Ephesians 1:18-19a – 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.
These words were originally written down by the apostle Paul for the Christian congregation in the city of Ephesus. Since these words were inspired by the Holy Spirit, they also are meaningful for all Christians of every age. As a pastor, I can put myself in Paul’s shoes and echo his concern for the people of God. I also pray for the Christians that I serve with the gospel. I want people to be spiritually enlightened so that they know the truth of God’s gospel message.
There are many spiritual forces which are working against us. The devil, the sinful world around us and our own sinful natures are fighting against us and trying to darken our hearts. They want us to fall back into unbelief. They want us to follow the pattern which points us to ourselves and trying to earn heaven through our own good efforts and works. They want us to think that our ideas about life and happiness are superior to what God’s Word has to tell us about the truly meaningful life and the only path to eternal happiness.
I pray for the members of Trinity congregation (and all Christians). I want all of them to grow in their faith and to hold fast to the only true Gospel. I think about how heartbreaking it is to see people wander away from this truth. At times, there are people who stop coming to church. Perhaps they had been very regular in attendance but then something keeps them away. I talk to them. They say that they know they need church and they will come back. But then they never do.
Is their heart truly enlightened with the hope of the gospel? It doesn’t seem like it. If they truly appreciated the riches of God’s glorious inheritance, then they would be worshipping God as much as possible. If they had his incomparably great power working in their hearts, then they would be eager to praise him and learn more about him. Perhaps they are just experience a time of weakness in their faith and they will return later. But it seems likely that they have actually fallen away from God.
That is why I continue to proclaim this wonderful message of God. Only through the message of our sin and our forgiveness can we be saved. Only through the cross of Christ can any of us enter into heaven. We are tempted every day to wander away from this faith. We need our connection to God’s Word. We need the forgiveness of Jesus working in our hearts. Through that forgiveness we are enlightened and strengthened to serve our God.
Let’s continue to pray for our own enlightenment and for the enlightenment of many more. We need the power of God’s Word working in our hearts so that we can cling to the forgiveness of Jesus. Only through that message can we be saved. Only through that message can we see our forgiveness for the times that we have wandered from God’s Word. Strengthened through that forgiveness, we do what we can to spread that message to others.