“I pray 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 his holy people”
In this passage, Paul centers his message on enlightenment. To get what Paul is driving at, we must start with the nature of light, which is at the root of the word, and the ways in which we can see it.
Presuming no visual impairment, our eyes can sense a band of radiation within a specific visible spectrum. This allows us to see the people and things around us. While this is the light we are most familiar with, it will not deliver the enlightenment that Paul is talking about, because it will only show us the physical things of this world. Paul wants us to experience a deeper, spiritual enlightenment which only comes from The Light, Jesus. This is our starting point to enlightenment—the True Light.
When we have The Light of Jesus residing within, our hearts can be enlightened, because eyes of our hearts are not limited to “seeing” as are our physical eyes. Paul carefully chooses his words to make this clear. Physical eyes see only the visible things around you. The eyes of your heart have a spiritual, eternal vision that knows Him and involves all of your senses at the very deepest level. Thus, they can “see” things that are not visible, but are nonetheless true, assured and known in the heart. This is the enlightenment that comes from knowing the hope to which He has called you, a hope only found in Him.
Here’s the cool thing about all of this: as an extension of this enlightenment, your physical eyes will actually begin to see things differently. Rather than seeing despair, pain, frustration and suffering, they will see opportunities to forgive, care, heal and love. The shopper that snatched that last product on the shelf right out from under your hands, will be seen as one who is worthy of forgiveness and grace. The dirty, cast-off homeless person on the street corner will now appear as a precious child of God worthy of your love and care.
The Light that shines out from within illuminates a very different picture than the light that comes in from the outside. It is the picture seen by an enlightened heart assured of the riches of His glorious inheritance, inspired to spread those riches around.