The Hope to Which He has Called You…

“I pray 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.” Ephesians 1:18-19

Please take a moment to stop if you will, inhale and appreciate this verse. It is loaded with things that I believe we will find power in praying over our lives. It begins with the prayer that our hearts may be enlightened. Rarely do we find our minds wondering to the fact of the glorious hope to which God has called us. I am sure that we are saturated with reminders of the hope of eternity and glorification, as they are mentioned in almost each sermon these days. The emphasis is that if we are saved, we will be in heaven with our Lord, and this is true, but let’s go a bit deeper and examine this verse in Ephesians. Paul prays to the Lord asking that our hearts be enlightened. I believe that we are not always fully aware of the hope to which Christ has called us. Our hearts have not necessarily been awakened to the reality that Christ is functioning and operating in our hearts with redemptive power. It is the same power with which God the father raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19).

It is verses like these, that if we let them take root in our hearts, they will prevent Christianity from becoming so commonplace, and the promises of God from feeling so far-fetched and useless. Notice that roots not only function to be the stability of that which is growing from them, but they also spread. We want this word to spread into every cavern of our hearts, resulting in a long-lasting and fuller knowledge of who Christ is! We do not want to simply taste Christ, we want to enjoy him to the fullest. The is not the only important aspect of this prayer, next is what can be experienced through the other brothers an sisters in Christ.

The Riches that Christ has Deposited in the Brethren:

In his body, we are surrounded by his holy people, in whom are the riches of his glorious inheritance. Christ is our portion, and his riches can only be experienced to the very fullest when we are among his holy people. If we seek Christ alone (apart from other believers), we deprive ourselves of his fullness because his riches have been deposited into the ones who believe in him. Yes, once we believe, we have certain riches that are specific to us, but this can never replace what is experienced in the other members. I believe that the riches in each member are the different aspects of his nature that are expressed through them. We therefore are ourselves enriched individually when immersed among God’s people. Have you not noticed that the friends in your Local Church are different and express Christ in such diverse ways? Their godliness is shown forth and it edifies the church as a whole. All this as expressed through the members combined together unravels as a ray of beauty which together can be referred to as the glorious riches of Christ.

As though all that were not enough, we have power through Christ. Paul refers to it as his “incomparably great power for us who believe”. What a dynamic closing to this encouraging verse. There is nothing that is known to us which can be compared to the power that we have through Christ. I believe Paul chose to end this verse in this manner because it is the most powerful and important aspect of what he is unpacking in this prayer. Praise God that now we have prayed that the eyes of our hearts be enlightened, and we can therefore appreciate all that we have access to in our Lord!

Practically:

Receiving this will completely altar the quality of our lives, because it will stir an abundance of joy inside us. I know personally that with the war the enemy wages against me through trials and through tampering with my weaknesses, I am often tempted to fall into the mentality that I am a victim. I find myself trapped inside the thick walls of defeat and locked into mental prison of my own. But behold: There is nothing more freeing than knowing the power that is in Christ. The misconception that my reality is too dense for Christ’s overcoming power fogs the windows of my heart. Once however the eyes of my heart become enlightened, those foggy windows are shattered and the freedom I experience is far greater and more memorable than the thick bondage I was once entangled in. Christ is victor, and his victory is our inheritance. This is part of the wonderful hope to which we have been called. Receive it.

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