Written by Tim Hampton

 

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, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.  The power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised him from the dead and sealed him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 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.  Ephesians 1:18-21

 

The past few years have been challenging for our family.  My wife was diagnosed with cancer on two separate occasions and I had to go on disability due to a serious chronic illness.  During this season of our lives it has been the faithful prayers of God's people that have sustained us.  As I write this devotional I am doing so with a heavy heart as I grieve the loss of my father who passed away a week ago.  During that same week I spent four days in the hospital due to poor kidney functioning.  On my cell phone are texts and voice mails from the people of SCC offering prayers of love and support to me.  These prayers have given me the strength to carry on with faith and hope.               

 

As the apostle Paul sat down to pen his letter to these young believers in Ephesus he knew that prayer, more than anything else, would be the necessary ingredient to aid in their continued growth and maturity.  This is perhaps why such a large portion of Ephesians is actually a prayer.  The verses that we are considering in this devotional are part of his prayer that includes verses 15-23.  Verses 15-17 were considered in a separate devotional.

 

In verse 18, Paul uses an interesting expression, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened."  that phrase "eyes of your heart" is speaking of an inner awareness provided by the Holy Spirit.  "Heart" speaks of our whole  inner self, including our mind, will, and emotions.  In verse 19, Paul reveals to his fellow believers what he wanted the Holy Spirit to reveal to them deep in their heart.  The one that I want to consider is the last one that he mentions, "His incomparably great power for us who believe."  I love the Phillips translation of this, "how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God."  The Christians of Paul's day as well as all of us today, need to have the eyes of our heart opened to the fact that God has empowered us mightily and equipped us wonderfully as we seek to serve, love and care for our community.  Acts 1:8 is Jesus's promise to us, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Samaria, and the ends of the earth".

 

This verse makes it clear that there is a vital relationship between the ministry of the Spirit in our lives and the working of spiritual power.  While it is true that this verse is the Great Commission, it also states a fact:  when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we will indeed receive power and will be witnesses to the ends of the earth.  That is the Spirit's function - to empower us for witness about Christ among nations.  I want to encourage you to pray for one another that we would be filled with the Holy Spirit, and that we would all trust and believe that as God opens the door for new opportunities for ministry, He will also empower and equip us.

 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I thank you that you love us.  I thank you that you have saved us and filled us with your precious Holy Spirit.  I thank you for opening the eyes of my heart to see....................