06/14/M – That You May Know

Isaiah 40:18-41:16; Ephesians 1:15-23; Psalms 67:1-3; Proverbs 17:6

OT: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary… But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, my friend  — I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are my servant; I have chosen you; I haven’t rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand… For I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, who says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you. Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel. I will help you” — this is the Lord’s declaration. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (‭‭Isaiah‬‭ 40:28-31; ‭41:8-10, 13-14‬ ‭CSB)

For those who are called of the Lord, He will give a calling that is much bigger than our ability or capacity to do on our own. Many times, upon receiving that call, one of our tendencies is to fall into fear instead of faith. We will say things like, “There is no way I can do that… I don’t have enough know-how… I don’t have enough energy… I don’t have enough influence… I don’t have enough time in the day.” Another of our tendencies is to charge full steam ahead and attempt to make God’s call on our life happen immediately. Neither reaction is what God desires from us. God’s desire is that we wait on Him and allow Him to fulfill His call through us in His time as we trust and obey His leading.

To the young and impulsive – those who want to charge ahead and make things happen, the Lord says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Even though they may start out with such strength, confidence and vigor, youths eventually become faint and weary and young men eventually stumble and fall.” To the fearful and faithless, the Lord says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Though you may be lacking in resources and are not able to accomplish what I have called you to on your own, the Lord has no limit to His understanding and strength.” To both the fearful and the overly self-confident, the Lord says, “Wait on Me… I am the One who has chosen you… I am the one who has called you. I will be with you, I will strengthen you, I will help you, and I will hold on to you. Do not fear, wait on Me.”

The CSB version uses the word ‘trust’ but most people know this passage though the use of the word ‘wait’… those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. The Hebrew word in that passage is the word qavah. There is a trust element there, but the word has more to do with looking with hopeful expectation. The literal translation of the word is to bind together, like cords of a rope are bound together. Waiting on the Lord has to do with keeping your eyes ever on the Lord and not allowing yourself to be separated from Him. When He stops, you stop. When He goes, you go. You don’t get out ahead and you don’t lag behind. You wait for His every move and do whatever He does. When we remain inextricably linked to the Lord… yoked to Him, if you will… our strength will always be renewed and we will never get weary and run out of steam. He will help us accomplish the call that He has given us through His strength and understanding.

NT: “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens  —  far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.” (‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:17-23‬ ‭CSB)

As Paul sat under house arrest in Rome and prayed for the believers in Ephesus, he didn’t pray that they would have the resources that they needed – he prayed that they would know what they needed to know. Many times, as we are trying to be good Christians and do all the things that we are supposed to do, we can get focused on our lack and always feel like we need more. While there is nothing wrong with asking for what we need – even Jesus taught us to ask for what we need in faith – Paul wanted the Ephesian believers to understand and know the endless riches and power they already had.

The Greek word for church is ekklesia, which means a called-out people. The church in Ephesus was comprised of people who had been chosen and called by the Lord… and Paul wanted them to know that with that calling, there was a binding hope. With that calling, there was a glorious inheritance of wealth unending. With that calling, there was an immeasurable amount of power available to those who believe. God exercised that power by raising the crucified Christ from the dead and seating Him in the ultimate place of power and authority. God gave Christ all power and authority over everything… and He did it all for the sake of the church, so that the church could be His body on earth and express His fullness and greatness on earth in every way. As we the church, the body of Christ, remain in Christ and inextricably linked to Him, we will have at our disposal everything we need to express the fullness of God and see His name glorified on the earth.

Psalms: “May God be gracious to us and bless us; may he make his face shine upon us Selah so that your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, God; let all the peoples praise you.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭67:1-3‬ ‭CSB)

A common theme that runs throughout the whole of the Bible is that God desires to bless us that we may be a blessing to others… and as we are a blessing to others, even through impossible situations, God is glorified, His way is known on the earth, and salvation is released among all the nations. May God be gracious to us as we wait on Him, that the world may know His goodness.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that with Your calling comes Your equipping. It can be nerve wracking when You call me to things that I can’t do on my own, but I know that peace will come when I ever look to You and wait on You in faith. I choose to remain in You by faith and stay with You by grace. Work in me to will and do Your good pleasure, that I may glorify Your name. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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