The words of the song by Jimmy Cliff, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone” portrays someone who sees an imminent and certain positive change. He talks about the rainbow, and blue sky as signs of how he clearly sees a bright sunny day appearing…..
This is a prayer for that type of comprehension for something new that God is achieving in Jesus Christ…..
Having pointed out the blessings that are for God’s children in Christ, Paul opens up his heart to these Christians……as he reveals how they feature in his prayer life.
Something special about these Christians – something that moves the apostle’s heart to remember these Christians.
I suppose this is a critical element – Christians are attracted to us due certain qualities that they can observe in us.
There are certain fruits that are strictly of God’s children.
Paul has heard something about these Christians:
Vs.15, “your faith” and your love for all the saints”…..
These are qualities that the world would not necessarily look for.
But for us, they are paramount. These are observable in the churches in Ephesus…..these move the heart of the apostle to pray for them……for they are known as people of faith…..people of love.
Look at the content of his prayers for them:
- God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
In life, it is one thing to have knowledge and education and the capability to make money and fame etc., but, and very importantly, it is another to know what to do with what you have……what to do with your life, to perceive and to comprehend what is beyond the surface.
So he prays for wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus.
This is to know Jesus and as a result have superior, discernible comprehension of life as a whole…..
Let me give you an example of what the spirit of wisdom and revelation looks like in someone’s life:
- A spirit of wisdom can be observable in Solomon in 1 Kings 3, there you see someone faced with a difficult situation; but shows a great spirit of wisdom……
One child has died and the other is alive (two mothers fighting over the living one), knowing that the real mother would not let her child die, he devised a plan to have a child cut into two thus exposing the lying mother…..
That is a spirit of wisdom…..
This is what James speaks about when he says that if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask;
James 1:5 “if any of you lack lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault; and it will be given to him.”
This spirit of wisdom is something that we need to pray for others, but also for ourselves…..
We need to be known as people that possess great discernment of life as a whole, who act in a special way, a way that honours our Lord.
That is the spirit of wisdom, let’s have a look a spirit of revelation – to be able to see beyond the natural: see Shadrack, Mishack and Abednigo when they were before Nebuchadinezzer.
Their words show a great level of revelation, when they were told to bow to the statue or they would die they respond – Daniel 3:16
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand O King. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image you have set up.”
Now, often we are called upon to act under difficult situations and we don’t know what to do, I think this prayer brings to the fore a very important aspect:
A spirit of wisdom and revelation: whereby you are able to see beyond what is happening…..see beyond the natural…….see life from God’s point of view……
I want to say to you this morning, this prayer is a prayer we need to have for ourselves and for Christians in general, so that when we are called upon, we know how to respond.
I saw an interview with a lady on a Christian TV station, she was testifying how God had saved her from her life of multiple men relationship / almost from prostitution…..what stood out as she spoke was how she lacked a spirit of wisdom in the way she was dressed: she was dressed like a prostitute, in her mini-skirts…..
She was still dressed as if she wanted to seduce someone…..and yet now she is testifying about how God had saved her from the life of seducing men……
We need wisdom in how to behave as Christians, spirit of revelation, so we look at life from spiritual point of view.
That reveals that we are experiencing growth in our knowledge of Jesus ……
- The eyes of your heart (heart may be moved / comprehend) enlightened so that you know the hope to which he has called us.
The world doesn’t know real hope. It knows hope that is no hope but just wishes……Christians, on the other hand know something special…..
For there is a hope that God has called them into……
It is the hope of eternal life……the hope of life not remaining as it is forever……a time when God will do a reversal of fortunes……
A life whereby God would turn our mourning into dancing……tears into endless joys; death into endless days.
Sometimes, we are not able to see this, faced with a life like everyone else, difficult times come to us as to others……
The hope of eternal life doesn’t seem to make a difference in our lives.
Beloved, when we are faced with difficulties, we need like no other, to hold on, to reclaim God’s promises to us.
Who I am today, what I experience today is not the final experience by any means….
God has reserved something special for his children…..something that cannot be fully comprehended in this life…..
But this is our hope – that God will turn our experience of lacking and mourning into a time of endless joys……
We need to comprehend this, we need to pray for such comprehension……in these days of sorrow and sin and fear, we need to refocus again on the fact that God has a special day coming for his own……
A day when no pain or suffering, or lack will be experience – that is the hope God has called us into.
And that is, (according to vs.18) the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, which basically means that this great future, our future where mourning is turned into dancing; is God’s glorious inheritance in the saints……this future will benefit us in ways we cannot fully comprehend today.
But also, this future is God’s glorious inheritance, he looks forward to what he will do in us……
When we will forever be dancing a song of joy…..song of praise forever……that is his inheritance.
- To discern the great power that is at work in us who believe, vs.19-20.
We Christians often live our lives as if we were part of a defeated, dead Christ…..Christ who claims to be the Messiah, but was not and was proven by being crucified and his life ended at the grave.
We miss the fact that we belong to the Messiah, the true Messiah, the One who was dead but now is alive…..the one whose claim as the true Son of God were all proven true when God raised him from the dead….
Paul here reminds and prays that we would comprehend this truth, that the God we are serving has this incomparable power (power that raises someone from the dead).
Paul prays that we may comprehend the fact that the same power that was at work in raising Jesus from the dead ——is at work in us today…..
Think through this – what is impossible with this God? If he conquered the grave, what would be impossible for him……what would he find difficult to do in our lives if it’s in his will to do…..
Think through this – the things we fear most……the things that greatly concern us…..are things that are powerless when they capture afresh the power at work in us……
Do you see what we fear, in the light of what God has done in Jesus, we should not fear?
We should be like the Leper who once said to Jesus, “If it is your will you can make me whole.”
The leper believed nothing was impossible with God…..that same attitude should be present in us…..
As we close, our prayer is that you can say, I can see clearly now the future is full of hope (eternal life is real).
I can see clearly now the power is at work in us (me).
I can see clearly now the wisdom and revelation in Jesus Christ…..
That your life may be clearly discernible……that you can stand and face whatever demon, whatever fear, whatever challenge you may be facing today, knowing of God’s power at work in you…..knowing the great hope of God’s great future for us who believe.