We have seen something concerning Paul’s prayer for the saints in Ephesians 1. There is one main point to this prayer: he hoped that they would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that their eyes would be opened to see some things. The one thing Ephesians 1 speaks of is that all of God’s works are finished. We do not need God to do more works, but we need to have the revelation concerning the works that He has completed. God has planned and purposed. Today God’s children need to know His plan and His purpose. "He who comes forward to God must believe that He is" (Heb. 11:6). God is He who is; He never changes. Today we need revelation to see God. The apostle prayed that God would grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him who already "is," that we would have a full knowledge of His predetermined plan and have a knowledge of His accomplished works. Many people hope that God will make some new arrangements and do some new works in His plan. But the apostle showed us that God does not need to do this. He wanted us to see clearly that God already "is." It is not a matter of wishing God’s plan to be this or that; God has arranged everything already, and we only need to see what He has arranged. We do not need Him to do one thing more; we only need to see what He has already done. Once we see, we will have a fresh experience. We need a spirit of wisdom to understand His work, and we need a spirit of revelation to know what He has done. Then we will become useful persons in God’s eyes.
Paul showed us two parts to God’s work. The first part was done before the foundation of the world. The second part was done on the cross. One has to do with His eternal plan, which was made before the foundation of the world. The other has to do with our fall and our failure, which were dealt with by Him on the cross. In eternity God had a calling, a selection, and a predestination. Everything He wanted was decided before the foundation of the world. He selected and predestinated, and no one can shake it. From the foundation of the world, man became fallen, and Satan entered in to damage God’s work. But thank the Lord that there is the surpassing greatness of His power toward those who believe. There was the fall, but there was also redemption. There was death, but there was also resurrection. God has an eternal plan, and He also has a cross of redemption. It seems as if the eternal plan was damaged by man, but what the fall damaged, resurrection has recovered and brought back. The cross can break the spell of the fall, and resurrection can remove death. We can find God’s work completed through the cross and through resurrection.
God’s work is completed. None of us need to ask God to do one more thing for us. Some have said, "It would be wonderful if God had made an additional arrangement before the foundation of the world." But Paul said that His arrangement before the foundation of the world was perfect. We may say, "How wonderful it would be if God would do one more thing for us today." But God wants us to realize that everything has been completed on the cross and through resurrection. Today believers do not need to ask God to do anything more. What we need today is God’s revelation. Paul did not pray for God to do a little more work. He did not wish God would give us a little richer grace. He did not pray for God to manifest more of His power in us. He prayed that God would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, and that He would enlighten the eyes of our heart to see and know the hope of our calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power toward us. Paul was not praying for us to have more of Him, but for us to see the glory, the riches, and the greatness of the things we have received. What is lacking today is not God’s work, but the revelation of His work. What we need today is not more of God’s work, but to see more of His work. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 is for the saints to see what God has already done. He did not pray for God to give the believers more power; he did not pray for God to do more work. He prayed for wisdom and revelation. This wisdom and revelation will enable us to see what God has accomplished. The answer to this prayer is seeing. This is not a matter of whether or not God has a work. This is a matter of whether or not we have received the revelation. There is a great distinction here. Many Christians are hoping for this and that, as if God has never done any work on them or given them anything. But what is so special about Ephesians 1 is that it shows us that God has done everything; He has left nothing for us to do. God has accomplished everything in eternity past, on the cross, and in resurrection. There remains only one question today: do we see or do we not see? Whether or not God has worked is not the crucial question. Whether or not we have seen God’s accomplished work is the crucial question.
(A Prayer for Revelation, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)