The letter to the Ephesians opens with a powerful exposition of the saving work of our triune God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because of the Father’s electing love in eternity past, Christians have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3-4), including adoption into God’s family (Eph 1:5-6), redemption (forgiveness) through the blood of Christ (Eph 1:7-8), knowledge through the revelation of a mystery – a mystery concerning our Father’s eternal purposes in Christ (Eph 1:9-12), and a guarantee of future inheritance through the present sealing of the Spirit (who himself is a down payment securing God’s redeemed people for their future with Him; Eph 1:13-14). As the Psalmist has said, we “lack no good thing” in Christ (cf. Psalm 84:11).
This is certainly a lot to take in! A little like taking a drink from a fire hydrant! Every one of these spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms stems from His electing love for us in Christ. All our spiritual blessings come to us from our one Fountain, that is, through our union with Christ and we richly enjoy them through our faithful communion with Christ (cf. John 15:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:9). But, sometimes, life issues and difficulties have a way of clouding over spiritually sunny skies and blurring God’s blessings.
When we pass through difficult waters and struggle through adversity, we are often tempted to drink from polluted fountains – you know the fountains I’m talking about. These are the kind of fountains that promise more than they can give; they boldly offer life; but only death ensues. “Magic watering holes,” or so it would appear; our souls are poisoned with every drop. They lie to us and sometimes we believe it!
The Scriptures warn us to stay clear of these temptations (e.g., 2 Tim 2:20-22), but, instead, to fulfill our thirst from the Fountain offering living water (John 7:37). If we have sinned, let us confess it to the Lord (and others if necessary) who forgives generously and cleanses (Eph 1:7; 1 John 1:9). Let us return to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (1 Pet 2:25; Heb 13:20-21) who provides the right amount of grace just when we need it (Heb 4:16).
Ultimately, we know – even if we do not completely grasp – that difficult waters and struggles come from the loving hands of our Father who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will (1:11; 2 Cor 1:9). Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ, expressed in His blessings to us in Ephesians 1:3-14 (Rom 8:38-39). On the contrary, challenges and sufferings do not separate us from Christ; they are His specially designed tools to conform us to the image of Christ, to make us holy (Eph 1:4).
Today is a new day. So, let’s call out to our Abba, Father! He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Everything He permits and designs in our lives is to enable us to partake more deeply in His life (cf. 2 Peter 1:3-4). Let’s call out to our God for wisdom on how to appropriate the spiritual blessings He has so graciously given us in Christ, given not according to our need, but according to His glorious grace and infinite wisdom.
Prayerfully meditate on these great truths today; seek your Father and petition Him for deeper, richer insight that leads to deeper, richer loyalty to Him (cf. 4:1ff). After all, isn’t that what Paul’s doing in Ephesians 1:15-23?