Your heart has eyes
I am going to discuss how our hearts are blinded by The Gospel Of Man. This means that we are unable to truly see God in His glory and goodness because our hearts are unable to see Him. They are veiled, selfish, evil – hardened. And no matter how hard we try or what we experience, we cannot change ourselves. Only the Spirit of God can open up the eyes of a hardened heart. Let’s dive in.
Your heart is blind
“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13
How can someone see but not see? There are two kinds of seeing. This first seeing is with your mind. The second seeing is with your heart.
Judas Iscariot was one of twelve disciples Jesus chose when he started the ministry he spent thirty years preparing for. The other disciples had absolutely no clue Judas would be the one who would betray Christ until the moment he was revealed. Even while it was happening they were oblivious (John 13:28-29). Judas spent three years with Jesus – eating, suffering, traveling and even performing miracles with him.
“And he [Jesus] called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits… So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.” Mark 6:7,12-13
“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” Luke 10:17
How could someone who spent three years casting out demons, healing the sick, fulfilling the CFO duties of Jesus’ ministry, and walking in the presence of the incarnate Son of God betray their own Messiah? Judas had a greater love. Himself. And this manifested itself through the idolization of money.
He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. John 12:6
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
After Jesus performed one of his most infamous miracles by multiplying five loaves and two fish to thousands of people the disciples departed to cross the Sea of Galilee. Jesus hung back to pray. Due to the way that sea is structurally formed and geographically placed, flash storms and winds can arise without warning and linger for long periods of time. The winds can form a circular pattern, almost like a tornado, and trap ships from reaching the shore. As the disciples crossed the sea a storm stirred and the disciples were terrified and overcome with fear. They saw Christ walk on water towards them and calm the storm without lifting a finger before getting into their boat. Even then, the disciples could not truly see Him.
“For they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:52
Even after the nation of Israel, chosen by God, had been rescued from Egypt after 400 years of slavery, crossed the Red Sea parted by the power of God, experienced supernatural food provision every morning through heaven-produced mana, and encountered countless other physical provisions, they still had hardened hearts and were unable to see and love God.
“Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’” Hebrews 3:7-10
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God… that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’” Hebrews 12-14
What does all of this this mean?
If Christ is not truly your Lord, if you do not treasure Him with joy and love, you are not truly His son. On its own, being discipled isn’t enough. Casting out demons, healing the sick or performing other miracles isn’t enough. Being in the presence of Christ is not enough. Walking through a parted sea and eating supernaturally produced food isn’t enough. Seeing Christ walk on water and calm a deadly storm to save your life isn’t enough. Memorizing the Bible isn’t enough. Even believing that He is exists or that He is who he says he is isn’t enough. Christ must be your greatest treasure. Affection for Jesus is the beginning and foundation of every believers relationship with Him. Without a real love for God’s son, God will not recognize you as His child.
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:8-9
The big question
The question you should arrive at is this: How can I have eyes to see? Because our very soul and eternity hang in the balance. We can be in the very presence of God, taste the fruit of his supernatural glory and power, but still love ourselves more than anything. That should be both terrifying and humbling.
If you are blind and unable to see God, how can you choose to open your own eyes to His truth? If you are in need of a heart transplant, can you cut open your chest and perform your own open heart surgery? Absolutely not. My entire preface has been to communicate that one point. We cannot cause ourselves to truly see Christ and choose Him in our spiritual blindness. We need someone to open our eyes. To heal our sick, selfish and self-sustaining heart. Our flesh is no help at all apart from the Spirit (John 6:63). We cannot find and see God as glorious on our own without having our eyes miraculously opened to see him.
How our hearts can see
To answer this pivotal question, I look to one of Paul’s prayers to the Ephesians.
"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having 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, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe” Ephesians 1:17-18
In order to see, the eyes of your heart must be enlightened. The only way this happens is when you receive the Spirit of truth that stirs a heart-awakening revelation. Christ sends the Spirit to us which testifies and communicates the Father’s will (John 16). And what does this enlightenment produce? HOPE.
Our hearts are opened to the hope of Christ. Not opened like you open them every morning before you turn off your alarm. I’m talking about opening your eyes for the first time like a newborn baby taking its first breath. This is what it means to be born again. We see the unwavering hope before us that nothing in this world can extinguish or take away – “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Paul’s entire book of Philippians is a letter that describes how Paul lived with unwavering hope. His hope could not be taken away by floggings, starvation, near-drownings, thirst, stonings and even death. When you experience a heart transplant that produces Christ-exalting love in your life even death is victory because you get to be with Christ no matter what happens.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Phil 4:12.
“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not at all be ashamed, but with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phil 1:20-21
This hope is what we see when we have a new heart enlightened by God. It is nothing we can produce or unveil on our own. This formula is used all throughout Paul’s letters. It’s not his trademark move. It’s God’s beautiful Gospel. Take a look at a similar prayer in chapter 3 and notice the similarity to his language:
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
According to the riches of God’s glory He grants/allows/causes us to be receive the Spirit and be strengthened with the power of Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith. This strength gives us the understanding/knowledge/comprehension to see and know the love of Christ.
The final conclusion
If you are exhausted from trying to live the Christian life, is it because you are trying to choose faith today with the same spiritually blind and dead heart you chose to watch pornography yesterday? If you do not feel and treasure Christ as glorious are you actually seeing Him with your heart, or is it just head knowledge that has no impact on your emotions?
The sovereign grace of God infiltrates our depths to overcome our rebellion, blindness and deadness to make us able to see Christ as compelling and beautiful. With unveiled freedom we truly see and choose Him with a transformed heart.
Like Paul over the church of Ephesus, pray for yourself and for your heart. Do not continue trying to pursue faith in Christ without emotions, love or hope because it is not faith at all. It’s The Gospel Of Man.