“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” (Ephesians 1:17).
“Not until we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God’s holiness and sovereignty, acknowledging our own littleness, distrusting our own thoughts, and willing to have our minds turned upside down, can divine wisdom become ours.” J.I. Packer
As a father I hear in this verse Paul’s paternal longing for his children to walk in intimacy with our God. Who of us as fathers were content with just the “first step” of our children? We rejoiced in it but we hoped for more – much more. So it is with “Daddy Paul”. In one short verse we see him pleading with the Triune God to give us vision into the true knowledge of the nature and character of God. This knowledge is not merely for us to systemize our theology but is an invitation into the very mind and heart of God!
A knowing that speaks of a vast intimacy and closeness to the One – the One who spoke both creation and my “new creation” into existence. This growing intimacy is so immeasurable that Paul understands it is something he must continue to receive – both for himself and his “children”.
This wisdom and revelation is not something we conjure up in our own will. It is a gift from God. Head knowledge is needed and helpful in attaining these greater truths but wholly inadequate to the kind of knowledge Paul is asking for here. It must be something that is given by God and received by our hearts – grace/faith. It comes from a diligent desire to sit at His feet and simply gather in what He is ready to bestow.
And so what of marriage – remembering that marriage is a “living parable” of what it is follow Jesus? Does closeness in marriage not require a similar prayer, a similar process wherein we come to know our mate? The mystery that is Robyn will never be known simply by knowing things about her. Deep marital intimacy is a gift I must continually ask God to bestow on me. It demands that I listen closely to His heart (as He is her Creator) as well as to hers.
One of the more common tensions in marriage is when one partner or another believes that “you should just know what I was thinking or feeling”. While there is much that is unfair of this expectation there is a truth in it as well. However, it is a kind of “knowing” that is a gift from God, coming only from continually asking for wisdom and revelation into the heart of the other. Robyn is pleasantly surprised when I seem to have “read her mind” and I give to her what she needed in a given moment. Those moments are too infrequent, “he said to his embarrassment”. I am generally clueless when it comes to blessing Robyn. Yet, as I intentionally sit at God’s feet and ask for new wisdom in blessing her, I will receive it. I believe this.
Oh Lord, I am far from the land of faith and intimacy you have called me to – both in relationship to You as well as Robyn. I long for this not to be so. As the Father of glory would you conceive in me a heart of deep knowing – for You and Robyn. Give me a desire to “keep asking”, knowing that You are never tired of listening and responding. May I truly receive from You what it would be to fully bless the spirit of my earthly “first love” and therein bring honor to You. In the name of the “Father of glory”. Amen.