Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 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, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. – Ephesians 1:15-19
For most of his ministry, the Apostle Paul was itinerant and traveling. However, he did pastor two churches for a period of time, one of which was a three-year stint at Ephesus. The believers at Ephesus had already existed as a small congregation prior to his arrival, but what God did through Paul’s brief stay eventually shook the entire city – and propelled the Gospel message throughout all of Asia Minor (what is now Turkey).
The gospel spread because Ephesus was a trade center where hosts of people were going in and out. The witness of the Ephesian believers impacted everyone who came through.
Another dimension of vision
Paul wrote his Ephesian letter to a congregation that already knew what it meant to pray and to see God do great things, but his encouragement to them is: I’m praying for another dimension of vision to come to you. That they eyes of your heart would see God’s hopes for you.
God’s “hopes” are what He already sees and anticipates ready to be released in His people. All we need to do is align with what He is already prepared to do. At the heart of what Paul writes to the church is: I am praying that you would see His hopes, not the hopelessness that is around you.
God has things lined up for our generation, but so often we only see where circumstances appear to be against us, our family, business, community or nation. We sometimes feel it’s hard to even getting through to a deeper level.
Despite the reality of things poisoning the atmosphere of our culture, our convictions as believers are not to be affected, and our sensitivities are not to be dulled by what’s going on around us. God gives us hope.
Dreaming the impossible
While we realize that nothing will get better apart from a praying church, there are sometimes things we agonize over. Those are things that God wants to use for His glory. The way I see it, we have two choices: pray with despair over circumstances OR catch the dream of the impossible and begin praying for that to happen.
It gets easier if you tabulate the good things along with the bad. While we should express concern about the negative issues, we should always take time to look at and recite the good things.
What the Lord has always wanted to do is give dreams and visions to His people. He wants us to see the reality of what He’s ready to bring. When you go through a tough time, it’s hard to see beyond the pain of the circumstance. But the Lord is the Creator of time. The only person who’s running out of time is the devil (Revelation 12:12). I don’t just mean that it’s a short time until the Lord Jesus returns, but rather that the devil’s got a short time in any situation once people start praying and seeking the face of God. The devil’s time is specifically measured, and it’s being reduced all the time by people who pray.
Seeing the invisible
In 2 Kings 6:16-17, Elisha and his servant are surrounded, and as his servant says to Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Elisha answers him, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Then, the scripture says, Elisha prayed for the Lord to open his servant’s eyes that he might see, and the Lord opened his eyes and “Behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
They’re still there. The army of heaven is still fully functional and organized, and the troops are ready to move at the initiation of our intercession.
Put your hand out in front of you and say, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” That means it is within your reach. You can touch the throne. God will put in your hand the scepter of power. You have been entrusted to say, “Your kingdom come.”
The power is His, and the privilege is yours.
The rule of God is ready to move in and transform things. When it looks like hell has accomplished a final coup, be assured, it has not. Scripture says we are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, and every one of those principalities and powers have an answering force.
If there’s anything we understand about the proportion between the host of the living God and the host of the works of darkness, it is that, even without God involved, the hosts of heaven outnumber the hosts of hell two-to-one.
The victory is the Lord’s and the battle secure, but we must enter into the fray. It does not happen automatically.
Envisioning the irresistible
Jesus said that if He can find people that will agree together, breakthrough will come. Wherever two agree, it is irresistible.
Why is it so powerful when just two agree? Because, there is never any agreement in the realm of darkness. There is a power in evil, and though there are times when the hosts of hell marshal together, it never is in agreement. Therefore, even if just two of the Lord’s weakest saints agree, they have a convergence of holy power that hell can’t withstand.
God calls us to see the irresistible, envision the invisible, and move toward the anticipation of the impossible.
We live in the hour of His divinely appointed visitation. We will not succumb to doubts or despair. We lament the sin in our culture and our country, but we will not be charmed into faithlessness by it. Rather, we are to be gripped by the conviction that a turnaround is inevitable, if only we agree in prayer.
Let us continually be moving forward to see with faith and the eyes of hope.