18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
The purpose of Paul’s prayer was that the Ephesians would know factually three things. We are to know three “whats”; each “what” is followed by a “His ______.”
What is the hope of His calling, 18b
What are the riches of His glorious inheritance, 18c
What is the immeasurable greatness of His power, 19ff
that you may know [factually]
The word “know” here refers to factual knowledge, not knowledge that is experienced. Biblical illumination gives knowledge of our divine assets from and before God. The Christian must always start with biblical facts in his spiritual journey. Biblical facts will come alive if we have spiritual enlightenment.
This is far more than academic understanding. It must be compelling, gripping, and vital to our lives. Once that becomes a reality, the Word will come alive to us (Lu 24:32). This will overcome a dead, listless, inane, feckless Christian life. All of us at times lose sight of the reality of what we have in Christ, and we become lethargic and apathetic toward the Lord. The challenge is to maintain a compelling, flaming, and motivated Christian life.
True and vital Christian living rests on facts.
The Christian has certainty about eternity. There is no faint possibility in our hope. God Himself guarantees our future with Him. Sometimes our feelings distort the will of God for our lives. Spiritual intelligence is necessary for spiritual growth.
Emotions are not adequate either for the recognition of our problems or the way to solve them. Emotions are the appreciator of the soul. They are the result of our thinking and choices. Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for allowing their emotions to get in the way of clear thinking. It is childish to let our emotions lead our mind,
2 Co 6:11-13, O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart [intelligence] is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections [emotions]. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.