Drinking Deeply

Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 2:22 PM

Open the eyes of my heart

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see you, I want to see you

To see you high and lifted up
Shining in the light of your glory
Pour out your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy, Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy, I want to see you
Commonly sung song. But what exactly does it mean? When we actually sing this song, do we actually know what we're asking for? Or are we just singing it because it sounds fairly spiritual (lots of Christian-ese) and it has a good beat?
"Open the eyes of my heart."
Lots of people see this as a plea to connect the "head" and the "heart." I've already posted about this earlier, and actually referenced this very song, but I wanted to revisit it because of the second verse. To sum it up, there is no distinction drawn between a "head" and a "heart" in the Bible. The word translated "heart" is typically used as the source of the thoughts and emotions.

Where does this sentence come from?

Ephesians 1:
16I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
It comes in the midst of Paul's prayer requesting that God: "give a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, (This is our "open the eyes of our hearts"), that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints."

This prayer, this song, is a request for revelation and knowledge. It isn't some anti-intellectual "knowledge" where somehow we know something without knowing about it. No, we are praying that God would teach us and grant us a knowledge of the hope to which He has called us. This hope which we are living for is the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. This is a prayer for wisdom and revelation in knowledge.
"I want to see you high and lifted up, shining in the light of your glory"
This comes from the very next lines of Ephesians 1
19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Remember, we're asking for a knowledege of this hope. And what is this hope in? This is a hope in God, a hope in the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe. God is powerful! God is Lord! He has already demonstrated this power in raising Christ from the dead and exulting him above all power and authority. Paul has moved on in his prayer to praising God and praying that we would know His power even more .

Note this! Paul is praying, yes, but his prayer is mixed in with devotion and praise and theology. In fact, a large chunk of Ephesians 1 is simply praising God. Let no one say that theology is dry and worthless. Let no one say that doctrine only divides. It is clear that doctrine here has moved Paul to worship, and that he is praying that we would know God (knowing about God as well) even more. Our prayers should be bathed in worship, in devotion, in praising God for who He is, not just for what He has done.

Our prayer is not really to see Christ lifted up (though that certainly could be interpreted as a request for Christ's second coming) per se, but it is to know God's mighty power in working, to know even more who God is, that we might put our hope in Him.

Now as a side note before I get attacked for being too intellectual and trying to reduce Jesus to a few words put together into sentences, Phil Johnson put it perfectly when he states:
Anyway, here's the point I'm making: Some truths (many of which are capable of being expressed as propositions—e.g., "Jesus is Lord"; and "Jesus is God") are absolutely essential to Christianity itself. According to Scripture, if you deny those essential truths, you're not orthodox in any sense. See Galatians 1:8-9; 2 John 7-11.

Knowing Christ involves more than recognizing the truth of a few propositions, of course, but it doesn't involve any less. If the christ you worship is not the eternal One who is Lord of all, you don't really "know" the true Christ, and whatever religion you practice is not any kind of authentic Christianity, even if you insist that you are a Christian.
I agree completely.

What is the point of this post? Simply this: If you're going to sing that song, and you want to really mean it, live out your life like you do. When you're asking God to "open the eyes of my heart." Work at filling your heart with the knowledge about God so that those eyes have something to see! Meditate upon God's attributes. His justice, His mercy, His jealousy, His wrath, His anger, His glory, His grace, His transcendence, His personalness (emminence I think is the word), His humility, His submission (in the Trinity, and on earth to the authorities), His sovereignty.

Then, Lord willing, (and He's promised that if you will seek Him, He will find you), He will open your eyes that you may behold His glory.

Glory to God, the God of all hope, the God of all knowledge. To Him be honor and power, forever.

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Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Other translations say the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know...

I would say that this scripture goes hand in hand with

But which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned

We understand "eyes of our heart" the riches of his glory by the Holy Ghost who teaches these things to us. Otherwise when we meditate on these things it is to no avail  


Blogger ts said...

i'm interested to know if you consider "spirit" to be the same as heard and mind?

when i read the ephesians verse, i see it as asking for spiritual revelation and wisdom which can't be attained except through spiritual means.  


Blogger mxu said...

I guess as a point of clarification, I am not stating that somehow we can achieve knowledge apart from God's sovereign working in our hearts.

God is a the source of all knowledge and truth, and all that we have is from Him and Him alone.

Yet, that does not mean we can expect to gain knowledge, to know God, without studying God, without being a student of His Word.

ts - I do consider spirit (of a man) the same as heart and mind. I view man as a dichotomy, physical and spiritual. I believe this to be biblical and orthodox.  


Blogger ts said...

hm ... i confess i haven't a clear stand on this myself. but i do think there are scriptural indications that our mental functions are distinct from our spirit (1 cor 14:14-15 being the clearest).

logically, this makes sense as well. the spirits of unborn babies are whole, even though their bodies and minds are not.

anyway, if you feel i'm being argumentative, then just say so and i'll shut up. my intent is not controversy, but discussion.  


Blogger mxu said...


I think I'm going to have to reconsider that position.

I will also note that my theology currently has not really incorporated a good understanding of 1 Cor. 13-14

My belief that the spirit is the same as the head comes from passages like Job 32:8

But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

Prov. 17:27

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.  


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