Christianity 201

May 3, 2011

Spiritual Cataracts

I continue to be impressed by the quality and relevance of the devotional readings each day at Daily Encouragement.  If you ever decide to drop this blog in order to read theirs, I wouldn’t be annoyed; in fact I’d be honored to have led you to Stephen & Brooksyne’s blog.  This appeared yesterday under the title Open The Eyes of My Heart.

“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).

Today we would like to write about spiritual enlightenment. One of the great aspects of our conversion is the reality of being spiritually enlightened. In the classic hymn “Amazing Grace” John Newton describes his spiritual enlightenment with the words, “I once was blind, but now I see.”

Spiritual blindness is a condition of the unbeliever. The apostle Paul wrote, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

However the unbeliever may very well not sense in any way that their minds are blinded. On the contrary they may feel they are the ones enlightened. Those who hold an entirely different worldview and faith outlook  speak of being “enlightened”. In fact they would see me as backward, ignorant and unenlightened. So the issue is not whether we have been enlightened but rather what we’ve been enlightened to and who is our source for enlightenment!

Many years ago a pastor friend used the term “spiritual cataracts” to describe a condition that believers also need to be mindful of.  Because of the blinding impact of sin we need continual enlightenment by the Spirit and the Word of God.

In the daily portion of Scripture the apostle Paul is expressing a powerful prayer for the Ephesian believers.  It provides a great model of how we should pray for one another with our focus on the spiritual realm.

Paul used a very interesting metaphor here in his prayer when he wrote about the “eyes of the heart” being enlightened. That is precisely what we need, for God to open our hearts to His truth.

The eyes of our hearts being enlightened results in our knowledge of three powerful truths that bring great assurance:

  • The hope to which He has called us.
  • The riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.
  • His incomparably great power.

Who are the ultimate recipients of this prayer?  Certainly the Ephesian believers were the initial recipients. But the final phrase rings loud in my heart today many centuries later.  These glorious truths are “for us who believe.”  I do “believe” today and desire that the eyes of my heart be continually enlightened to receive spiritual truths from God and that is also my prayer for every reader!

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You, I want to see You.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You, I want to see You.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

en français: