“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him—the eyes of your understanding being enlightened. . .”
John Newton knew it when he wrote, “I once was lost, but now am found—was blind, but now I see.”
We’re born with it. And, no amount of education or religious experience can change that. Just as Paul was convinced he was totally right with God because of his adherence to the Law—until He met Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9)—so are our eyes blind to Him and our need of Him until He creates within us a new heart and mind at the moment of the new birth.
There are no discoveries; there are only revelations.
Proud scientists talk much of discovering the “secrets” of the cell and the universe. We spend billions of dollars and thousands of hours in research and development, finally seeming to unlock those “hidden doors” so long closed. But, we forget that Columbus didn’t “discover” America; he simply found what was already there.
And, so it is with all of our “discoveries”—even in the spiritual realm.
The Apostle Paul, whose physical and spiritual eyes were dramatically opened on the Damascus road, found a whole new world opened unto him when Grace “shined in his heart, giving him the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 4:6).
That’s why his fervent prayer was that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, would also give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Simply put, he was praying they, like him, would have “the eyes of their understanding enlightened (Grk. ‘photizo’—‘to brighten up, illuminate, to shine, shed rays, etc.’).”
How desperately he longed that they “would know what is the hope of His calling, the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (vv.18b-19). As they caught a glimpse of these Resurrection Realities, he knew their lives would be radically, irreversibly changed.
“The hope of His calling”—as an “Anchor of the Soul” (Heb. 6:18-19). “The riches of the Glory of His inheritance”—what we receive when we’re born again as a pardoned, adopted child of the Heavenly Father. “The exceeding greatness of His power”—that inward, dynamic, life-changing Resurrection power that transforms us from the inside out.
“Enlightened eyes” are gifts from above. Once we begin to look at others the way Jesus does, how can we keep from loving them? And, once we remember our “citizenship is in Heaven and start looking for our coming Savior” (Phil. 3:20), no longer will we become so easily distracted and distressed by what’s going on around us. Stay focused, Pilgrim!
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 21, 2009