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Posts Tagged ‘eyes of the heart’

I pray for my eyes to be opened! I pray for enlightenment (knowledge, understanding, awareness and clarity). And I pray that this awakening would not be an isolated event but a groundbreaking moment that prepares the way for a turn in my story.

Ephesians 1:18-19
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Power is promised and I consider power dangerous, particularly for humans untethered by the seal of God. In some ways, I want power and control. If I said otherwise, I would be lying. I struggle with “control issues” all the time. And successful control translates into power. But that is power abused and we see that every day in our culture. The power of influence or money or position.

But here, we are told that an enlightened heart, eyes wide open, understands power in a new way. It’s an inheritance from God in Christ. It’s a focus. And as I’ve written a million times before, I’m sure there’s a paradox involved. Power is probably in letting go of one’s own “power.” It’s submitting to divine power. And of course, that power will not be the way I would expect. Would I even recognize that kind of power?

Will I recognize what I see when those spiritual eyes are opened?

When the prophets of old described all the unbelievably fantastic things they saw in their visions, they could only use their limited understanding. Am I any different?

And yet, it is my heart’s cry today. Open the eyes of my heart Lord.

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There must be a trick: how do I look at something intently that I cannot see? It must be the reverse then. In other words, it’s not so much that I am to fix my eyes on the unseen as much as I am NOT to fix my eyes on the seen. It’s a little like the old mantra, “it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.”

II Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

This is not an easy task. The “seen” is all around me. Everyday life is constantly presenting itself to me in one form or another Circumstances are doing their best to surround me.

Tasks, responsibilities, jobs, lists, chores, and duties assail me every day. And what about the people: children, significant others, parents, grandparents, extended family, neighbors, co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, church friends, non-church friends, enemies, club friends, organization friends, acquaintances, and strangers. They all require my attention. They are all part of my “seen” world. Oh, and what about the state of world: the wars, the tragedies, the killings, the weather, corporate crime, drug lords, benevolent dictators, not so benevolent dictators, congress, criminals, statesmen, presidents and their wives and their children, and on and on and on. Should I mention the inanimate objects? I don’t think I can bear it.

And yet, the message is clear: these things are temporary. Jobs will change, people will die, governments will collapse, technology will fail. Like the seed that must die to bear a fruit, all of these things will die to produce the next generation . . . whether it’s people, ideas, or gizmos.

My eyes need to look elsewhere. My “eyes” need to look within. More often than not, this actually requires me to close my eyes. This is why we usually pray for eyes closed, to block out the “seen” and to give ourselves a chance to glimpse the unseen. I must choose.

The seen world is the one that causes anxiety and fear. The unseen world of the Holy Spirit is a world of peace and order and love. Forgiveness happens in the unseen world. Freedom too.

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How we acquire knowledge is a mystery in itself. So often, we think of knowledge as being in the realm of the brain, but Ephesians 1:15-23 gives us some hints that knowledge of the things of God is much deeper. Here, Paul refers to the heart saying, “…I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” and the implication is that the normal state of things may be closed eyes… closed heart. We cannot absorb knowledge with the eyes of our hearts closed.

As I sat here contemplating this idea, I saw a picture of an onion and how, when you cut into it, your eyes naturally tear… but only after going down into the deeper layers and the eyes must be open. Sometimes, we block out knowledge because we are afraid of being convicted or afraid of experiencing pain. But really, it may be just a new experience. Sometimes, when the eyes of the heart open, we see in a new way… we feel new feelings… we experience God in a way we have never experienced Him before. Can you see how this would help sustain our faith and virtue?

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