I wonder what resolutions you’ve made, if any? I wonder what your hopes and aspirations are, even your prayers for yourself and others? Are they just need based, problem solving, helping etc.?
Paul’s pray for the Ephesian Christians was the opening of their eyes that they may know God (1:17).
God, you say, haven’t they come to know him? Isn’t it obvious?
The reality is no it is isn’t:
1. Some have started out with false or inadequate images of God,
2. The enemy is always contending it, and
3. Many of God’s people stall in their knowledge of God. It’s like getting saved and knowing I will go to heaven when I die, is it, a transaction. Oh, and we can pray, as if God were there just to respond to needs, requests etc..
Fact is, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. God saved us not only that we might live with him eternally, but that he might live with us in time – wow! Staggering thought! Staggering truth! He’s not way over there, out there somewhere, as it were, in some other dimension, but he’s right here, we can know him in this dimension. God had always designed to dwell with man.
Jesus said that he came not only to bring us salvation and reconcile us to God but that God might come and dwell within our very hearts. Paul in his letters to the churches speaks of both the individual and the corporate body of believers as the temple of the Spirit, the dwelling place of God, both a sobering and an exhilarating thought/truth. The question is what do we know of it?
Too often it can be just words, whether in song or creed, affirmations of what we believe about God, but not personal experience, not relationship – God known and encountered day by day.
If there’s something I would want to encourage as a new year resolution or prayer, it is growth in the knowledge of God, not as an intellectual exercise (and yes that will be part of it), but as a very real experience. Growth and relationship with God especially as Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
That means we need to be open to all God’s word (are you – or do you read the sections you are comfortable with?), and open to all his personhood – Father, Son and Spirit. In the measure that we close off part of our experience of God, so will our worship and walk and well as our relationship with him in some measure be affected or restricted.
Do you find yourself just praying to one member of the Trinity? Do you find yourself using the names interchangeably (as if they are all the same)? Do you struggle with the idea of God as Father? Do you know the continual saving power of Jesus? What about the Holy Spirit – are you scared off by what you’ve heard?
“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….” (Eph 1:16-17)