Taking off The Blindfold – Open The Eyes of My Heart
This morning I read Ephesians 1:16–18 “I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”
This immediately brought to mind a story in 2 Kings 6:15–17 that I have always loved:
“When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”
Open Our Eyes
Elisha and his servant were staying in the city of Dothan. The young servant had got up that morning and taken a look outside the city walls; what he saw filled him with terror! – The army of Arameans we’re positioned around the city, waiting to attack! Also, the king of Aram had heard that Elisha was getting in the way of his war plans against Israel; now this fierce and ruthless army, under orders from the king of had come looking for Elisha. If I close my eyes I can picture the scene – the servant’s trembling legs and fear-struck face. As he and Elisha stood, looking at this terrifying sight, all the servant could see was the Aramean army; until Elisha asked the Lord to open his eyes to really see.
Suddenly the servant of Elisha saw with the eyes of faith! God opened his eyes to see that this fierce army that was threatening them was nothing compared with the vast Heavenly army of horses and chariots of fire that that surrounded the Arameans.
The King of Aram wanted Elisha out of the way and had sent his “bully-boys” to take care of it; but he had underestimated just who he was messing with – this man of God had Heaven’s army on his side!
“The Immeasurable Greatness of His Power…toward us who believe”
In Ephesians 1:15–23, Paul is praying for Christians who are struggling to feel the power of God in their lives.
Elisha had tried encouraging his servant by saying “don’t be afraid, there are more on our side than on theirs” but it seems his words fell on deaf ears, so caught up in the grip of fear was this young man. Elisha realised then that only God could remove his servant’s fear’s in that moment, so he prayed.
Paul too, knew that only God can open the eyes of our hearts to really see that we have the resurrection power of Jesus in us.
What is Paul praying for?
Paul’s prayer is that you and I may know:
*The hope to which he has called you
*riches of his glorious inheritance
*the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.”
Paul isn’t praying that we receive these things – they’re already ours! (If we are His) Paul’s prayer is that God would open our eyes to this truth!
We all have times when our vision, spiritually speaking, is not exactly what you’d call 20/20! If that’s you today, pray Paul’s prayer- asking God to “flood your heart with light” so that you can see clearly again. Or echo Elisha’s prayer for his servant; making it personal – “Lord open (my) eyes that (I) would see!” – remember that you are surrounded by The Lord of Hosts!
Here are two reasons our vision can become clouded:
- No one likes talking about the “S” word. Sin: Sin, when we try to cover it up and hide from God (as if we could!) can dull our vision. How easily we forget that sin is conquered in our lives by Jesus’ far superior power that’s alive and at work in us! But thank God that as it says in 1 John 1:9 “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
- We forget that we’re in a spiritual battle: Ephesians 6:12 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
I’ll let you in on a little personal secret. When I woke up this morning, I was looking at “the wrong army”. For a little while, I allowed my legs to tremble. I allowed my mind to be pinned by – the “fiery darts” – the lies that flew my way from the enemy lines; – and then I went and got my guitar that has been sitting in the corner for three weeks gathering dust, and I wrote a worship song to the Lord of Hosts. Within moments, I could see again, with the eyes of my heart, God’s army that surrounded me.
Elisha was God’s man. God had a job for him to do: he had enemies who did not like this and sought to stop Elisha. But guess what? – No army, no matter how fierce or malevolent, was going to stop the plans and purposes of God because Elisha was surrounded by the armies of Heaven!
If you belong to Jesus, then like Elisha, God has a plan and a purpose for you. But you have a barrage of malevolent demonic forces coming against you who are not pleased about those purposes. Whether you believe it or not, the Bible teaches that these spiritual enemies are real. They hate our faith. They hate it when we trust God. They hate our worship. They hate our solid Christian marriages. They hate our ministry. They have been sent by their commander in chief, Satan, to kill steal and destroy all they can from Christians.
The tactics they use are fear, discouragement, anger, self pity – it’s a battle waged, daily in the mind.
Seeing Paul’s Prayer Answered!
“that you will know the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,”
Would you like to see Paul’s prayer answered in your own life? I would; not just to have my eyes opened but to keep my vision sharp.
Remember, God’s man or woman, whatever you’re facing right now, The Lord of the Angel Armies is by on your side! And any enemy army that you are standing looking at, is, in turn, surrounded by the armies of Heaven!
The outcome of the battle is already determined – Jesus’ victory. He has already won!
And where Jesus is victorious, so are you.