Summary: Pray to be enlightened to the resurrection power of Christ at work in our lives. We need to claim it and through faith release that power in our lives.
18 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, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Just before World War II in the town of Itasca, Texas, a school fire took the lives of 263 children. There was scarcely a family in town that was not touched by this horrifying tragedy. After the war, the town built a new school, which featured what was called "the finest sprinkler system in the world." The town was very proud of their new school. Honour students were selected to guide citizens and visitors on tours of the new facility to show them the finest, most advanced sprinkler system technology. Never again would a fire disaster happen.
Many years later, the town made progress and grew. It was necessary to enlarge the school - and in adding the new wing, it was discovered that the sprinkler system had never been connected.
... Story told by Dr Howard Hendricks on 4 Mar 82 @ International Congress on Biblical Inerrancy in San Diego, California.
This is a parable of what has happened in so many Christian lives. There is untold power available for every believer in Christ, but so many never hook up. Are you lives powerless and weak? Are you connected?
God has revealed all the TRUTH we need. What is needed is to have our SPIRITUAL EYES opened to it.
Watchman Nee: "Knowledge is absolutely different from light. Those who have light surely have the knowledge, but those who have knowledge do not necessarily have light."
The Pharisees, scribes knew the Scriptures but they did not recognise Jesus standing before them.
They have knowledge, but still in darkness. We need the LIGHT.
1. TO STAY STRONG, PRAY TO BE ENLIGHTENED TO GOD’S PROMISES
Paul prays - that our EYES of our hearts be ENLIGHTENED - so that we may KNOW...
(1) the great HOPE we have...
(2) the RICHES of His glorious inheritance we have...
(2) verse 19 - the incomparably great POWER for us who believe.
There is enthusiasm in Paul’s words - look at all the power SYNONYMS - incomparable, power, mighty, strength, exerted, raise... far above all rule, authority, power, dominion, every title, now and forever...
Apparently, we eyes can be BLINDED to this fact.
· We can be living in hope but feeling quite hopeless
· We can be living in the riches of God’s provision, and feeling very poor
· We can be living in His power, yet feeling helpless most of the time.
It is not the lack of knowledge, but the lack of LIGHT. We just don’t SEE it.
We can have these problems even as Christians - to the church in Laodicea - Rev 3:17-18
But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Paul has to PRAY... that the eyes of our heart be enlightened.
Ask these questions: Are you living in hope, always hopeful in Christ? Do you feel blessed, because we are rich in Christ? Do you live with confidence because of the great power God has for us?
Are we very sure of these? Or are we struggling through life most of the time.
Paul prayed for the believers - he said, "the eyes of your hearts" - conviction, strong belief...
We must PRAY this same prayer... that God will help us see the light. In fact, the very act of PRAYING draws us to the LIGHT. You come to KNOW Him and His Word.
2. STAY STRONG, CLAIM THE PROMISES BECAUSE THE VICTORY IS FINAL
Look at this POWER that Paul took extra effort to explain to us: v.20 "which God exerted in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms" - the power that RAISED Jesus and ASCENDED Him to heaven.