It must be experienced, encountered. It must revealed by the Father of glory.
And when we receive this knowledge, we are changed, transformed.
This explains why Paul prayed the way he did. Because what he understood by way of revelation, he couldn’t teach to us.
It’s the knowledge of the Father of glory. It’s revealed when we encounter Him for ourselves.
Here’s one example of Paul’s prayer…
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Eph.1:17-18 KJV)
The word for “knowledge” here is instructive. The Greek word is ἐπίγνωσις (epignōsis). How Paul is using it here describes a unique revelatory knowledge that only comes from the Father through the Spirit of revelation.
Just as Jesus said to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Mt.16:17).
We experience this when we come to Christ. But that’s only the beginning. Paul said that we’re to walk in this same revelation knowledge (Col.2:6). In fact, we risk becoming “foolish” if we don’t (Gal.3:1-5).
It is a gift of God. It cannot be attained from man.
Yet, Jesus promises throughout the gospel accounts that this “Father of glory” would reveal these things to anyone who would receive His Spirit.
“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14-15 NKJV)
Paul said it this way…
“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor.2:10-11 NKJV)
But it’s a small, thin place.
A place where we must let go of our need to control God and put Him in our safe little theological box.
It’s a place that requires trust and faith. A place where we must open our heart before we open our mind.
This knowledge eludes our comfortable and familiar religious pride. It resists those who don’t understand that they just don’t know what they don’t know.
It can come in faster than the speed of natural light, like a fleeting thought, a dream that quickly escapes us if we fail to lay hold of it.
It’s the same light that the “god of this world” is trying to keep all people from seeing (2 Cor.4:4). Because when they see Him, they will want Him.
It’s the same light shining in our hearts, the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, if we would but see it (2 Cor.4:6). For it shines in that place where we are becoming who we already are (2 Cor.3:18; Col.2:10).
And it’s glorious because it’s “filled with all the fullness of Him!” (Eph.3:19)