Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Winston Churchill arrived back at his childhood school to deliver an address only ten months after the Germans had invaded England. Things looked extremely bleak. No other country was willing to come to their aid ten months ago. All evidence indicated that England was finished. Her history as a nation was about to end.
It was now ten months later and England was embroiled in her greatest test in her history. They now had the assistance of many nations but the storm on the horizon was still just as bleak. Churchill, never a man to give in to circumstances, refused to entertain the notion of defeat.
He was asked by the headmaster of his childhood school to return and deliver a message to the school. His message was only two pages long and took only a few minutes to deliver. Contained in his message was the following quote.
“I am addressing myself to the School—surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” (Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source of Churchill’s speech, http://www.winstonchurchill.org/never.htm)
There is something to be said about the sheer force of will, the unwillingness to accept defeat, the courage to continue against all odds. We marvel at those who stay the course when everything is against them. In our text this morning we are reminded of another man who never gave up. What he was unwilling to yield was his belief that God was willing to aid those in the church who were facing persecution from the greatest enemy of man.
The evidence on the outside looked as if the church would never survive. The totality of the world’s greatest empire was set for her destruction, the enemy of the church’s soul was even more terrifying than the Romans and then there was the old self that still lurked in the soul of every man who refused to surrender his territory.
If there ever was a losing battle it was this one. No military invasion or catastrophe could approach the strength of these powers arrayed against the soul of man and yet the apostle Paul writes, “I keep asking . . .” He knew something about the character and will of our God. He knew His promises were true. He refused to believe anything less. It was this faith that caused him to keep asking.
Perhaps Winston Churchill had stumbled on these words sometime in his life before he wrote his speech. It doesn’t matter if he did because we know that Paul never gave in to what the outward evidence said, he never for one moment thought that God would not answer the pleas of his children. His tenacity in intercession laid the foundation for the early church so that there have been many others who have stayed the course and kept asking God to open the eyes of our hearts so that we may know the hope to which we have been called.
If you can see anything that is true in this text this morning if you can believe that God is going to see you through if you find faith rising up within you at this moment so your load is lighter and your faith is brighter then God is still answering Paul’s prayers.
Let us join with the great Apostle of prayer and take up the mantle and keep asking God.
Let’s keep asking God,