Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me; Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently now I wait for Thee, ready my God, Thy will to see, Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!
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 .To see You high and lifted up, shining in the light of Your glory, Pour out Your power and love as we sing holy, holy, holy
The prayer expressed by the words of these songs is very similar to the prayer of the Apostle Paul that is recorded for us in Ephesians 1:15-23.
The Apostle Paul prayed for the folks at Ephesus and by the inspiration of the holy Spirit, for all believers, that we might receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation, and that the eyes of our heart might be enlightened. Why? So that we might better know God, by coming to see how He views us in Christ.
You see, the Bible tells us that everyone who has trusted Christ as Savior has a new standing before God. Whereas before we met Christ we were “in sin,” now we are “in Christ.” Because of this new standing before God, our relationship with Him has changed. Whereas before we were under condemnation, now we are under the blood.
So it is that Paul prays that the people of God might have their eyes opened to see themselves in light of their special relationship to God.
That we might see ourselves as God does. Paul prayed that we might see ourselves as being . . .
1. God’s partners - v. 18a
Paul prayed that we might know the hope of God’s calling. God looks upon His children as being partners in His redemptive work.
“For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God . . .” - 1 Corinthians 3:9 (Amplified)
God has a specific role for each of us to play in the work he has called us to cooperate with Him in.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” - Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For this reason, we need to seek to “walk in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), spending time each day with God in prayer, so we might, as Watchman Nee put is, “cultivate the upward gaze so that we might see the work that God wants us to cooperate with Him in.”
Too many of us, however, do pray, but not to ascertain God’s will, but rather, to get approval of our own.
A man was telling his mother about a friend who had died and left three small children. His mother said, “Why couldn’t it have been me? I am ninety-three years old, and she was so young. I’ve worked hard all my life to serve the Lord, and I’m ready to go.’
He responded, “Mother, the Lord has left you here on earth for a purpose. He must have something else he wants you to do.”
She quickly replied, “Well, I’m telling you right now, I’m not gonna do it.”
Oh, let’s see ourselves as God sees us! We are his partners! Therefore, let our commitment be: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.”
Paul also prayed that we might see ourselves as being . . .
2. God’s inheritance - v. 18b
In Ephesians 1:11, Paul spoke of our inheritance, but here he speaks of God’s inheritance. We, the people of God, are said to be God’s inheritance. In 1 Corinthians 6:20, we are told that we were “bought with a price” and are, therefore, very precious to God - we are His inheritance! This means at least two things:
A. We have a prominent place in the heart of God.
I have an antique clock that I inherited from my uncle Perry McFadden, which once belonged to my great-grandfather. That clock is prominently displayed on the mantle of our fireplace in our home. It has a special place in our home, because it is precious to me. Likewise, because we are God’s inheritance, we are precious to Him and have a prominent place in His heart.
B. We will never be abandoned by God.
Have you ever felt abandoned? I will never forget one day I experienced as a child.
Did you ever wonder as a child if you were adopted? Ever wonder if one day you would come home, only to find out that you really didn’t belong to this family and that they had decided to leave you behind? Well, I used to have crazy thoughts like that as a kid.
One day, I thought my greatest fears had come to pass. When I was in elementary school, we lived close enough to school that I not only could walk to school, but I could walk home for lunch. One day my mother told me that she was going to another town to do some shopping with some friends. She packed me a lunch and told me to stay at school and eat the lunch she had prepared for me in the cafeteria.
Well, you probably can guess what happened. I forgot! I walked home for lunch like always, only to find the door locked! I ran around the house and tried the back door, only to find it locked, too.
I came back around to the front door and rang the door bell, knocked, kicked, and yelled, but no one came to the door. Finally, I just sat down on the curb in front of my home and cried.
One of our neighbors drove by and saw me there. She stopped and asked me what was going on. When I told her, she reminded me that my mother was gone on the shopping trip (she was a friend who had apparently planned on going but had to change her plans). She took me to her house, called the school to explain what had happened, and fed me. I will never forget her kindness to me and I will never forget that feeling of abandonment (though false) I had on that day.
Now, I only felt abandoned by my family because I had forgotten what my mother had told me about her plans. Likewise, as a child of God, the reason why we might feel abandoned by God is because we have forgotten what He has told us about His plans.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” - Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
Because I am His inheritance, God will never abandon me! He will see me safely into His eternal presence, where I will not only enjoy Him, but He will enjoy me, forever!
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” - Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
All things, including human beings, were created by God and FOR God, and God has provided for the redemption and restoration of all things, including human beings - you and me. We have been recreated through faith in Christ FOR Him. We are his inheritance. God delights in us and plans on delighting in us through-out all eternity.
Paul prayed as well, that we might see ourselves as being . . .
3. God’s instruments - v. 19a
God views us as the instruments through which His power can work in the world. That was God’s message to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” - 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
God demonstrates His power through the imperfect lives of His people. Notice what Paul says about the power God makes available to us:
A. The greatness of it - v. 19b
Paul exhausts the Greek language, trying to describe God’s power. One word he uses, “dunamis” from which we get the word, “dynamite.”
B. The source of it - vs. 20-21
The source of the power that God has made available to us is the finished work of Christ.
C. The reason for it - vs. 22-23
The reason God power is made available to us is because he has chosen to “need” us to demonstrate his power.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”- Ephesians 2:4-7 (NIV)
We are instruments of God’s power. He has declared that he will demonstrate his power only through the imperfect lives of His people
How wonderful to know, that while we can do nothing without Christ, with Him, we can do all things!
A “zero” is worth exactly that, “zero.” Even if you take a million “zeros” and put them side by side, they are still worth nothing. But put a “one” before them and they suddenly have value. Such is the recognizable difference made in the life of the Child of God who is willing to be used as an instrument of God’s power by surrendering to God and allowing Him to have His proper place!
“Without Me you can do nothing.” I know, Lord, I know! “Without Me you can do nothing” Only a round “zero.” But stand by my side, oh Master. Then one and zero are ten; Stand by my friend and me, Lord. We are a hundred then. A little group of two or three are gathered in Your name. ‘Tis a hundred or a thousand if You are standing there with them. Stand by the side of each of us, Your servants in the fight. With each new "zero" the numbers grow; And the demons of hell take flight. With You standing beside us, we are ready to go and grow; For its the One who stands beside us, Who gives value to each “zero.”
God sees us as the instruments of His power.
Conclusion: Paul prays that we might see ourselves as God sees us. We are God’s partners, we are God’s inheritance, we are God’s instruments. Our lives will change as we grow to see ourselves as God sees us.
Ira & Ann Yates were a pioneer ranching couple who settled the rough, unwanted country in a long valley along the Pecos River in northern Pecos County, Texas. For years they struggled to make a living raising sheep, goats and cattle until one day, a fortune was found underneath their dusty ranch that changed everything.
On October 28, 1926 an exploration well was drilled to 992 feet by the Transcontinental Oil Company on their ranch and oil was discovered. The Yates family because billionaires over night & the town of Irann came into being. The Yates family went on to pour millions into the Texas State Permanent School Fund, helping to make universities in Texas some of the best funded in the world.
In reality, Ira & Ann Yates were billionaires before the discovery of oil on their property, they just hadn’t discovered that they were billionaires yet. Consequently, they were living as paupers. Once they discovered oil, they discovered just how wealthy they really were and not only were their lives were changed, but the lives of many other people were changed, too.
Likewise, the lives of God’s people and those around them would be changed if God’s people would come to see themselves as God does!
You are not a person whose life is without worth and purpose - you are a partner with God in His eternal work!
You are not an unlovely and unloved individual - you are God’s precious inheritance - you were created and redeemed to be enjoyed by Him eternally!
You are not a person destined to fail - you are an instrument of God’s power and destined to victory - an over-comer by the power and presence of God at work in your life.