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11 February, 2013

The Need To Have The Eyes Of Our Heart Opened

Paul was proud of the Ephesians and how well they were doing. He felt they were doing so well that he could now reveal much more of the Christian life and the inheritance they were called into as adopted heirs. The Ephesians letters covered both encouragement and hope at the same time they displayed his pride. The pride I am referring to here is not the one that destroys us but rather his pride came from the joy of knowing that they stood firm in the midst of the commercial metropolitan area of Asia where there was so much corruption and idol worshipers. In fact, the temple of Diana dominated the ancient Ephesus. So between the cults there, the pagan religions, the worship of the goddess Diana and living in a place that was the financial foundation of Ephesus, one has to wonder how the Christians managed to hang on so tightly to God.

Since Paul stayed in Ephesus for about two years until he was ousted by Diana’s worshipers, he knew exactly what was going on and how difficult it must have been for the Christians to flourish in spite of it all. So, we see in the first chapter of the Ephesians books, Paul prayed that the eyes of their heart would be opened. I want to draw your attention to two things: the fact that he knew the eyes of their hearts were not opened yet and also he knew, needed to be opened. This is not something reserved to just the apostles to know, and it is basic spiritual Christianity.

We are told in Matthew 6:22 that the eye is the instrument by which we see. But, we do not truly get this verse to the fullest until it happens to us. There is nothing secular about it and no matter how we spin it, we will never have the fullness of what the apostle was saying until we get to the spiritual component that makes up the statement. Simply put, when the eyes of your heart opens up, you own your Christianity, because you can see deeper within. I have to be careful here. I do not want anyone to see anything mystical like the non Christian religions where they believe in man-made or Satan's enlightenment. Ours comes from a real God who is the father of Jesus-Christ and One with Him.  

Spiritually speaking, Christianity is about dealing with an invisible but very much alive God. It is about dealing with Christ who has died, resurrected by the Father and ascended into heaven. It is about dealing with the Holy Spirit an entity that we cannot see, yet He is to lead our lives to make us a “little christ.” It is about a life lived very much in the spirit. It is about the transformation of our souls. When you grasp all these things with your heart and believe through your actions that this life is about demolition of the old life and construction of the new life by the Holy Spirit, then you understand how important it is to have the eyes of the heart opened so that we can deal with what can only be seen and understood through the spiritual eyes. It makes sense that at this stage of the Ephesians's walk with God that Paul prayed for them to have this much needed gift. It also makes sense that God feels the need to equip those who are firm in the faith and take away the guessing work as to what is the truth from His sets of standards.   

It is strange when you get there, the very first thing you see is the difference between those who have never been enlightened and still doing Christianity with much zeal and ignorance. You can also see those who have actually left the feeble understanding of things to grab onto God for everything that He has promised and planned for us for the Christian life here and after. 

When my spiritual eyes opened the very first thing that I saw was one of the prominent leaders of my Church, after fifty years or so of Christianity, hasn't even begun to getting there. It is a moment that is etched in my heart and I still remember the sadness as I observed what could only be seen with spiritual eyes. One of the things that make such awareness harder is that you cannot share what you know even with that person or anyone else for that matter. The gift comes pre-packaged with the knowledge that you cannot blurb it out.

I got to that stage in my walk with Him, within eight years of Christianity. It is just a growth process. But seven years ago, I did not know it was just some sort of intermediate growth. You are no longer a baby in the faith but you are nowhere near being a seasoned Christian either. It is spiritually apprehended. So, it makes sense if we are doing Christianity or living a man-made Christianity we are not in a position of grace, to apprehend it. That’s all.

With the eyes of the heart opened, this is how we perceive the truth and we understand it. So, it is about a spiritual life that needs to be seen and understood from His standards, just so that we can follow hard after Him.