Not only does God want us to know Him; He wants us to know His calling. He wants us to know what our calling is and what is His inheritance in the saints. In other words, not only does God want us to know Him, but He wants us to know what He is doing from eternity to eternity. He wants us to know His eternal plan and its purpose.
Ephesians speaks of things that span from eternity to eternity. It shows us God’s eternal plan. Paul speaks of God’s calling, His inheritance in the saints, and His power toward us who believe. This tells us that when a man truly understands God’s eternal plan, and when he sees what God is doing from eternity to eternity, he will realize that God’s eternal plan is related to everyone who is called. It is also related to the inheritance which God secures in the saints and to the power which He manifests among them. This shows us that God’s eternal plan is not something abstract; it is not something unimportant, dispensable, or something that one can shuffle aside. Brothers and sisters, God’s eternal plan has a great deal to do with every one of us. When we speak of God’s eternal plan, do not think that this is something unfathomable or incomprehensible. No, God’s eternal plan has a great deal to do with our calling; it has a great deal to do with God’s inheritance, and it has a great deal to do with God’s power and its operation in us.
Let us first consider God’s calling and His inheritance, and then we will consider the power which is manifested toward us who believe.
First, let us look at God’s calling. Verse 18 says, "The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling." I do not know how many Christians know that there is a hope before them. Many people only hope for heaven. Thank the Lord that there is heaven; it is true that there is heaven. But this is not the goal for which God has called us. This is not the hope of His calling. What then is this calling? Verse 4 says, "Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love." This is God’s calling. God’s calling is that we be like God. On the positive side, it is to be holy, and on the negative side, it is to be without blemish and blameless. Brothers and sisters, what a grand calling this is! If you have never been weak, and if you have never realized that you have erred, you will not realize how special this calling is. But if you know a little about how weak and worthless you are, and how wrong you have been, you will realize the preciousness of this calling. You will say, "Thank the Lord. You have called me to be holy and without blemish; You have called me to be blameless and to be as perfect as You are." Thank the Lord that one day the goal for which God has chosen us will be reached. It does not matter how weak and worthless we are today, and it does not matter how many defects and faults we have today. Thank Him that one day He will bring us to the point where we will stand before Him holy and without blemish as He is. This is what God has chosen us for, and this is what He has called us into. Since He has ordained this, He will surely accomplish it. Now we know the kind of hope we have before God. We have hope, and our hope is to be like God. God has chosen us and called us for this.
Second, let us consider God’s inheritance in the saints. Verse 18 says, "The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know...what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." What is the inheritance God has in the saints? The saints are God’s inheritance; they are God’s possession. This verse does not say that God has given the saints an inheritance. Rather, it says that the saints have become God’s inheritance. Paul said that God has an inheritance in the saints. Such an inheritance is glorious. It is not only glorious, but in it are the riches of glory.
In Ephesians 1:5 and 11, the word predestinate is used. Verse 5 says, "Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." This tells us that we were predestinated unto sonship. Verse 11 says, "In whom also we were designated as an inheritance, having been predestinated according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of His will." This tells us that we were predestinated to become His inheritance. There is a slight difference between verse 5 and verse 11, though the two are related.
(A Prayer for Revelation, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)