February 22, 2018
Ephesians 1:15-18 (NIV)
Some years back a trend sprung up around the country in churches known as the seeker movement. Churches began to reorganize their Sunday morning worship services to be what they called “seeker sensitive” or friendly toward newcomers. The well-intentioned assumption was that newcomers did not know God and were coming to church to seek God, therefore, we should do everything possible to make them feel welcome and comfortable and not “put-off” by anything that might smell like “church” to them.
Now, note Paul’s assumptions. First, he is speaking to real Christians: “ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people (v.15).” Now, watch how Paul prays for these saints. He prays for them to receive
- the Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
- so that you may know him better, and
- that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, in order that
- you may know the hope to which he has called you,
- the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and to borrow a gem from tomorrow’ text,
- his incomparably great power for us who believe. (v.19a NIV)
In short, Paul prays for real Christians to become real seekers. Sure, seekers may be people who are lost and searching for God; however, the Bible seems to identify the most earnest seekers as those who already know Jesus.
O.K., Christian, now go back and read the list above and tell me you don’t want every one of those gifts in ever-increasing measure. Followers of Jesus, you are seekers of the first order, whose appetite is not satisfied by discovery but deepened.
We are awake yet ever in need of deeper awakening—of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so we can know Jesus better, so the eyes of our hearts can be more enlightened, so we can know the hope and live into the inheritance and walk in the incomparably great power of faith.
This is Paul’s idea of a seeker sensitive church. He identifies himself a the lead seeker. I am so challenged by the words he uses to frame his approach to the church. Did you catch them?
In v.17 he says, “I have not stopped giving thanks,” and in v.18, “I keep asking.”
Could these be the two main muscle groups the Holy Spirit wants to strengthen in us: thanking and asking? I never stop thanking. I keep asking. Two lists: I am thankful. I am asking. You take it from here.
Abba Father, we thank you for your son, Jesus, who teaches us to ask and seek and knock; who beckons us who have found to seek first the Kingdom of God and your righteousness. Come Holy Spirit and grant me this holy obsession to never stop thanking and never stop asking. Make me a seeker of the first order. We pray in Jesus name, amen.
- Are you a stronger seeker when it comes to thanking or asking?
- How might you participate more deeply in the Holy Spirit’s work to strengthen the seeking muscular system of your soul?
- Reflect on the difference between striving with human strength and seeking in the Spirit’s strength.
P.S. Today we are in Houston at Chapelwood United Methodist Church hosting a one day New Room Gathering. Would you be praying today’s text into this gathering? So often conferences can be occasions where leaders come to download content on listeners. We pray for New Room to be a place where we are all standing in the “live stream” of the presence of God together; seeking and receiving together as one. I’ll give you and update tomorrow.
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.