Seeing with the Eyes of Our Hearts

Emmaus-2

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” (Eph 1:17-19, ESV2011)

Have you ever read this passage and wondered what the eyes of your heart being enlightened might be? Paul saw that this was really needed by those who are Christ’s so we may know what is the hope He has called us to and might experience the greatness of His power toward us.

For one thing, we know that if our heart’s eyes have been enlightened, we receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in a personal relationship, the intimate knowing of Jesus Christ. We are called to be His bride and as such, friends He shares everything with (see John 15:15). There is a mind knowing of something and then there is an intimate knowing of what is known. There is a knowing of a woman that a casual visitor to her home might have, and then there is a knowing of her that her husband has. Intimacy is not found in the mind or by mere observation, but in the heart. We can understand all mysteries and have all knowledge, but without love it is nothing in the economy of God’s kingdom. This is why mere intellectual knowledge of the Bible is not enough. We must have its depth of meaning revealed to us in our hearts, or we will miss the revelation it was written in. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were blind until Jesus opened the eyes of their hearts. They said, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (see Luke 24:31-32). God has always dealt with hearts and looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He is not so much interested in our intellectual abilities as He is longing for us to have an intimate relationship with Him as His bride and our hearts burning for Him. Isaiah wrote, “For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer…” (Isa 54:5, KJ2000). David was a man after God’s own heart, he longed for closeness with Him, and from that intimacy he often wrote prophetically about Jesus.

So what are the eyes of our hearts? Isn’t it having eyes that see beyond this three dimensional world into the spirit realm? Jesus has appeared in a very personal way to many of His devout followers over the centuries and it has changed their lives forever. Revelation of Him in our hearts puts us on a quest to know Him more intimately than any human on earth. T. Austin-Sparks wrote,

 Christ passed through this world unrecognized, unloved, making the positive affirmation that ”no one knoweth the Son save the Father” (Matt. 11:27). There is a mystery here. He is manifested as God in Christ, but in such a hidden way that it demands an act of God in specific revelation to see Jesus Christ. You cannot see Who Jesus Christ is truly unless God acts sovereignly and opens the eyes of your heart. That has been demonstrated by His whole life here on this earth. When one apostle was able in a moment of revelation to say, ”Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the rejoinder was: ”Blessed art thou, Simon BarJonah; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father” (Matt. 16:17).

And what is true of Christ is true of the Church. It is heavenly; it is unrecognized, unknown, unless God reveals it. I want you really to grasp this. I know in what a realm of helplessness it places us on the one side, and rightly so, it is as well that it is so; and therefore what it makes necessary on the other side: God must have a Church which exists on the basis of His own sovereign act of revelation. The purity of it demands that. If everybody could see and understand and comprehend, and the Church could be brought right down to the limited compass of human apprehension, what sort of Church would it be? The Church, in its heavenly character taken from Christ, is something that can only be entered by revelation, because it can only be known by revelation. ”No one knoweth…..” We can only state these facts. No teaching can accomplish it; we are powerless in the matter. All that is given to us is to state Divine facts; it is for God to reveal. But, thanks be unto God, He has revealed and He does reveal; and some of us can say He has shined into our hearts in this matter, and the revelation of Christ and of the Church has made an immense difference in every way.

God cannot be really known by the things which He says, however many they may be. There is such a difference between mental, intellectual apprehension and conception of God, and living, heart-transforming apprehension. God must come to us Himself in a living, personal way if we are to know Him livingly, actually. (http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/000429.html)

Jesus asked His disciples one day, “Who do men say that I am?” They began to answer Him with  their minds and repeated things that they had only heard from others, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matt 16:14, ESV2011). Until we know Jesus not only as our Redeemer, the Christ, but also as the One who sits at the right hand of God, personally making intercession for us, we still do not know Him. When He reveals things to us in our hearts, no one can talk us out of it. When we see Jesus as our ever present friend and lover, our lives are totally changed and there is no denying Him. We know that we know that we know.

Jesus went on to tell Peter that this revelation of who He is (The Rock of God’s revelation – see 2 Sam. 22:47) is foundational to the ecclesia of God and the very gates of hell will not prevail against it. In the Bible gates represent the places where the elders of the city sat as a council, made decisions and ruled. They had the power of leadership over that city. God needed to establish the ecclesia of Christ, His called-out ones, so that they would not cave into the councils of hell or false teachers and false prophets and be ruled by the cunning of Satan. He elected to do this by sending us His Holy Spirit as our Teacher so that we have no need that any man should teach us (see John 16:13-15 and 1 John 2:26-27). The Holy Spirit teaches us by revelation into our hearts directly from God so that we not only know in our hearts that Jesus the Christ IS God’s Son, but that He is the First Born of many other sons and daughters of God (see Romans 8:29). We who are His sons and daughters hear His voice and see with the eyes of our hearts as Christ’s devoted Bride, lovingly following and obeying Him. He is the one who must open them and He will.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1John 3:2, ESV2011)

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14 comments on “Seeing with the Eyes of Our Hearts

  1. I am wondering if by choosing to use the term “gates of hell” Jesus was emphasizing our grace given, revelation given ability to overcome the “defenses” of hell, go into Satan’s “city” and take back what he stole from Jesus, the Lamb who is worthy to receive “all.” Gates are not an offensive weapon, gates only come into play in a battle when the enemy has been driven back to the walls of their city. And we may as the “church” need reminded that there is a new priesthood, and a new High Priest and the way that we conquer now is not by getting the blood of others on our sword, but by laying down our own lives for the brethren. A friend of mine states that we need a deeper revelation of “eternal redemption.” Jesus Christ paid the “ransom” for everything that was lost in the garden, and another friend says, “What was lost in the garden was the image of God in man.” OH the depths of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God… We need one another to even begin to peer into these truths. Thanks for starting us on this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Chuck,
      Thanks for your comment. Jesus is the one who stormed the gates of hell when He first descended and then ascended, taking captivity captive. I see nowhere in the N.T. where we are to attack the gates of hell, though we help to “break every yoke and let the oppressed go free” when those who are captivated receive the gospel and the truth of Christ as we speak by the leading of the Spirit of God.

      “The gates of hell shall not prevail…” I looked up that word prevail in the Greek (Thayer’s) and it has an aggressive meaning more than defensive:

      – Original: κατισχύω
      – Transliteration: Katischuo
      – Phonetic: kat-is-khoo’-o
      – Definition:
      1. to be strong to another’s detriment, to prevail against
      2. to be superior in strength
      3. to overcome
      4. to prevail

      It is hell’s “gates” that desire to prevail against the Church. I often find that Adam Clarke in his commentary is a great aid in questions like this…

      “The gates of hell, πυλαιαδου i. e, the machinations and powers of the invisible world. In ancient times the gates of fortified cities were used to hold councils in, and were usually places of great strength. Our Lord’s expression means, that neither the plots, stratagems, nor strength of Satan and his angels, should ever so far prevail as to destroy the sacred truths in the above confession. Sometimes the gates are taken for the troops which issue out from them: we may firmly believe, that though hell should open her gates, and vomit out her devil and all his angels, to fight against Christ and his saints, ruin and discomfiture must be the consequence on their part; as the arm of the Omnipotent must prevail.”

      In Ephesians we see that the possition of the Church is to “stand” against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-13), not attack. All we can say to the devil if we are under Christ’s authority is, “The LORD rebukes you” (see Jude 8-10). The whole emphasis of the New Testament is to rest in what Jesus has already done by “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” This is why He could say, “It is finished” as He died on the cross. I agree with your friend who said, “we need a deeper revelation of eternal redemption.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pat Orr says:

    My Brother, Thank you for this blog. I am not coming from a scripture, but my own carnal thoughts(confession), when I read “Seeing with the Eyes of Our Hearts”, my thought was I need corrective lenses on my heart. I have worn corrective lenses on my natural eyes from childhood.

    I pray to see with the eyes on my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Pat, It seems to take longer for most of us to really see with the eyes of our hearts. When Philip said to Jesus, “Show us the Father and that will be enough.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, Philip, and you have not seen the Father?” Even though the disciples lived, ate and traveled with Him and saw all His miracles, they still had not seen Him as He is. It took a special touch from God to open the eyes of the two that walked and ate with Him on the road to Emmaus and in their home before they could see Him, even though they saw Him in His natural body for years.

      I will be praying for you my dear sister. Please pray for me because I know that I have not seen anything as of yet.

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Michael, you asked, “So what are the eyes of our hearts? Isn’t it having eyes that see beyond this three dimensional world into the spirit realm?”

    That’s it, my brother! What makes us blind in this world is our captivity to what we can perceive with our natural senses only. Indeed, EVERYTHING we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch will perish one day, just as our bodies wear out and die finally. Therefore God must give us spiritual senses with which we become aware of the invisible realm that knows no death any longer. We must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in our hearts so that we may share divine, eternal life by ‘knowing’ God and Jesus intimately (cf. Jn 17:3 which defines eternal life). This eternal life can only be seen with the eyes of the heart; it is a realm where nothing withers nor dies and where we are all eternally young and perfect. That is what all mankind is longing for and God is the only ONE who can provide this kind of spiritual life, even while we are here on earth, captured in these jars of clay.

    May God give us eyes of the heart that are able to see by faith what is beyond death so that we can join Paul in this cry of joy,

    “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55 ESV)

    PS
    I copied and pasted my prayer and the last Scripture from one of my older blog posts. If someone wants to check it out, below is the link.

    https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/some-thoughts-on-spiritual-sight-by-faith/

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, Susanne, for you insight, for I know that you have been IN SIGHT of Jesus and the Father for quite some time with your spiritual eyes as I have gotten to know you. You are a rare sister, indeed, and very blessed. You have inspired me to pray that God would open my spiritual eyes and not just my understanding of the scriptures. When the learned Pharisees asked that blind man how he could now see when he had been blind from birth, all he could say is “Once I was blind, but now I SEE!” Like the Pharisees and the Scribes that were there that day, when we rely on pure intellect to “see God” we are truly blind. What a danger!

    Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” (John 9:41, ESV2011)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ken Dawson says:

    Wow the way Sue describes it is good–I need some eye and heart work–hear me oh Dad.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would like to share a perception. I can’t tell you if it is right or wrong. To me it is just a perception about our question “what the eyes of our heart” means. Reading Pat’s comment made me think about my old heart, that can be deceitfully wicked, and the new heart Jesus gave me at my second birth.

    Last night Jesus opened “the eyes of my heart” to see a door that I believe he is going to open and I felt like I could see it with my heart. It seemed like I could see it deep within myself and I could see the overwhelming goodness of it. I don’t think my old heart is capable to this. I think I saw it in his spirit and with the eyes of my new heart. My new heart rejoiced at the value that he has planned. I agree with Michael that you know when you see things like this and no one can change your mind. The fact that it is agreement with God’s word removes all doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Well said, Russ. I think this passage fits what you saw in your new heart.

      Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:19-20, ESV2011)

      I rejoice for you, my brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely… Your scripture applies. He is the one knocking at my door to see if I will respond and the reason that I will is to further eat with him and he with me.

    I first opened the door to him when I was 24 and he changed my life forever. Now, I’m 66 and he still offers me more of himself.

    He wants me to; “know what is the hope to which he has called you (me)…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us (me) who believe, according to the working of his great might.” Ephesians 1:19

    I believe he “gave some as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the equipping of (us) to build the body of Christ (us) until we ALL attain unity of faith, knowledge of the Son of God and the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

    Ephesians 4:11-15
    11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
    12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
    13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

    God bless

    Like

  8. Don says:

    As I read your article it occurs to me that the Great Commission is all about revealing the Father Son and Holy Spirit to people and teaching them to walk with Him and continue to learn more about/from Him. He is all about finding His bride/wife. I am married and I do not need to have others teach my wife about me. They may have introduced us in the beginning but fade away after the engagement.

    He too would rather develop that relationship with His wife by Himself. Case in point Jesus just had to go to Samaria. After telling the Samaritan woman who He was she went back to town to “make disciples” herself. When the townsfolk met Jesus they believed from the direct contact with Him.

    I am sure that others can teach/model HOW to develop a relationship with our Husband but I want to do that for myself thank you very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Don. You have said so well how the Holy Spirit works among the body of Christ when we get out of the way. The Samaritan woman’s story is a great example of that. The so called “five fold ministries” have taken center stage in the church systems today and displacing Christ and His Spirit from Headship over the church and being its Teacher. When is the last time you have heard a 5-folder preach on 1 John 2:26-27? NOT!

      I have a friend that told me a story about being at a Christian conference and during a lunch break he sat with a young lady that was a new believer and she went on and on about how great her pastor was. So my friend finally asked her if she was married. She said she was not but hoped to be someday. Then He asked her, “When you get married and you are pronounced man and wife, will you then grab the best man and run out of the church and start your honeymoon with him? She emphatically said, “NO, I want to be with my husband!” He then said, can’t you see that your love for and devotion to your pastor instead of Jesus is all wrong? Jesus wants you to be crazy about and in love with HIM!”

      “Be astonished, O you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be you very desolate, says the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jer 2:12-13, KJ2000)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. daryl says:

    This is a really helpful post .Don’s comment really resonates with me.Prayer for me,has always been difficult(not me talking to God,but others being around,hearing our conversation).Even at home with my wife and kids,I would rather not be “asked to pray” before a meal or something.At best,those prayers are rather generic,kind of a formality,and just feels phony to me…being put on the spot…and my mind goes blank.It’s not that I am not thankful,or somethings wrong. Anyways,I really enjoyed this post and comments.

    Liked by 2 people

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