Ephesians 1:17-18b “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you”
I can remember once upon a time having excellent vision – perhaps even better than 20/20. As I’ve aged, my eyesight has ‘changed’. Okay, so it’s not so good anymore! But in Paul’s letter to the believers at Ephesus, he seemed to indicate that the vision we should be truly concerned with isn’t the one we use the most. Our physical eyes will fade with time but the “eyes” of our hearts can grow sharper and sharper with time! These are the eyes with which we see our Lord. Yes, I said ‘see’ our Lord. It is not so hard to believe, really. When we see the branches of a tree swaying we say we are seeing the wind. But the wind cannot really be ‘seen’, but rather we see the effects of it. When our heart becomes spiritually enlightened, we see God in ways we never saw before. Having a relationship with him is so much more than just acting a certain way or modifying our former behaviors. When God created us, he walked in the garden with us. It was personal. He has called us to a life we cannot see with our human eyes. His wisdom plus knowledge of him will illuminate our spiritual eyes.
Pray: “Father God, I need eyes to see you. Help me to allow your spirit of wisdom to remove the scales from the eyes of my heart. In Jesus’ holy name, I don’t want to just be with you…I want to see you – Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
It’s strange that we place so much stock in things that we can see when all that we can physically lay our eyes on is merely temporary. Sure, the world has been around a long time…but one day it will be gone (Matthew 24:35). The life that we have to live is less than 100 years and then we will be gone, no longer seeing the things of this world. For this reason, we are told to “fix our gaze” on things that cannot be seen. What is that like though? How do we do that? Remember when Paul told us Jesus went to the cross for “the joy set before him”? Jesus was not seeing the cross. He was not seeing the physical brutality and horrible death awaiting him. He was seeing something that couldn’t be seen with human eyes. What does that say to us then? It says that if we allow our faith to be our eyes, we can see past the chaos and turmoil in the world in which we live to a better hope…to a place of promise. That is why Paul tells us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Pray: “Holy Lord, I need to see what you have in store for me and not the troubles of my current state. If I allow myself to focus on my faith, I will see what you have prepared for me. In your mighty name, help me to know more so that I can see more of you – Amen.”
2 Kings 6:15-17 “When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”
In Second Kings, we find an account of the prophet Elisha. He had been helping the King of Israel in his war with the King of Aram. Aram’s king attempted to seize Elisha by sending a “great army” to Dothan where Elisha was to be found. As Elisha slept, the army surrounded the entire city. In the morning when Elisha’s servant awoke, he began to panic as he realized he and his master were trapped. Elisha told him there was nothing to fear. You see Elisha, the “man of God”, already had eyes to see the things of God. He was not walking by earthly sight. And so, he prayed that God would “open his servant’s eyes” and “let him see”. Let him see what? Something that was actually there but could not be seen with human eyes. Surrounding the ‘great army’ of Aram was an even greater army of the Heavenly Host. So it is with us today. When trouble surrounds us, do we panic because the trouble is all we can see? God is far greater than any difficulty we face. He is for us, not against us. When he fights for us, who can possibly stand against us (Romans 8:31)?
Pray: “Dear Lord, when troubles surround me, remind me that you have my troubles surrounded. In Jesus’ holy name, with you being for me, I have nothing to fear…ever – Amen.”
Colossians 1:15-16 “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.’”
It’s clear there are two realms: the one we can see, and the “heavenly realms”. It is in the heavenly realms where we find the “thrones, kingdoms, rulers and authorities” of the “unseen world”. It is this same invisible reality that we are given our spiritual armor to do battle against. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (the physical world) but against these very same unseen authorities (Ephesians 6:12). We think of reality as only those things we can see. But since the “unseen world” is eternal and this one only temporary, wouldn’t it be fair to say that that which we can’t see is even more real than what we can? So how does this change my perspective? Because we cannot see God, he sent Jesus who could be both seen and touched. He invaded our reality with his own. Jesus taught us about the things that could not be seen. He came from the unseen to conquer all that was seen and unseen. Why? Because from the beginning it was all his. Jesus came to share with us that we had a greater purpose than what we could perceive. We were born perishable but, through his sacrifice, we inherited an imperishable future. And with that future comes an imperishable purpose.
Pray: “Heavenly Father, your reality is so much more real because it is eternal. I spend so much time worried about my physical purpose that I often neglect the greater purpose…the one connected to my eternal destiny. In Jesus’ matchless name, help me, I pray, to realize that I must be concerned more with what I can’t see because there is my battle, there is my true purpose, and there is what you have prepared for me – Amen
1 Corinthians 15:58 “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
Before we knew the Lord, we spent so much time investing in things that were, in the big scheme of things, worthless. No matter how much we achieve, how much we accumulate, or how much we are known for, all will pass away. Everything is temporary and so, as such, has a limited value. The things we work so hard to accumulate cannot be taken with us when our short time here is over. Our money, no matter how great our riches, cannot buy us a single day longer than the Lord allowed us from our birth. Our name may last beyond us for a time, but the world in which we are now known will itself pass away. Jesus said the riches we store up here are stolen by thieves or eaten by moths (Matthew 6:19-21). But those things that we do in this life that are “for the Lord” are never “useless”. Our rewards for those things, the treasure Jesus keeps in heaven waiting for us, last forever. To what, then, should we commit our time? Where is the wise investment? Jesus has given you a gift…invested in you. Will you use it for his glory and receive your eternal reward (Matthew 24:23)?
Pray: “Heavenly Father, only a fool invests in what he can’t keep and throws away that which he cannot lose. You have given me a gift by which I can bring you glory and earn a reward for my faithfulness. In my Savior’s glorious name, let me remember that the only things that truly matter in the end are the things I do for you – Amen.”