“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. I pray 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 his holy people.”
As Paul prays for this church, he asks that they gain a bigger view of God. He prays that they will grow in wisdom and knowledge of Him and that the eyes of their hearts will be enlightened even more to who He is and what He has done in Christ.
Paul understands that when we have a bigger view of God, we will have a smaller view of our circumstances. When we have a smaller view of our circumstances because of a bigger view of God, we will see God do even greater things as our faith in Him grows.
I am asked on occasion, “What is the biggest challenge facing the church today?” I believe the biggest challenge facing the church is a lack of regard for the Word of God, which presents itself in many ways. It could be because of biblical illiteracy; it could be because we are more concerned with the things of the world than we are with the truth of God’s word, or it could be that we know a lot about God’s word but we don’t apply it to our lives and invite it to truly change how we live.
We live in the most “enlightened” culture in the history of the world, the most educated society in the history of the world. We have more knowledge and information at our fingertips than at any other time in history. Yet, many are always learning but never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth because we do not apply the truth of God’s word to our lives.
Paul prays that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened. What does this mean? Why does he talk about the eyes of our hearts?
Romans 10:10 says:
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Growing in knowledge and understanding is important, but there is a big difference between knowing about someone and truly knowing someone. It is with our minds that we know about things, but it is with our hearts that we truly believe. When knowledge takes root in our hearts, it changes how we live.
Paul prays that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened so that we will not just know about hope in Christ, but we will live in the hope of Christ. So that we will not just know about the riches of his glorious inheritance but also be a living example of what He has given us in Christ. So that we will not just know about the greatness of his power but also live by faith in boldness and courage empowered by the immeasurable greatness of his power.
Taken from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL