Thoughts on Ephesians
Guest post by Yulia Beatty
Where do your thoughts go when you find yourself by the sea? The vastness and power of the sea make me think of how small and frail I am. But I also think of peace, boundlessness, a mystery hidden in the deep that can only be revealed if I walk further in and dive down deep to see them.
Walking with our God is like walking into the sea. The prayer of Paul in Ephesians 1 calls me to go deeper.
Paul prays that through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation we may know:
• the nature of the hope to which He has called us (1:18)
• the true and imperishable riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (1:18)
His incomparably great power for us who believe
Paul does not pray for an abundance of new things we are yet to learn and experience, but for depth in our understanding and obedience to the things that were revealed to us when we first believed.
Paul knows I am in the water and can swim, but he prays I will take a dive deeper into the ocean!
What treasures we find!
Paul’s prayer also reveals to me how he himself focused on God and His work. He models to me how to fill my prayer with the truth about who God is – Who for the sake of His grace made me alive with Christ, Who is King over all heads and principalities in all times in every place! Paul reminds me to pray in the power of the Spirit to continuously strive toward getting to know Him better.
Attention, strong current!!
The incomparably great “POWER” which raised Jesus from the dead, is for us who believe. This means that in my internal and external struggles I am never alone and I am never powerless. The Spirit of God is in me. God empowers me for “…when the day of evil comes, to stand my ground, and after I have done everything, to still stand” (Eph 6:13).
God’s armor enables me to overcome my impatience, to defend my unpopular Christian opinion, to unapologetically teach my kids to follow the gospel regardless of the social pressures around them, seek conflict resolution, walk away from temptation, and share the gospel with courage.
A new way to pray!
We tend to pray for friends who are in trouble, but rarely pray for those who are doing alright. Indeed, it’s unusual to pray for them as Paul did. But this kind of prayer is eternally significant for our spiritual well-being, as well as for the well-being of our coworkers, church members, and our spiritual and physical children! (Eph 6:18-19).
Let’s be honest!
Even though the presence of God and His consistent love in our lives does not change, I’m sure you would agree that at times we get distracted. Instead of surfing with joy on the waves of our spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph 1:3-14), we act like children who don’t know how to swim—so we play in a puddle or worse yet decide to take a walk into the desert!
When I realize I’m out of touch with the Lord, I am also reminded how apart from Him I can neither grow nor serve Him well. That moves me to walk deeper into the sea. Even if the water seems really cold at first, I keep walking forward—that is, I return to studying and meditation on Scripture. And as I take steps deeper into the water, Paul reminds me that in Christ I am chosen (1:4), saved by the grace of God who raised me and made me alive in Christ (2:4-9). He insists my life in Christ has a different look (5:1-2, 5:8-11) and a new purpose (2:8-10; 5:8-11, 5:15-16).
Living With Eternal Intentionality®
Where do you think God would have you dive in for greater depth of understanding from these Thoughts on Ephesians?
How have you experienced God’s strong power in the face of opposition?
Using the promptings from Let’s Be Honest! describe your current walk with the Lord.
Yulia is Belarusian by birth and a linguist by training. A mother of two boys, she speaks five languages, and is an accomplished TEDS graduate. Since 1999, Yulia has been with Cru, initially ministering to students in Belarus before following her husband David to Albania, where he had lived and ministered since 1991. Currently, the Beatty family lives in Hungary.