"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him . . ." (Ephesians 1:15-17).
Now I am asking you to reread these verses, and when you get to the word "spirit," replace the lower case "s" with an upper case "S." That's a word of instruction I got from seminary 30 years ago. The world talks breezily of a "spirit of this" and a "spirit of that." They mean something vague and undefinable, like a feeling or sense or an ether. But my professor said that when we encounter the word "spirit" in the Bible, we can be pretty sure it almost always is talking about a real Being or Personality in the spirit world---either the Holy Spirit or an unclean spirit.
This was a very good tip and almost worth the tuition. It is a taking seriously of the Scripture on its own terms, as a book that teaches about supernatural realities, a heavily populated invisible realm of "principalities and powers." My prof's tip is a practical help for dispelling, as we read, the materialism foisted on us by the "spirit of our age"---which, come to think of it, is not some mere vague ether but the work of a real spirit (2 Corinthians 4:4)!
With this in mind, let us reread:
". . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him . . ." (Ephesians 1:17).
But how can this be so? How can God give us "the Spirit" when we already have the Spirit from the time of our conversion? How indeed? I know that Paul does not speak breezily. I know that every word of Scripture is God-breathed. I must conclude that it is possible---and advisable---for people who already have the Holy Spirit by conversion to desire and seek for more of Him. Paul is doing so right here. He is talking to Christians and saying he prays for them to receive a/the "Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him."
Jesus himself---addressing people who already knew God as "Father"---urged them to ask for more of the Holy Spirit:
". . . how much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him" (Luke 11:13).
This is exciting for me. I can tell that I have not yet lived into all my possessions and inheritance in Christ. I can see there's a gap right now between what God means for me to have and what there is for me. I have been held back by ignorance of the fact that I may ask for more of the Holy Spirit. I had even thought it heresy.
Nowadays I am asking God for more of the Holy Spirit, and I am believing He will grant it, because He Himself bids me ask. I do not dare call it a "second blessing," because that's incendiary in some parts. I'll just call it a "booster shot."
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