"The Eyes of Your Heart"
If you understood a deep truth about God's work in you, then Paul prays you understand three things. In order to do that, he prays the "eyes of your heart" will be enlightened to know them.
The Eyes of Your Heat
A. There are many ways a person draws close to God. One of the most popular is that of prayer. Praying, James says, is powerful and effective. Prayer makes no sense in truth, but it makes all the difference in reality.
B. The God of the universe is not bound by mortal prayers or lack of prayer. The sovereignty of God is just that, sovereign. He is God, not me. But yet, the Bible teaches that our prayers have an effect on the day to day lives we live. I believe in intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is when I pray on behalf of someone else, for their benefit, not mine. As James 5 teaches, if a person has a problem he needs to call for the elders and spiritual people to pray for him.
C. The early church practiced intercessory prayer and Paul spoke of it often in his letters. Even Jesus called on his disciples to pray that “Lord of the harvest would send forth reapers.” When you pray for others, for what do you pray?
I. The Eyes of Your Heart
A. Paul has a phrase in this paragraph that I want to center upon this morning. He prays for these wonderful saints to whom he writing that the “eyes of their hearts” may be enlightened.
B. Paul, in this intercessory prayer, wants God to make known to them three things AND for them to see what it is that God is making known concerning them.
C. It is a prayer where Paul simply gets lost in the greatness of God and what God has to offer us. Right after we read about all the spiritual blessings in heavenly places being given to us and confidence we have in in our salvation because of the seal of the Holy Spirit, we read this prayer.
D. READ Eph. 1:15-18a. Doesn’t this passage just make you feel great to be a Christian? Paul cannot stop praying for people like this. He wants God to give them wisdom and knowledge, to open their eyes to see…
II. The Hope
A. Read vs 18b. We get caught up in the meaning of our English wording and sometimes forget the deeper meaning of the original text. The word “hope” is one of those words. We use that word meaning “maybe” or even “I desire.” We say, “I hope you get feeling better.” We have a desire that person will feel better, but we don’t know. It is a positive desire, but still a desire, not an expectation
B. Paul uses that word as if he is saying that I am so confident in God doing this that I believe it is a fact, not a guess. So really Paul wants these people to see with their heart and mind that our calling by God leads us to him.
C. As a Christian, think about what you expect in the world of glory. This is hope is about the calling from God in your life right now. God drawing you to himself. God filling you with His Spirit. God giving you everything you need for life and godliness right NOW!
D. You see, Paul is not talking about our righteousness being the principle attribute of hope; but God’s calling, drawing, and His righteousness being where we find our hope. We sing, “My hope is built on NOTHING less than Jesus blood and righteousness.” Not my righteousness, but righteousness placed upon me by the blood of Jesus. That’s my hope.
III. Riches of His Inheritance
A. God is so great. Not only does God bless me in this life, but the greatest blessing is when this life is over that I enter in the joy of the Master. The idea of “riches” connected to “inheritance” is that we are lacking nothing when it comes to the eternal joy of eternity with God. There is nothing more we need.
B. When we think about riches, we think almost exclusively about this life and what we have. And there is some of that inheritance that we are blessed with right now. But Jesus has a provoking thought. Listen to Mark 8:34-37.
C. Peter so beautifully says words very similar to Paul’s writing here. Peter put it this way (1 Pet. 1:3-5).
IV. Greatness of God’s Power Toward Us
A. I want to leave you with the third aspect that Paul prayed that these Christians may see with the eyes of their heart. He wanted them to fully understand the greatness of God’s power that is a work in them. Read vs 19-21
B. It is easy to feel defeated in a society that fails to teach, live by, or uphold the Word of God. But the people Paul wrote to people who lived in a corrupt and politically charged society. It was living among them that they were called to live under the authority of Jesus Christ who is “head over all things in the church which is His body.”
C. Think of the power it took to raise Jesus from the dead and what it means to never die again. In fact, the power that is seen in the fact that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and is above all things. Now, hold that in your mind. It is that same power that is can be at work in you. That’s Paul’s prayer. That we would KNOW the “immeasurable greatness of his power TOWARD us who believe.”
D. That’s awesome power at work. Power that calls me, power that gives me an inheritance, and power that that is at work in me. Do you want to know the secret of contentment in a troubled world? It is not your power or riches – they can vanish at any time. Here’s the secret, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
A. You see, there is power in the blood of Jesus. Wonder working power. Power to set you free from the burden of sin. The power of victory over evil. Do you want to live in the greatness of God’s power at work? Then take hold of the power in the blood.