I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 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 … (verses 17-19)
Have you ever searched diligently for something, only to discover it was right there in front of you the whole time? My wife catches me at this all the time! “Right under your nose,” is how we put it, aptly capturing the reality that though our eyes were open, they weren’t actually seeing.
Paul prays passionately that this would not be the case for us when it comes to spiritual things. He prays that the eyes of our heart would be opened wide, indeed enlightened, touched by healing sight, just as Jesus touched the eyes of the blindman in John 9, spitting on the ground, turning dust to mud, packing it on his eyes, and then telling him to wash at the Pool of Siloam. The man did, and he could see! His eyes opened for the first time, taking in light and colour and faces of family and friends, fully able to perceive what had been there all the time, but was previously veiled because of blindness.
Paul prays that same transformation for our spiritual eyes. He wants us to see, with crystal clarity, three things from the Lord himself, impacting us for all eternity. Literally, here they are: (1) “the hope of his calling,” (2) “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” and (3) “the surpassing greatness of his power.” Don’t miss the fact that each is solidly anchored in the Lord himself, coming directly from him. His calling. His inheritance. His power.
Let’s unpack each one.
His calling. We only ever came spiritually alive in the first place because the Lord called us. Yes, we made the choice to receive salvation. But it was the Lord who initiated. He called; we only responded. CS Lewis makes this point in one of his Narnian Chronicles, The Silver Chair. As Jill finds herself face to face with the great Lion, Aslan, who represents Christ, he tells her he himself was the one who called her into Narnia. She tries to correct him, remembering that she and her friend, Eustace, had been the ones who called out, asking for an open door. To this, the Lion simply responds: “You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you.” It’s the crucial point. The Lord chose us and called us. In this is hope, sure and solid. Oh, may we see it clearly.
His inheritance. We have been decisively adopted into the family of Almighty God, which puts us in a position of incredible privilege. We are embraced in the “riches of God’s grace which he lavished upon us” (verses 7-8) and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (verse 3). This is our reality. But “inheritance” looks beyond the present to the future, to a legacy that is not yet here, but coming. It’s the fullness of the Kingdom. Its riches are glorious. The Father has promised. The inheritance is sure. Oh, may we see it clearly.
His power. Imagine what it would have been like, early on that Sunday morning, to be one of the soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb. Imagine being rocked by the violence of that earthquake. Imagine watching as the angel descended from heaven, his appearance like lightning, coming down to the grave’s mouth and effortlessly rolling back the stone which sealed it. Such power. But that was only a beginning taste, for the full magnitude was only evidenced when the Father raised Jesus from death’s grip, breaking its bonds, and releasing him into the fullness of life unending. This same power is what our Lord extends to us. What surpassing greatness! Oh, may we see it clearly.
May the prayer be fulfilled. May our eyes open wide. May we see the full reality. Open the eyes of our heart.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord – open the eyes of my heart. I want to see the hope of your calling, the riches of the glory of your inheritance, and the surpassing greatness of your power. May it be. To your glory. Amen.
Reflect: Which of these phrases speaks most strongly to you this day? His calling, his inheritance, his power. Reflect on it. Carry it with you through the day.