Verse for today – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:18).”
In the Bible, the word heart is often a reference to the real you; your inner self; your deepest feelings and actual motivations. Consider this verse from the Old Testament: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life (Prov. 4:23).” Why did that young man choose that particular woman? The answer is deep in his heart! Why do you spend your spare time as you do? The truth is known by you alone. Your life springs from what is in your heart. Sometimes we understand these motivations, feelings, and decisions; sometimes, we do not! In today’s words from the Bible, Paul prays that God will shine a light in the Ephesians’ hearts, enabling them to see themselves more clearly so that they can REALLY SEE the treasures they have in Christ. Two of these treasures are mentioned in this verse: the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. We will come back to these 2 treasures in the days to come; but first, why is Paul praying for the Ephesians’ hearts?
Paul offers this prayer because our hearts are a window to our innermost being. You can agree with something in your head but disagree in your heart. You can say you believe something to be true in your head but deny it in your heart. Part of knowing God and truly grasping what He has planned for us is connected to our hearts. In yesterday’s verse we noted that Paul prayed for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Oh, how we need these two blessings. For God to reveal Himself to us, and give us the wisdom to understand and mentally grasp all of the pieces; however, there is a third piece—our hearts!
A friend and mentor of mine, Tom Short, spends a lot of time talking with people about their relationships with God. He says there are two reasons people do not believe in God or obey God—“the reason that ‘sounds good’ and the real reason.” The real reason is usually connected to our heart! We may know intellectually that sin is wrong, but in our hearts, we are not yet ready to amputate that sin. We need God’s work to be done in our hearts! Now, there is one final piece for us to explore—the Christian’s heart! Christian, where is your heart? Is your heart still set on the world and its delicacies? Or, has your heart truly realized the hope of HIS CALLING? Is your heart still “too easily satisfied,” as C. S. Lewis described? Or are you able to see and comprehend “the riches of the glory of His inheritance”? We will look at these 2 parts of Paul’s prayer soon; but for today, “Oh Great God I pray, open the eyes of our hearts!”