Paul has only just got started in his letter to the Ephesians, when he conveys his personal prayer for them: he gives thanks to God for them and asks that God gives them, as a result of being controlled by the Holy Spirit, the opportunity to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus.
..that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe... Ephesians 4:17b-19aWhat Paul emphasizes is the experiential and practical knowing Jesus, not just a feeling, sense or desire. If you have any history, be it 10 minutes or 10 years walking with Jesus, you have experienced Him, His goodness and His grace. But you may be like me. You may have simply forgotten what's you've experienced!
In my summer fatigue, I've found myself taking on anxiety and I shared this anxiety as a prayer request with a few trusted friends. One friend pointed me to Philippians 4:6 that charges me to present petitions to God with thanksgiving.
Ah...yes! I knew that, I've experienced Philippians 4:7's peace in the past, I had just forgotten! I needed reminding.
The practice of thanksgiving, in my experience with Jesus, is choosing to see, identify and write down my gifts. This has made a huge impact on my life. On one of the hardest days of my life, I was forcing myself through the routine of the morning. The coffee didn't even taste good (no offense Starbucks) and I felt numb. Sitting in my chair with coffee cup in hand, I realized I was forced with a choice: His way or my way. A grateful heart or grieved heart. On that dark day of my life, I chose gratitude. And I continue to choose gratitude. It gets me through the rough days, when I feel like the petunias in August: dried out, leggy and ready to be tossed. My experience with Jesus is always fresh and revitalizing.
Your past is your lens for today. In what way have you experienced Jesus (peace, joy, love, forgiveness...)? Will you share in a comment below? Maybe other readers need to remember what they've forgotten.