That You May Know (6)
…that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints… Ephesians 1.18
O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance. Psalm 16.5, 6
The riches of glory
An inheritance is a good thing. A good inheritance is an even better thing. An inheritance that consists of endless riches, and is available right now is a really, really good thing.
And that’s what we as believers have – an inheritance of boundless riches, spread throughout the Body of Christ, available now, and inexhaustible in the world to come.
Yes. That’s an inheritance to get excited about.
Paul prayed for the Ephesians – and for us – that we might know – that is, realize or possess or experience – the riches of the inheritance that have been laid up for us and are even now being distributed to and shared among the saints. Our inheritance consists of the riches of glory which are to be known in Jesus Christ Himself (cf. Phil. 4.19).
The glory of God is God Himself, making Himself unmistakably known to us, giving us glimpses of His eternal being and majesty, and drawing us into His infinite and eternal pleasure. That glory consists primarily in Jesus, Whom, as we see Him, radiates with the glory of God in powerful, uplifting, and transforming ways (cf. 2 Cor. 4.6; Rev. 1.9-20). Nothing compares with this experience of knowing the glory of God, of participating in the risen Christ and fellowshipping with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all together and increasingly. God Himself is our inheritance. He is infinitely rich and varied in glory and wonder. And He is distributing His inheritance to all those who have the eyes of their heart enlightened unto wisdom and revelation by the Holy Spirit.
The benefit of having this inheritance – the riches in glory of Christ Jesus – available to us now, is that it makes everything in our lives a pleasant place and a foretaste of eternal blessedness.
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places,” David insisted. In his lifetime, David experienced some rather unpleasant places and situations. His life was often threatened. He made horrific blunders that cost him and others dearly. He was betrayed, hounded, and sent into exile by his own son. Who would sign up for so many trials and troubles?
But, reflecting on his life, David saw that the lines God had prepared for Him were pleasant places – pleasant, because, as David said, he had “set the LORD always before” him (Ps. 16.8). The eyes of David’s heart were wide open for the Spirit to enlighten his soul with wisdom and revelation from God. In every situation, David could see the Lord. He knew the Lord to be with him – He Who is perfect peace, unfailing faithfulness, astonishing power, and unshakeable joy. Whatever else was going on around him, David could see the Lord; he knew the Lord’s Presence with Him, and he sheltered in the Lord’s protection, provision, promises, and power.
David drew on his inheritance (Ps. 16.6); and the riches of glory which he thereby knew raised him above his circumstances and enabled him to look upon them from the vantage point and in the fellowship of the Father Who loved and saved him.
God was his portion and cup. God maintained his lot in life. God instructed him in his heart. What else could he do but bless the Lord, rest in Him, and bask in the safety and joy of his inheritance?
No wonder Paul prayed that we might be able to know the riches of glory which are our inheritance in Jesus Christ, spread lavishly among all the saints of God.
Claim your inheritance
Claiming your inheritance begins in prayer. Paul prayed that “the Father of glory” would open the eyes of our heart so that we may know the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. When we pray like Paul did, we can expect to realize the requests Paul taught us to pray. The eyes of our heart will not be open unless we pray for the filling of God’s Spirit and the illumination of His Word, that we might see Jesus and, in Him, draw on the riches of glory which are stored up for us as our inheritance from God.
If we don’t pray this specifically, then we have no reason to expect that we will know all the moments and situations of our lives as pleasant places, filled with the glory of the Lord, lifting us above our circumstances into eternal blessing, peace, and joy.
We should have no fear of coming day by day, and throughout the day, with our empty hands held wide to request, “Please, Father, may I have more?” May I see more of Jesus? May I know more of Your Presence, promise, and power? May I experience the riches of glory exceedingly abundantly above all that I’ve ever dared to ask or think before, so that I might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3.19, 20)?
Our God will not turn us away as we seek another installment of our inheritance. Indeed, He is more willing to make a distribution than we often are to receive it. We must work to develop the discipline of praying without ceasing (5.16-18), rejoicing and giving thanks in every situation, as we set our minds on the things that are above, where Christ is seated in heavenly places (Col. 3.1-3). We must cultivate the discipline of being always in prayer, and we must not allow ourselves to grow weary in so doing (Lk. 18.1).
Remember that Jesus is with us always – always and in every situation (Matt. 28.20). Remember also that we have been seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2.6), so that we see Him putting our enemies under His feet, advancing His rule in and through us, and holding out His vast treasure of wisdom and knowledge for us to claim (Ps. 110.1, 2; Col. 2.2, 3). His Presence with us, and our presence with Him, makes everything in life a pleasant place, as we draw on the riches of His glory stored up for us in Him.
“Please, Sir, may I see Jesus, and may I see more and more of Him, more and more of the time?” This is the key to knowing and possessing and experiencing the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance, which He daily distributes among all who seek it from Him.
1. How should we understand the idea that Jesus Christ is our inheritance?
2. Why does knowing our inheritance make of everything in our lives a pleasant place?
3. How can believers help one another to know more of the riches of the glory of our inheritance?
Next steps – Transformation: Write a brief prayer to use throughout the day by which you lay hold on your inheritance in every situation.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.