Friday, June 18, 2010

The Hope for Which We’re Called Heavenward

“I pray also 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 the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

~Ephesians 1:18-19 (NIV).

Two items of anatomy are seen here in the initial part of the passage—the eyes and the heart; actually the eyes of the heart. It’s a fusion of body parts in collusion to produce understanding.

These ‘Eyes of the Heart’

This is about the idea of our Spiritual revelation—the ‘tools’ to perceive and refract the things of the Lord. We all have the very same faculties! And yet, we’re all progressively and summarily either blessed or cursed with a pretext for patterns of belief or unbelief—and the range between.

The eyes quite literally enlighten the whole being allowing, for instance, the heart to see with ‘eyes’ of belief regarding moral reason.[1] The heart is our absolute moral and spiritual centre. One believes from there, or not.

The eyes of the heart, then, are the critical entry point for the ‘system’ either supporting or denying belief.

“In Order that We Might Know...”

We very plainly will not know anything of God if the eyes of our heart are not initially enlightened, these informing the heart.

If we now assume the heart is being appropriately informed, we can begin to receive the revelation of the Lord. Note particularly how crucial it is that the ‘eyes of the heart’ are tuned to our most moral and holy God!

God’s not informing us if we’re saying all the right things—putting on the right face—but heresy and hatred fills our hearts. It’s just not how God works. I’m still astounded (though I shouldn’t be) at the sort of negativity some so-called Christians dish up in ‘defence’ of Jesus—and yet, this is plainly not Jesus’ way!

Jesus despised the critical spirit that was throbbingly alive and putridly well in the majority of the religious leaders of his day. His Spirit cannot abide with this evil.

And, still, we’re venturing further from the track we started on...

... ‘Knowing’ God is everything! All else comes after this golden fact.

“The Hope to Which He Has Called Us”

Oh the thrill of this reality—a reality hardly conceivable as ‘real’ due to the incomparable kindness of God manifest in this hope, the kingdom of heaven—here and to come.

The hope to which we’re called centres, in this context, on our salvation—our adoption as sons and daughters of the one and only living God.

We enter a long line, falling in behind the saints of bygone eras, and we’re considered equal to most venerable of the heroes of faith (see Hebrews 11).

Can we simply grasp that? I’m sorry, I cannot. It’s too marvellous a thought.

And to think that we have entered this royal line—a more prestigious and inherently pure royal dynasty than any on earth, ever, before or to come—by pure virtue of Jesus and his momentous blood sacrifice.

The Believer’s Power

As we believe, we have abundant power to live life acceptably—to the will of God. Finally we have the capacity to do it and, so strangely, it’s never been easier!

We’re honestly bemused.

This power is an incomparable and incomprehensible power.

It is a power that truly only can be experienced, and we fall in love with this grace-power that all of a sudden has us finding sense to life.

Imagine: life makes so much superabundant sense—even when it doesn’t!—only in the context of God’s holy revelation. Seeing and experiencing that; that’s power!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] Harold W. Hoehner, Ephesians – An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2002), p. 260.

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