Summary: The Spirit who brings wisdom and revelation is the Holy Spirit. It is God himself visiting us to give us his wisdom, and to give us revelation. Why? According to Ephesians 1:17 it’s so that we may know him better.
Pursue Understanding: Jesus Is Your Reward
Pastor Jim Luthy
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, will give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better."
As I shared the message that we are blessed, the people of our church began to hear from God:
"God has shown me the way that he loves me."
"I will be more like Christ as his grace enables me to see the many blessings he has brought into my life, and to be more thankful for those many blessings."
"God has shown me that I am blessed and one of his children who does not deserve this blessing but I am grateful for this eternal gift of grace and love."
"God spoke to me in great heights and depths tonight. Boiling it all down I learned that I am blessed…greater than my little human brain can fathom."
"God has shown me how I accept grace from God, but I don’t extend it to other people."
"God has shown me our blessing is drastically different from the worldly blessing."
"God has shown me that there is hope."
A similar experience happened to a compulsive fisherman from Galilee:
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," Peter realized.
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."
When the people in our church began to hear from God, they received the same Spirit that opened Simon Peter’s eyes to understand that Jesus was the Christ. That same Spirit visited our church! That’s the Spirit Paul prayed would come to the church in Ephesus—the Spirit who comes to impart wisdom and revelation. The Spirit who brings wisdom and revelation is the Holy Spirit. It is God himself visiting us to give us his wisdom, and to give us revelation. Why? According to Ephesians 1:17 it’s so that we may know him better.
I heard Chuck Swindoll on the radio say that wisdom is "the ability to take spiritual truths and apply them to practical everyday situations." That’s pretty good, but I would go even farther. Wisdom is also the ability to take spiritual truths and apply them to situations that aren’t of the everyday variety. After all, it’s not every day that you’re trying to decide whether to get married or a spouse asks for a divorce or a child is flunking out of school or your employer lays you off. We need wisdom everyday because not everything we face is an everyday situation.
Isn’t it amazing that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit for those who live on another level is to come and place in you the wisdom of God? Can you think of any better way to live wisely than to have the ability of God to understand how to apply the word that originated in him to the specific situations you face? That’s what happens. In Colossians 2:2-3, Paul writes that Jesus is the treasure chest of wisdom and knowledge. When we receive Christ into our lives by faith, that treasure chest of Jesus is planted in us by the ongoing sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. When that is done, you have received the Spirit of wisdom. It really is an encounter with Christ.
That’s why the person who has been blessed and is living on another level will often say, "I don’t know how I knew what to say, I just knew it," or "the Lord reminded me in his Word that…" Nobody knows where the wind blows from or where it is blowing, but once it’s blown through you, you say "That was God! Thank you Lord!" You see, you’ve just encountered Christ. You’re living on another level. The world doesn’t experience that!
That same Spirit also gives us revelation, which is a little different than wisdom. That word "revelation" is also translated "appearing" or "coming" or "manifestation." It is specifically the glory of God, an illumination of Jesus, like the one Peter received, like the one the two men received at the end of the road to Emmaus, like the one Saul received along the road to Damascus. The Spirit of revelation is the person of God made manifest in your experience. To know him means to encounter him. It is the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing him experientially. When you have the Spirit of revelation, Jesus is made real to you.
Notice Paul did not pray that the church would be scholars of the Bible to know him better. Paul did not pray that the church would graduate from seminary or complete some discipleship program so they would know him better. Paul did not pray that the church would develop a strategic Sunday School or catechism so the children would know him better. These are good things, tools in the hand of God to help us catch glimpses of him, just like any spiritual discipline—fasting, prayer, meditation, solitude--but these things are not necessarily spiritual and are definitely not an end in themselves. The point of all these things is the goal. Jesus is the goal. We want to encounter him. We want to be, as Tommy Tenney describes it, "God Catchers."