Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Enlighten the Eyes of Our Hearts

Week 2  Abide and Adhere

Day 10 

Enlighten the Eyes of Our Hearts

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9

e are so easily sidetracked. The cares of this world distract us from the Giver to the pursuit of His gifts, and we fall into the same traps that have ensnared us so many times before.

One of the blessings of affliction is renewed focus upon the Savior. Even relatively minor trials spur us to cry out to Him, and thus our relentless pursuit of the fruit He has promised rather than relationship with Him is interrupted. The Lord uses upsetting circumstances to redirect our focus away from our own efforts to obey and toward “…an intimate relationship with His Son, our Lord Jesus the Anointed.”[i]

God is Spirit, and Jesus Christ has not been revealed to this generation in a physical way.  We accept Him by faith and come to know Him through Scripture, but we can't see Him with physical eyes--not yet. 

The Bible is our source of knowledge and understanding of Jesus; through Scripture we receive knowledge that enlightens our minds. The Holy Spirit is God present with us, and empowers us to comprehend truth as revealed through God’s Word. Thus our minds are enlightened and our spirits receive direction, but what about our hearts (emotions)?  It is vital to keep our hearts focused upon Jesus, because we plan our days according to the motivation of our hearts.

The Holy Spirit led imagination is an effective way to envision spiritual truths we can’t yet see with physical eyes. How can we imagine Christ expressing love for us?  How to envision a relationship with someone who is Spirit and not (currently) flesh?  We can pray, “Lord, help me to see You with the eyes of my heart.”

When I prayed in this way one morning recently, I recorded the following scenario in my journal:

I see Him walking quickly toward me. He kneels midstride and scoops up a bouquet of flowers. He bends to come down to my level and looks into my eyes. He presents me with the flowers as one presenting a gift. He pulls my head onto His shoulder. I can see the expression on His face; His eyes are closed, and His smile is like that of a parent embracing his child…I’ve worn that expression myself when hugging one of my children. It is as though He is inhaling a sweet scent, the familiar fragrance of a beloved child, in the same way I would breathe in the sweet baby scent of my tiny grandson's hair. 

When our minds have been well instructed in God’s Word, our hearts will not stray from the parameters of truth. We must never let our imaginations run wild, undirected by the truth of Scripture, because left on our own we will become rather silly. But the Lord owns our hearts, minds, and physical bodies, and when we release our hearts to Him we can envision more of the truth of His love for us than otherwise is possible.

Pray: Dear Lord, please grant me a strong appetite for Scripture, and help me avoid distractions that compete with Bible study for my time and attention. As I am firmly grounded in Your word, open my heart and mind so I am able to perceive the ways You are actively engaged in my physical circumstances; please enlighten the eyes of my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.


… having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe...
Ephesians 1:18-19

[i] 1 Corinthians 1:19, The Voice

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