That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Note 4 at Eph 1:17: Just a few verses earlier (Eph 1:8), Paul said God had already abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence, and had made known unto us the mystery of His will. Here, Paul was praying that we would receive the "spirit of wisdom and revelation." Isn't that contradictory? Not at all.
The word "spirit" is used in different ways in Scripture. The dominant usage is to refer to either the Spirit of God or the spirit of man. In that context, it denotes the person of the Holy Spirit or identifies a part of our three-part being (1Th 5:23). The word "spirit" can also describe a "mental disposition" (Strong's Concordance). This is the same thing that we mean when we refer to "team spirit" or "school spirit." That is the way Paul was using "spirit" here and also in Eph 4:23.
We already have wisdom and prudence in our born-again spirits. These things came as part of the "package deal" of salvation. We have to draw these things out of our spirits and get them into our minds and bodies to receive any of the benefits in this life. Therefore, Paul was praying that what is already true in our spirits will become our mental disposition. He was praying for a release into the physical of what is already present in our spiritual being.
Note 5 at Eph 1:17: You cannot get a revelation of something that doesn't already exist. The Greek word "APOKALUPSIS," translated "revelation" here, means "disclosure" (Strong's Concordance). It is derived from the Greek word that means "to take off the cover" (Strong's Concordance). Paul wasn't praying for the Lord to give us anything new. He was praying for us to receive a revelation of what is already ours (see note 6 at this verse).
Note 6 at Eph 1:17: Notice that Paul didn't pray that God would give them more and more things, but rather that they would get a revelation (see note 5 at this verse) of what had already been freely given to them in Christ.
The Christian life is not an attempt to get more faith, more anointing, or to get closer to the Lord. We already have these things in their fullness (see note 16 at Ro 12:3). We just need a revelation of what is already ours.
Understanding this takes a lot of frustration and doubt away. It's much easier to release something we already have than to try to get something that we don't have. And why would any of us doubt that we would receive what we already have? Through Christ, we are already blessed with all spiritual blessings (see note 2 at Eph 1:3). All we have to do is appropriate what is already ours, through the renewing of our minds (see notes 6-9 at Ro 12:2). That's exactly what Paul was praying for these Ephesians. Insert your name in this prayer and get ready to receive.
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