“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, 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.” Eph. 1:18 (NIV)
These past two weeks, I’ve been writing about two of our God placed needs…our need for love, and our need for worth. These are important and deep concepts. It is important that we not rush through these ideas without giving them the time and attention they deserve.
One of the realities about spiritual growth is that truths must penetrate our hearts, not just our intellect.
This is the reason for Paul’s prayer in the verse above. Notice Paul didn’t pray that these believers intellect would be enlightened. He already assumed that.
Instead, Paul prayed for their heart.
As healthcare professionals, when we hear the word “heart” we think of a 4-chambered muscle pumping in a regular rhythm in our chests. But Scripture uses the word heart in an entirely different fashion. Scripturally speaking, the heart is the seat of understanding. An example is Mark 6:52 where the writer states that the reason the disciples did not fully understand the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 was that their hearts (kardia) were hardened.
Understanding spiritual concepts like our God-placed needs requires that we allow them to penetrate our “hearts”. We must move beyond an intellectual understanding of this truth to an experiential understanding.
In order to gain an experiential understanding of our God-placed needs, we need to feel those needs.
Unfortunately, we often anesthetize ourselves from the pain of unmet needs, causing us to stop feeling those needs. It’s easier to avoid pain than see the truth of our life. But unfortunately…failing to see the truth in our life keeps us from growing spiritually.
As you go through the next few days, take notice of any brief emotional pain the Lord might bring to your awareness and fight the urge to push it away. Instead ask Him to help you understand that pain.
Then consider journaling about what you’ve discovered.
Prayer: Lord, as I experience emotional pain, help me to not push that pain away, but rather open the eyes of my heart to understand the source of that pain.