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How to See with the Heart

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Ephesians 1:18-19

This morning, I was up before sunrise for a run. The air was cool and a dewy mist settled over the low places, cloaking the trees and surrounding fields in white. I listened to songs of unseen birds as I ran, the world awakening before me. A spotted fawn in a foggy meadow stared at me with liquid eyes. As the deer startled away into a nearby wood, I marveled at the secrets the daylight keeps.

If I overlook these visible things, how much harder to remain aware of the unseen spiritual world? There is more than one way of seeing, isn’t there? There is the seeing our eyes do, but there is also the seeing with what Scripture calls “the eyes of the heart.” In the Greek culture, the heart was considered the seat of understanding.

In Ephesians 1:18-19, Paul says, “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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

The original Greek language used for may be enlightened means "to cause light to shine upon something" or "to illuminate." In this sense, it means to cause something to be fully known by shedding light on it. The passive voice indicates that this action is performed on the subject by an outside source. We can think of this as God imparting revelation or the Holy Spirit illuminating spiritual truth to the hearts of believers.

It’s tempting to think of this kind of enlightenment as a mystical thing—and, indeed, God can and does impart revelation in the blink of an eye. Less exciting but perhaps more common, we know that time spent with the one true God causes us to know and understand beyond the usual hearing and seeing of humans and fills us with a feeling of expansion and awareness of greater things.

On the days when all the visible things of the world seem to bear down mercilessly, may we remember that there are unseen things of greater worth than all we hold in our hands.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What worries have burdened you recently? Will you spend some extra time with God today? Ask him to open the eyes of your heart and be reassured of his presence in the midst of your struggles.

PRAYER: Lord, as Elisha prayed for his servant, open our eyes so we may see that those who are with us are greater than those against us (2 Kings 6:15-17). Help us keep our eyes on the unseen, eternal things—on your good work—so that we may do all we do for you. Thank you, God. Amen.

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