I pray 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 his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1: 18-21
Now that I am in strong recovery (or recovered) from my eating disorder, it is easy now for me to look back into my life and see the stones of remembrance where God showed up and protected, healed, or provided for me. However, when I was really ill, I was blind to all of this. Sure, I looked for God, but I did not see Him. I sought glimpses of God, but could not find Him. Where was he when I was abused as a child? Why didn’t he heal my mother’s illness? Why did I have to go through that bad time in college? Why didn’t he change the circumstances in my marriage? Was he there? Where?!?!
Maybe you feel that way too. Maybe you have looked for God and cannot find him. Maybe you wonder if he is involved in your life and if He is…why does he seem to be doing nothing to ease your pain, heal your wounds, change your circumstances?
When I was pregnant with my first child I attended a Bible study with my mother-in-law. We were challenged each week to memorize today’s passage. As a person fairly new to Bible study this passage was WAY too long, and something I considered unrealistic to remember. There was no way I could memorize ALL of it….so I didn’t. I won’t go into details, but the next few years, this passage kept popping up, in sermons, on the radio, in different online devotionals and Bible Studies. Eventually, I decided to open my eyes to it…and my heart. I memorized it…and this passage has truly blessed me, especially in my recovery.
To truly grasp the wonderful message in this verse, let’s break it down into sections:
1.) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know
This is a prayer for the eyes of your heart to be opened. In order for us to be able to see God’s presence in our lives, He first must open our eyes. We must come to Him and ask for our eyes to be opened. Why? So that we might KNOW. When my eyes of my heart were closed, I looked at experiences and circumstances in my life without the benefit of knowing God enough to recognize Him there. Once He opened my eyes, I began to KNOW Him and see His presence.
2.) know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
What exactly do we come to know when our eyes are opened? HOPE, RICHES, and POWER! First, we are called to hope, we are heirs to His glorious inheritance, and we have access to an incomparable power if we believe in Him. I know this meant so much to me as I began to recover. I needed hope, I needed to know I was part of His family, and most of all, I needed that POWER to defeat my demons.
3.) . That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come
This is the part of this passage that blew me away and stripped any film that was left on my eyes. The power that we as believers have is the very same power that God used when He raised Christ from the dead!! We have access to this power! Isn’t that great news?! Notice too, God did not simply raise Jesus from the dead, but then He seated Him at His right hand. God will use that same power to raise you from the deadness of your existence, your struggle with your eating disorder and then He will put you where you can be near Him…where you belong. As Jesus sits on his throne, he is above ALL, both then, now and in the future. Whatever rules you now in your struggle…Jesus is above it! God’s sovereignty covers everything…right now and forever! We do not have to be subject to these things that attempt to hold us in bondage. We belong to God and have HIS power in us through Christ. We can break free!
There is no power greater than God’s. Maybe you do not yet recognize His power in your life personally, but can you see it in the Resurrection? I pray that you can, that your eyes will be opened to this extreme act of power. Knowing, seeing, and believing this power that God exerts in raising Jesus from the dead gives us hope that it is available for us as well. It is ours, through Christ, if we believe. This is our hope! Like Jesus, God will lift us up and place us where we have belonged, where we can be of use for His glory.
Breathing In (Bible Study)
Memorize Ephesians 1: 18-21 (come on, you knew it was coming!!)
Breathing Out (Prayer)
Today’s prayer comes from this passage in The Message paraphrase translation.
God of Wonders,
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything.
Thanks be to God! In His Power, Amen