During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.
“That you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power towards us who believe, according to the working of His great might…” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Paul continued his prayer for revelation with three specific requests. Three realities stood out in Paul’s mind. He believed that, if the church knows these realities — deeply, inwardly — the church would be strong. So he prayed for revelation concerning these three truths, the first of which we will discuss here.
His first prayer for revelation regards our great calling in Christ Jesus: "the hope to which He has called you." We can think of this calling in four ways.
Your Past Calling
First, we can think of some time in our past when we felt the call of God and submitted ourselves to Christ and His gospel. Salvation came, we were born again, and our shame and guilt were done away with.
Your Calling Towards Holiness
Second, we can think of our current calling in that God longs for our growth, our sanctification. He is currently calling transformation and maturity out of us and into being.
Your Calling From Eternity Past
Third, we can think of our calling from eternity past. As Paul had previously written, we have been chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4). God put a calling on us before we were even born.
Your Future Calling
Fourth, we can think of God’s call in the future, for He will call all His people home to be with Him. Eternally, we will be with God, a response to His invitation and call.
When a Christian truly understands this robust call, when they have Spirit empowered revelation about it, an attitude of hope develops. This hope is not wishful thinking, but a confident expectation that rids a life of pessimism and fear and insecurity. Boldness and certainty that God is at work in their lives, but also the course of human history, flow when one is connected to the calling of God.
David seems to have understood this calling when, as a teenager, he was confronted with Goliath. He was offended that this Philistine man, out of the covenant and unholy, could defy the armies of the living God. David became confident because of the call of God on Israel. How could someone outside Israel speak to God’s people and God’s army like that? This seed went into David and burst forth into the fruit of a willingness to fight Goliath. The Israelite and Philistine soldiers watched David walk out alone towards Goliath, but David did not feel alone, for he believed God’s call on Israel meant God was with him. This is the type of hope which will well up in us when we know God’s call, a boldness unshakeable, rooted in the certainty of His plans for us.