Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is it important to seek Spiritual Wisdom?

Ephesians 1:15-23 – 15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,  16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;  17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might  20 which He brought about 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 every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  22 And He put all things in subjection 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.
Why does it matter that we have spiritual wisdom and where does that come from?  Why is it important?

Paul says that he continually prays for the Church at Ephesus that they be granted spiritual wisdom and knowledge.  His desire was to see them develop a character that held to Godly standards.  To see them seek to have God grant them knowledge and insight in a way that only a Christian is capable of receiving.  In a way that only a sanctified mind can do.

A sanctified mind.  A mind that has been set apart for the purposes of God.  Someone who is truly devoted to God and has given their mind to Him.  He prayed that for them because to have that gift from God.  To have that spiritual wisdom, allows us to fully grasp the greatness of the hope and the inheritance that is our in Christ Jesus.
Go back just a little to Ephesians 1:3-14  - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love  5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight  9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him  10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him  11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,  12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.  13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,  14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus! BLESSED BE!!!!  HE IS BLESSED!  The word used for Blessed here is made up of a greek phrase that means to praise or to commend.  Praising God.  It is the supreme duty of all creation.  To praise Him.  And how do we attain an understanding of that?  How do we get our lives so focused on Him that all we want to do is honor and praise Him?  By praying for this spiritual wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and insight.  Once we begin to see a picture of who God really is then we can’t help but to praise Him.

Jeremiah received his calling from God and he began to preach and he began to get discouraged by the naysayers and his so called friends.  But Jeremiah’s walk with God was such that his desire was to please God and not the world.  So much so that he said this of discouragement in Jeremiah 20:9.

Jeremiah 20:9 – But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.

Even when he suffered and was persecuted Jeremiah said he could not keep from praising God.  A walk like that folks isn’t developed by going to church 2 days a week.  A relationship with God like that one isn’t built by going on every church trip.  It’s built by prayer… prayer to God that He would grant you a spiritual knowledge and wisdom.  So that you can walk in obedience to the calling you have received in HIM!

Why is that important?  Why have a spiritual wisdom?  Why have a view of who God is?  The easy answer is of course that we would know His will more and that we would be able to better avoid sinful behavior.  While those are very true things, I want to suggest to you tonight that we need to seek God not to provide some benefit to our lives, but we seek Him so that we might better praise Him with our lives.  That we would find more ways to praise Him.  He consumes more of our life and we eliminate more of the things that hold us back and we praise Him for the freedom.

There are times in my life when I find myself in such a desperate need for the hold of a loving God that I cry out to Him and the tighter He holds me the more freedom I feel.

It is a process of sanctification.  The word sanctify comes from Hebrew and Greek words that mean “set apart.”  So to be sanctified is to be set apart from sin. When you put your faith in Christ, you are released from sin’s penalty and set apart unto God. Yet the process of separation from the power of sin in your life has just begun. As you grow in Christ, you become further separated from the influence of sin and more consecrated to God. The sanctification that takes place at conversion initiates a lifelong process of distancing yourself further and further from sin and coming gradually and steadily more into conformity with Christlike righteousness.

The more you become like Christ, the more sensitive you are to the remaining corruptions of the flesh. As you mature in godliness, your sins become both more painful and more obvious. The more you put away sin, the more you will notice sinful tendencies you need to eliminate. That is the paradox of sanctification: the holier you become, the more frustrated you will be by the stubborn remnants of your sin

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