Answer:  This is an old joke that reflects some truth in any counseling situation. The answer is: only one, as long as the light bulb wants to be changed.

Sadly, we see over and over again individuals that come in distraught with little hope. They are at the point of giving up trying to live a Christian life they don’t understand. When asked the question, “How is life working for you?” Every individual answers: “It’s not.” Their light bulb needs to be changed.

As Biblicists, we can see clearly the difference between grace-based Christianity and law-based   living. Believers, distraught and discouraged, who are meant to experience freedom and liberty by walking in faith, have succumbed to darkness and defeat. What is clear is that the efforts of trying harder have done little to turn the light back on. They want to be changed, but trying to implement this change on their own is like flipping the light switch on and off and nothing happens.

Paul in Ephesians 1 prays the first of two prayers. You could call it a foundational prayer.  His first prayer is the beginning of that freedom and the desire to change. Take out your Bible and open it to the passage in Ephesians 1, starting in verse 17. Paul prays for the Ephesian church and his converts who need more understanding. He asked the Father of Jesus Christ to give three things. We would do well to underline them and put them in bold.

I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him.

I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the 1. hope of his calling —that is, the 2. wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!

I pray that you will 3. continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power

~ Ephesians 1:17-19 TPT

Paul asked for heavenly wisdom, revelation, and enlightenment (see bold print above). What is so amazing about this passage is he answers his own prayer by spelling out how and what it is going to look like.  He prays you will receive 1. hope, 2. understanding your identity and realize that you are a Prince of God and can do nothing without him but 3. experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power.  Just like the early church, we forget it’s Jesus plus nothing. The only thing you can do is choose Jesus. Doesn’t that sound like your salvation experience? It should. That’s the Christian life.

Truth revealed does not have to be a light bulb experience. We are more like dimmer switches. Choose to receive more of His power through experiencing it as we walk by faith in life.  So, look for hope, receive the revelation of enlightenment. Do you want to be changed?

Pray with Paul. Father I chose you and your son Jesus and add nothing to it. Please give me your wisdom and reveal to me Yourself as never before. Take me back to that moment of your wisdom when I first chose to trust you.  Unpack and reveal to me the things I have not understood or seen clearly. Illuminate every detail that only your light can bring. This brings me hope and confidence in my identity that I am a child of God and my inheritance is assured by your power. I can do nothing without you. I am just a dimmer switch; You are the light and the power. Amen


John A. Graham
Executive Director Abundant Grace International
Marriage and Family Counseling, Discipleship, Teaching, Training,  Life Coaching, and Debriefing
Contact John


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