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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Ephesians 1:3

The Cup is Always Full

Let’s face it, we live in troubling times.  Almost everywhere we look, there is division, chaos, fear, uncertainty, and corruption that erodes our confidence in our so-called “sacred institutions” and can be so depressing they often keep us from wanting to get out of bed in the morning.  The future, for many, looks bleak.  And the present doesn’t look so hot either.  But that should never be said of a believer— especially after praying through this one verse, which is part of a long, single sentence in the letter to the church at Ephesus.  No, this truth should give us hope and encouragement as we see life, not from the physical, horizontal perspective, but from God’s perspective.  After all, His way is always better.  And our problems always look smaller, almost insignificant, when viewed from heaven (Isa. 55:8-9).

Remember, we don’t have to choose to look at the glass as either half full or half empty.  It is always full, totally, right to the brim.  But it’s not necessarily full of the same thing or with what we can readily see.  Half may be water and the rest air.  But it is still full, nevertheless.  And so it is with God.  Some things we can see and some things we can’t.  But He is still present, filling everything to the brim, even if our eyes are not open to Him moving.  Then, we rely on faith in His promises and rest in the goodness of our God (Rom. 8:28).  What an incredible place to live.

For this is where we experience the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:6-7).

But don’t take my word for it; experience His peace yourself.  Ask Him to put you in a place where you have nowhere to look but up, and see what this will do for your faith.  Still not sure, then check out Hebrews 11 for some examples.

“Blessed,” “Every,” and “Heavenly Places”

When you pray through Ephesians 1:3 today, focus especially on three key phrases: “has blessed us,” “every spiritual blessing,” and my favorite, “in the heavenly places.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ – Ephesians 1:3.

In our last time together, we spoke about the past-tense nature of our blessings, meaning they have already been given to us, and we possess them now (even if it doesn’t feel like it so much).  This is not some minor grammatical detail, but a liberating spiritual truth once you wrap your mind around it.  Basically, all God has in store for His children is available to us today, right now, in our present situation.  The phrase, “has blessed us” means we don’t have to wait until He returns to earth to set up His kingdom, or we die and go to live with Him in heaven, or the trump of God sounds and the rapture takes place before we come into possession of “every” or “all” (pas) of our spiritual blessings.  Nor do we have to earn them by living flawless lives or working ourselves ragged to gain His favor.  No, we have them with us already, always— just like the Holy Spirit, who continually dwells in us.

Next, we are drawn to the words “every” (pas) and the phrase “spiritual blessing.”  For me, I am reminded He has held nothing back from me, and I am now completely “blessed” with “every” or “all” spiritual blessings.  Our Lord, our Father, has already bestowed on us things we cannot understand— truly amazing things, unheard of things.  Try this one on for size:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man (what) the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (quoting Isaiah 64:4).

And these things are described as being “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).  Ah, takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Plus, the “spiritual blessings” we possess are just that: spiritual.  They are blessings that pertain to our spiritual life, our relationship with God, and our eternal destiny— you know, the things that last, unlike cars or money or houses or fame.  And they are blessings that involve the work of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, the word translated “spiritual” (pneumatikós) always pertains to the work of the Holy Spirit.  Always.  You might want to look into that amazing truth yourself.

And finally, these blessings are not limited to our time here on earth, but are reserved for us “in the heavenly places” where God dwells.  Where time is abolished.  Where we will spend eternity with Him.  Where our true reality resides, and not just this shadow of things to come.  And where it really matters.

Some Blessings That Matter Most

As a quick reminder, look at some of our “spiritual” blessings revealed in just the first fourteen verses in this chapter (we will look at each of these in the days to come):

1. Election – Ephesians 1:4
2. Adoption – Ephesians 1:5
3. Acceptance – Ephesians 1:6
4. Redemption – Ephesians 1:7
5. Forgiveness of Sins – Ephesians 1:7
6. The Revelation of God’s Purpose in History – Ephesians 1:10
7. Our Inheritance – Ephesians 1:11
8. Sealing by the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 1:13

Tell me, what more could we need, or want, than what we already have?

“Complete in Him”…er, Lacking Nothing

One final thought before we pray.

While looking at this passage, I was also drawn to Colossians 2:9-10, where the Lord tells us we are “complete in Him” and, by definition, lack nothing.  It means, there is nothing to add to make us more than we are.  There is nothing we need to make us whole or more loved by the Father.  In Him, and only “in Him,” we are right now, at this present moment, and just like we are: complete.  And the word translated “complete” is pleróō which means to “make full, supply abundantly, or impart richly.”  This is who we are in Him and the spiritual blessing we already possess.

And if that wasn’t enough, in Psalm 23:1, our Shepherd, the Lord Himself, promised us, “I shall not want.”  Do you know why?  Because we are already, past tense, “blessed” with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”  What is there to want if we already possess all there is to have in Him?  Makes you think, doesn’t it?

So Let’s Pray

I hope you experience a bit of awe when you pray this verse today.  And I hope these truths will give you pause to reflect on how much the Father truly loves you, no matter what you have done, no matter your past— and no matter how messed up your present may seem.

Now, armed with this, go to Him in prayer, use these marvelous truths to allow His Word to guide your prayers, and see how our Lord desires to reveal Himself to you.

Dear Father,
Once again, I come before You with a heart full of gratitude and praise for Your choice of me “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).  And I thank You that in Christ, You have blessed me with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3).  What an incredible truth this is!  To know that the moment I placed my faith in You, You chose to lavish upon me the full riches of Your grace and blessing (Eph. 1:8) for no other reason than the “good pleasure of Your will” (Eph. 1:5).  Thank You so much for giving me what I don’t deserve, nor ever will.

And thank You that these blessings are not something I have to earn or strive for, but are already mine in Christ.  Thank You for the forgiveness of sins, for my adoption into Your family (Eph. 1:7), and for the indwelling presence of Your Holy Spirit (Eph.1:13-14).  Thank You for the wisdom, the hope, the peace, and the joy that are my inheritance in Christ.

Father, I pray these truths will not just be intellectual knowledge for me, but become living realities in my life.  Help me grasp the incredible scope and magnitude of the spiritual blessings I possess in Christ.  Open the eyes of my heart to see myself as You see me— seated with Christ in the heavenly places, blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 2:4-7).

I pray the truths of these blessings will transform the way I live each day.  Help me to draw upon the spiritual riches that are mine in Christ, to walk in step with Your Spirit, and to live out the fullness of life that is mine in Your Son.  When challenges and trials come, remind me that my life is anchored in the unshakable realities of Your eternal kingdom.

Above all, may the truth of these blessings lead me to a life of continual praise and thankfulness to You.  Keep me from ever taking Your grace for granted or living as a spiritual pauper when in reality, I am a spiritual millionaire (or billionaire)!  Fill my heart with wonder and awe at the glorious inheritance I have in Christ.

Finally, Lord use me to be a conduit of Your blessings to others.  Let me not hoard the spiritual riches You have given me, but freely share them with those around me.  Make me an instrument of Your grace, Your love, and Your truth in this world.

Thank You, Father, for the unsearchable riches of Christ that are mine in Him (Eph. 3:8).  I pray I will spend the rest of my days exploring the depths of these blessings and living in light of the glorious truth of who I am and what I have in You.

In Jesus’ precious name, I pray.  Amen.

Leaving Laodicea | The Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church

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