. We’re not just talking about a physical resuscitation here. We’re talking about a deliverance from the most powerful forces of darkness on earth. If God can lift Jesus out from under the full curse of the law, the eternal weight of sin, and the dominion of death, and then glorify him on the throne of Heaven, he can surely rescue us and complete our salvation giving us all the blessings of the heavenlies today and forevermore.

Power toward Jack Jack. Power in Jack Jack.

Notice that we’re not talking about God’s power IN us (yet). Because Paul’s not talking about that (yet – that’s chapter 3). Before we can talk about God’s power IN us we have to understand God’s power TOWARD us. It is a force from outside of us. An alien power. From God TO us. Never could your own strength or might save you.

This power toward us is HOW and WHY we have every spiritual blessing. God’s power toward us is what forgives us, redeems us, sanctifies us, cleanses us, adopts us, and places us into the realm of Christ. This power toward us is our hope. A hope that is sure because God’s power is sure. It is true. It has never lost a fight, not in Egypt, not in Babylon, and not in the tomb. And it won’t lose now with your salvation.

Of course God’s power TOWARD us becomes God’s power IN us as we are united to Christ by the Spirit. The implications of this power IN us are endless. But for today let’s just stay focused where Paul is here in Ephesians 1 – Because of God’s power toward you, you will be saved. Your future is guaranteed. You can know this hope and know the glory of the riches of being God’s inheritance because you can know that you will be resurrected. How? Because 1) Jesus was resurrected, and 2) you have the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus in you.

It’s that simple.

It’s that powerful.

It’s that permanent.

“To live is Christ” is to have the power of God acting upon you from outside of you bringing a new reality inside of you. It is all of God’s sufficient and immeasurable power guaranteeing your salvation. It is the cause of our future hope. It is the presence of his eternal life. It is the strength of our sanctification. It is our life. What grace.

July 6-7. Ephesians 1:18-20. Blessed day 34: What Do You Pray For (a short meditation)?

Ephesians 1:3-19. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

Paul prays that we will know three things: 1) the hope to which he has called us, 2) the riches of the glory of being God’s inheritance. and now 3) the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.

These are blessings that we already have in Christ. They are our spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. Paul is not praying for hope, or for an inheritance, or for power. He’s not praying for blessing. He is praying for knowledge. Experiential knowledge. Not just an intellectual ability to list facts about our life in Christ, but an actual appropriation of each blessing to the point where they begin to actually change how we think, and relate, and choose, and feel. He’s praying that we know God. Personally and deeply.

Jupiter’s prayer for knowledge (first minute). Great movie, great scene.

Why is it so important to pray for knowledge?

Because all sin is rooted in either ignorance or forgetfulness. If sin is a lack of faith, then what would be the cure? Knowledge. Something to believe in. A truth to place our trust in. And so we ask not for more blessing (we have all of Christ’s blessings we will ever get) but for an ever growing knowledge or experience of those blessings through the truths of the gospel so that our ignorance and forgetfulness will, over time, fade away in specific corners of our thinking.

What do you pray for? Are you asking God for the blessings that you already have? If so, then you aren’t actually experiencing those blessings because you doubt that you actually have them. Instead trust that you have them simply because you have Jesus. Trust the gospel. Trust the Truth. Seek opportunities to be exposed to the truth of the gospel more and more. And then pray to experience the blessings of the gospel and your union with Christ in your heart and mind. Pray for more and more exposure to the gospel through the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the Body of Christ.

Now your praying biblically. Now you’re ready “to live is Christ.”

Sometimes the prayer for knowledge is a prayer of desperation.