Did you know that your heart has eyes? It’s true. In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul prays that the eyes of the heart of the Ephesians would be enlightened. He puts it this way:
For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1:15-21)
OK. That’s a long sentence. But did you catch the part where Paul talks about having the eyes of your heart enlightened? Don’t miss it. Because we are going to come back to this, again and again.
When you sit down to watch a movie on a screen, what are you watching? You are watching whatever your eyes are fixed on. You will enjoy that movie (if it is a good one), if, at the same time as you are physically watching it with your eyes, you are also watching it with the eyes of your heart. The reason horror movies are so bad is because, when you are watching them (if you do watch them, which you should not), you are exposing your heart to the same garbage. Horror movies allow evil to come into your heart, and can cause you to become demonized (affected by an evil spirit). You might well discover you have problems after watching that horror movie. Maybe you can no longer sleep properly. Maybe you are now afraid, whereas you were not before. That is because the eyes of your heart were opened as you were watching that horror movie.
If someone speaks to you a word of encouragement, and says, “Dad is coming over for dinner,” and dad happens to be rich, and he always showers you with gifts, and treats you very nicely, because he is a nice, rich, person, then you may cheer up, whereas before you were down in the dumps. Just the mention of dad’s name may be enough to change your attitude and bring a smile to your face. But if you have a bad relationship with dad, and he always beats on you, and robs you of peace, happiness, and joy, then your countenance may suddenly fall when you hear his name mentioned. Nothing actually changed in your life, except that you heard something that you didn’t like. Dad is coming over. That’s a bad thing. You are now dismayed. Your blood pressure may even rise. Your heart may start beating faster. You may become anxious. Some people might even say, “Give me a Valium. I think I’m going to crack.” All this because of the mention of one name.
What has happened? The mention of one name has thrown you into a fit, because you are fixated on that person with the eyes of your heart. You can train your heart to either look at dad and his evil, or Jesus and his good. That is your decision. If you forever focus on dad and his evil, and all of the pain he caused you (even though he didn’t mean it), then you may very well be miserable for the rest of your life. It’s hard getting over a painful past, but it’s not impossible. It depends who you want to focus on!
Paul prayed that the eyes of the hearts of the Ephesians would be enlightened, and that they would know the hope of their calling. Read the quote carefully. He also prays that they might know what are the riches of the glory of their inheritance in Jesus (meaning their eternal future), and what is the exceeding greatness of God’s power towards them on account of their faith. Meanwhile, the devil wants to sidetrack you. He wants to do this daily. You will need to fight hard to keep your eyes focused on Jesus, while the devil is busy putting thoughts in your mind, to distract you with how dad treated you when you were young (even though he didn’t do it on purpose, he was just misguided, that’s all).
If you could pull your eyes off of dad, for just a minute, and start to see how good Jesus is, everything would change. That’s a matter of training the eyes of your heart, because your heart has eyes. Unlike your physical eyes, the eyes of your heart are always open and looking at something. When you are asleep, you are looking at something. When we dream, the eyes of our heart are looking. When we drive, the eyes of our heart are looking. If you suddenly go through a red light without realizing it, it’s because you were day-dreaming. That is just a way of saying the eyes of your heart were focused on something else.
Fort Knox is where the US holds most of it’s gold. It is estimated (by one source) that about 3% of the world’s gold is held at Fort Knox. When Jesus went to the cross, he emptied Fort Knox for you, and then some. In fact, he gathered all of the world’s reserves of gold, put it on his shoulders, carried it to the feet of God the Father, and said, “Father, I am bringing this to you in payment for the sins of _____ (put your name here).”
Yes, that’s what Jesus did for you.
Now, it’s about 2000 years later, and you are short about 20 dollars. Or, maybe it’s a couple thousand dollars. You are short, and you are wondering, “Where is this money going to come from?” Worrying is not going to help you, but cool, calm, collected, thinking, will. How are you going to do it? Isn’t it true that the more trouble you have, the more likely you are going to be anxious? It is true if you are fleshly. But if you are a man or woman of the Spirit, you don’t have to be anxious. I know it sounds easy. “Don’t be anxious.” But how do you do it? You do it by training the eyes of your heart to look at Jesus, and what he did for you. Jesus emptied Fort Knox for you! He presented all that payment to God the Father, to pay for your sins. He emptied more than Fort Knox for you! It was all heaped up on his shoulders, and it was a heavy burden, indeed (bars of gold are very heavy). It was the most grueling task that anyone could do. This amounts to trillions and trillions of dollars of payment, for your sin. And now you are worried about a couple thousand dollars? Where is your faith? Do you not believe that Jesus did that? He did!
Every time you take your eyes off of Jesus, and put the focus on your small little problem, like a few thousand dollars, or a relationship that is not working out, you are forgetting one important thing! Jesus purchased you with his blood, not so that you would keep looking at your problem, but so that you would look at him! When you are tempted to fear, and worry, because of your small problem, stop! Refocus. Look with the eyes of your heart, at Jesus! Look at him taking all the treasures of Fort Knox, and more, and laying it at the feet of God the Father, on your behalf. Because that is what he did. If God paid trillions of dollars for you (and the blood of Christ is worth an unlimited amount of money), then you can fully trust him for a few thousand, or for any need at all.
The issue is one issue. What are you looking at with the eyes of your heart?
When you have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then your heart is aligned, and you are looking correctly at Jesus and his goodness. You are understanding that he emptied Fort Knox for you, and you are living in appreciation of that. The joy of God will fill you. But when you are filled with bitterness, selfishness, envy, wrath, jealousy, and all manner of trouble like this, it is because you allowed yourself to be deceived. You can’t blame your father, your mother, or your brother, for that. You will need to look at yourself, because you have eyes, and you decide where to look with those eyes. Your father, your mother, your brother, are not forcing you to look at them! You are choosing to look at them. And this is your folly, and it is getting you into a lot of trouble. How long will you wallow in this?
There is a deeper, deeper, problem, that maybe you had not thought about. It is called a heart of unbelief. A heart of unbelief brings with it great trouble. A heart of unbelief says, “Because dad did not treat me so well, I must be an idiot, not deserving of any love. I think I will hate dad for that.” Ah, what a deception. Dad probably loved you, but had trouble of his own. He didn’t even know how to love you, because he had no role model. So he was just living out what he knew. Now, you’ve got a lot of trouble, because you are thinking, “The way dad treated me defines who I am. God must hate me. I think I will also hate everyone back in return.” This is not a good idea.
Your focus is wrong, and the eyes of your heart are looking at the wrong things. Because you are so focused on negative things, demons have found a way into your own life, because your negative focus is a portal for the enemy. Demons travel through that portal, even as angels travel through the portal of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Therefore, you can never win by focusing on anything that is negative.
Therefore, the Bible says,
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
All of this requires a positive focus.
Your spiritual heart is a living organism. It is also tainted by sin —not your sin, but the sin of mankind. Therefore, it is capable or producing all sorts of evil. It can do this at any time of the day or night, waking or sleeping. It can do it again and again. Unless you recognize this, you can never have victory all of the time. Your victory will be sporadic. This is something you do not want. You want complete victory all of the time. How can you achieve this? The Bible gives us a very helpful way of doing this. It is called making melody in your heart. If you do this, consistently, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit. And that will produce the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, that you need, and is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Do not be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father; subjecting yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-21)
There it is in a nutshell. There is your victory.
When you feel like screaming, because of your situation, be very careful, because you are about to sin, and bring a curse on yourself. You don’t want that. You want the victory. So stop cursing, and stop screaming, and start to sing a melody in your heart to God. Sing about his goodness. Sing about his mercy. Turn the eyes of your heart towards Jesus. Get them off yourself and your circumstances, which is idolatry. Cause all wrath to cease, and be conformed to God’s image. If you think that is easy, it is easier than you think. It is much harder to be in the flesh, and to suffer for it, than to be in the Spirit, and to suffer for that.
Everyone in hell did not learn these lessons. They are still in the flesh to this day. Think about that. I have better hopes for you. And God wills that you walk in his Spirit, so that you accomplish great things, and become a fruitful tree on this earth. You can turn your life around right now, if you apply these things. That decision is yours. If you decide to look in the right direction, causing the eyes of your heart to look in the correct place, continuing to do so on a moment-by-moment basis, even in the midst of incredible temptation, then you will be richly rewarded for it. Everyone will say, “How did you do it?” And you will say, “I looked at Jesus the whole time. He emptied Fort Knox for me. Every other thing pales by comparison.”
Remember, you’ve got a great Savior. He knows you just read this. He’s wanted you to know this for a very long time. Forget about the past. Press on and apply these lessons, and watch God do a great thing in your life.
*The printable tract is provided as a PDF document that you can easily print on any letter-sized paper. Print the page (on both sides). If your printer cannot print both sides, simply print on one side, then feed the paper back in, and print on the other. Then, simply fold the page three times in half. This tract is small (2.75″ x 4.25″ — a bit larger than a business card) and convenient for responsible free distribution.