This text is bulging with spiritual power, as if you could take your soul to God’s gym and pump it up. In vv. 3-14 Paul blew us away with his staggering depth of God’s sovereignty, the resources underwriting His blessings, and His priceless redemption. We learned about election, adoption, and grace. Our eyes were opened to the deep mysteries, eternal wisdom, and astonishing revelations. We got a glimpse into eternity past and eternity future, both overwhelmed with the sight of God’s magnificence expressed in the earth-shattering, hell-crushing, death-conquering person of Jesus, who will bring all things together and work out everything according to His purposes. It leaves us breathless. He just showed us the glories of God, the splendor of salvation, the majesty of God’s will and work, and God’s intent for us as his children.
Yet in verses 15-23 it’s as if Paul is calling out, “There’s a whole lot more! Don’t stop there. I want you to go deeper.” Deeper? Haven’t we just been shown the wonders of the universe and the Godhead? Yes, but there’s more. There’s wisdom, revelation, enlightenment, knowledge, hope, and power. Paul is like an excited parent on Christmas morning, egging the kids downstairs so the bounty of presents can be revealed. This God, who has shown us the mysteries of life and revealed the depth of His being to us, has an even bigger story to tell. There’s more—there’s always more. The depth of God’s being never stops.
Paul knows about these riches (2 Cor. 12.1-4) and can hardly contain himself as he lets it bubble out of him. “I want you to see the depth of the majesty and splendor of our God, and for Him to reveal Himself to you even more. The more He reveals, the more your mind will be enlightened, and the more your mind and soul are enlightened, the more God will be able to reveal to you. There’s so much for wisdom and life here. It’s not just a matter of subscribing to a certain religion over another one. There is true hope here that alters our perspectives on our experiences, a soul-changing miracle that will transform our very natures, and a power that rocks the formidable foundations of life, freedom, knowledge, values, and behavior.”
Imagine, if you will, what happened the day Jesus rose from the dead. Oh, I’m not talking about a limestone cave outside of Jerusalem, but Jesus in the spiritual realm tangling with the force we know as death—the most powerful and unquenchable power on earth—, and with barely an exertion tearing it into shreds. Imagine (spiritually and metaphorically speaking) the earth itself cracking in half and the gates of hell being invaded by light and the irresistible power of life. Imagine, if you will, Jesus saying to you, “Come with me. Sit here next to me. I want to tell you everything.” That is what this prayer is all about. Paul wants God to open your eyes, heart, and mind.