A few weeks ago, my Administrative Assistant sent me a link to a video of a 10-year old blind autistic boy named Christopher singing a worship song, “Open the Eyes to My Heart” at his church. My first reaction was with emotional pity and sadness, watching this sincere child of God singing from his heart to the Lord. Through no fault of his own, he was sentenced to a life of physical darkness and learning disabilities because his mother abused her body with drugs. But then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said that he wanted to open my eyes so that I could see Him. This young child saw the glory of the Lord clearer than I did. My prayer today is: “Lord, I want to see you”; not with my physical eyes but with the eyes of the Spirit.
What does the Holy Spirit want me to see? I had been on a 21-day Daniel’s Fast and Consecration during the month of January, and I definitely want to know God’s will for my life. I immediately began to search my heart for any known, unknown, and unconfessed sin I may have committed. I want nothing to stand in the way of me seeing the glory of God manifested in my life. I’ve already wasted a lifetime of performing and trying hard to please people in the church. For a long time, I wanted people to love and accept me, but now, none of those things matter to me. The seasons of my life are now much shorter, and I want to know God’s love and favor.
I have a basic understanding of the physiology and anatomy of the human body. I know and understand the purpose of the heart is to supply blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. I also understand the eye is small (only about 1 inch in diameter), serving a very important function, which is our sense of sight. Vision is arguably the most used of the five senses and is one of the primary means we use to gather information about our surroundings. So, what does the “eyes to the heart” imply? Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines the “heart” (Hebrew lebab/leb [b’bel], Gk. kardia [kardiva]), which occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, as one of the most common anthropological terms in Scripture. “It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities; sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing.”
Therefore, to see with eyes to the heart is to have spiritual sight, to see myself as Jesus would see me, and to have spiritual vision. In Mark 8, a blind man was brought to Jesus to be touched and healed of his blindness. Jesus touched the man and asked him what he saw. The man replied, “I see men like trees, walking” (v. 24). Then Jesus touched the man’s eyes again and made him look up, and his sight was completely restored (Mark 8:22-26). Jesus would not have us see him with blurred vision. His will and purpose for our lives is for us to know Him. He wants us to see Him, clearly.
At the end of the day, what does it matter if I attended every convention, sing or perform with great gospel singers and musicians, dine with famous or well-known preachers, preach in a megachurch, or may be recognized when I walk into a church? None of these things matter. There is only one thing that truly matters, and this is what I seek, “. . . that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). As a matter of fact, many of these things keep us from seeing God because our ego stands in the way. Our hearts may be blinded by self-promotion and an unhealthy pursuit of perfectionism, competition, and power.
There is a powerful lesson in the discourse of Jesus after he healed another blind man in John 9. The conversation took place towards the very end of the chapter (vss. 35-41) after Jesus learns the blind man had been put out of the synagogue because of his faith in Jesus. The Pharisees earlier questioned the blind man concerning the miracle Jesus had performed. When the man told them how Jesus healed him of blindness, they put him out of the synagogue. But Jesus later found him and wanted to know if he believed in the “Son of God”. This formerly blind man wanted to know who the Son of God was so that he could believe. Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you” (John 9:37). The man acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God and worshiped him. Then Jesus declared, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (v. 39).
The Pharisees, obviously listening to what Jesus was saying to the man, were offended and wanted to know if Jesus was referring to them as being blind. Jesus replied, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (v. 41). Jesus was referring to their spiritual blindness. It’s interesting how people who think they know everything actually know nothing at all. They think of themselves as wise and knowing, standing in no need of any illumination from Jesus. They are obstinate and hardened in their hearts, willfully opposed and closing their eyes against all light and evidence of truth. The Pharisees saw the miracle Jesus performed, yet they did not believe. “Your sin remains,” Jesus said. Sadly, this is the state of many today: they choose not to believe.
The only way to truly see the Father is through the love and sacrifice of Son on the cross. His love helps me to see clearly who I am (a sinner) in need of his love and forgiveness. God has so much he wants to show me, but I must be willing to look into his Word with open eyes and an open heart. David said, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).
My eyes and heart cannot be fully opened without humility. Pastor Raymond C. Ortlund writes about a need for a “Theology of the Heart.” He says, “I can know a lot about the Bible and God and even prayer but remain unbroken and proud. But the heart is humbling. My heart cannot love God without melting into humility. I cannot love God without melting into sweetness with other believers. The heart is where we’re humbled, and maybe that’s another reason why our natural instincts feel more comfortable with a merely cerebral faith.”
Open the eyes to my heart, Lord, and “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12), because I want to see You.
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 1996, Baker Books:Grand Rapids, http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/heart.html .
Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., “Pleasures Forevermore: A Theology of the Heart”, http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/pleasures.html .