Ephesians 1:18 – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…” NASB
I have always found this passage most intriguing. When we seek to unravel the truth as found in God’s Word, we seek the context of the text and the context of the entire Bible. Simply, we do not allow an isolated passage to define truth but examine it in the light of all the other declarations of the Bible on the matter. If we follow the guide of 2 Peter 1:20-21 we determine that opinion or perception is not the allowable basis for an interpretation of biblical passages.
An examination of Proverbs 4:23 is needed in this attempt to discover the ‘eyes of the heart’ and the revelation provided in seeking the enlightenment of the heart’s eyes. We are told by the writer of this proverb, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” In repentance and the development of a Christian relationship with our LORD, we learn to view everything for a radically new perspective. Our focus changes and as 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares ‘everything is new.’
It is needful for us to realize that perception is a matter of heart and is a matter of choice. We choose to see and hear what we want to see and hear. Isaiah 6:10 addresses that in a powerful way as it speaks of understanding with the heart leading to conversion and healing. Jesus addressed this truth in John 12:40 speaking of hardened hearts and understanding with the heart leading to conversion and healing.
I would suggest that if a person does not see or acknowledge God, it is largely due to the fact that they have decided to turn from His presence and deny Him. (Romans 1:18-20). It could be correctly argued that our desires determine what we see and hear and shapes our focus. The Bible clearly reveals that we believe in order to see rather than seeing to believe. It is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness! Tragically, too often we do not see things as they are but as we would like them to be. Proverbs 23:7 confirms that telling us, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Life is a matter of choices and what we choose determines the world in which we abide. I am not speaking of the physical world but the perceptive world where our attitudes are formed, and our beliefs are shaped. Man’s problem comes from the inside out not the outside in. The eyes follow the heart (Matthew 6:22-23). It is out of the heart that evil thoughts originate, and God has promised to give us new hearts as declared in Ezekiel 36:26.
If we are to progress in our relationship with God and grow in His grace it is imperative that the ‘eyes of our hearts’ continually and consistently be enlightened. We do this, in part, by setting Him before us and embrace the ministry of the Holy Spirit as He reveals to us how God sees things, not how we would like them to be.
Jesus told us in Luke 11:4 to “seek and we will find.” If we want His truth, we must look for that truth and open our hearts to understand it. That passage implies that we will find what we are looking for and that speaks to perception and choices. Someone said, “The optimist believes that this world is the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist is afraid the optimist is right.” Both view the same data but have dramatically different visions about reality.
Living the Christian Life and having the ‘eyes of our hearts’ enlightened is, in a very real sense, a choice between investing all our energy into not falling, or focusing on the walk before us. This is not a sprint so let’s look to God for our help and make the finish our focus rather than the demands of the immediate.
We have a future and a hope. We have the wonderful eternal promises of God. Therefore, let’s ask His help in changing our focus from the past to His future. Let’s determine not to return to the house of bondage, the prison of fear and keep the ‘eyes of our hearts’ on Jesus. I take great comfort and encouragement in the words of our LORD in Matthew 13:16, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear.”
If you are weighed down with the cares of this world and see the world through the prism of an ‘unenlightened heart’ there is yet hope. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and allow you to clearly see the beauty embodied in His promises. Our Lord has promised to not leave us orphans, comfortless, or abandoned. I pray that the eyes of our hearts will be enlightened, and we will see Who He is, who we are, and become what we see!
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!