Summary: Heart problems abound in our culture. In a society so fast-paced as ours, heart problems are inevitable. But there is another kind of heart problem which is even bigger. You may call it blindness of the heart.
Ephesians: Our Identity In Christ
Eyes of the Heart
For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. (Ephesians 1:15-19a)
Heart problems abound in our culture. In a society so fast-paced as ours, heart problems are inevitable. I heard of a Spanish professor from Cuba. He had fled the country years before when Castro took over. There he had been the owner of a factory. He talked about the heart problems we Americans face. This Spanish professor thought they could well be avoided. He described the lifestyle of work in his former country. He told of the long lunch breaks that lasted approximately two hours. The workers would go home for a hot lunch and a nap, called a siesta. Then they would return to work. Although they worked there eight hours, they did it in such a way that there was a time to relax. He said to me that heart attacks were not common in his country. And he implied that we Americans ought to take it a little easier.
Well, of course, we could tell him a thing or two! We don't have time for a siesta. In fact, there is hardly time for sleep at all. We live in a culture where we have to work hard, and long. The stress level is high. We have to eat on the run. Push, push, push - that's the American way of life. But, that is our problem, isn't it? We do work hard. We work so hard that there is no time to smell the flowers and enjoy life. So, in our culture, we have heart problems. It's a big problem.
But there is another kind of heart problem which is even bigger. You may call it blindness of the heart. You may have never heard of this problem, but I can assure you it does exist. In fact, it exists universally among non-believers, and is too often found among believers. Many have hearts that cannot see. Unfortunately, they are like Rose Crawford, who had been blind for 50 years. She had her sight restored in a simple surgical procedure in an Ontario hospital. But she could have seen twenty years earlier. There were techniques which had been developed that made twenty years of blindness unnecessary. Sadly, she hadn't known. She wept for joy when she could see, but she had suffered twenty years of blindness needlessly. If only she had known.
Did you know that the heart can see? In our text, this is what Paul prays for us. He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Did you know your heart had eyes? It does. Unless you learn to see with the eyes of your heart, you will never really see Jesus as you should.
Until now, Paul has been describing who we are and what we possess in Christ. From verse 3 through 14, we have a 203 word sentence. It is as if Paul began to describe the richness found in Christ and could find nowhere to stop. He piles word upon word in an attempt to do justice to the richness of Christ's grace. And now we come to a place where he launches forth in a prayer that we might see what he's been describing. It is as if he somehow knows that mere human language can never describe adequately the glory of Christ. He knows we really need to see these truths. And he knows that all that we need is found in Jesus Christ. Already he has told us that Christ is the sum of all things. And now he prays that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. To accomplish this, he prays that we might experience a revelation that will bring us to a deep and intimate knowledge of Him. He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. He desires that the light of God's revelation may shine on your souls so that you may know all that God has done for you, in you, and through you.