“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord..."
The words of the song "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord" went through my head all last week. When that happens I know I need to take note and figure out why they keep going through my head. When I was planning entries for this blog over the weekend, I realized that those words would make a great devotion for the letter “O”. Here it is!
How can we open the eyes of our hearts to the Lord? The most important way is through reading His word.
The Bible tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
If God wants us to use His word for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training, clearly He wants us to be able to understand it! In his letter to Timothy, Paul encourages Timothy to “be strong” as he preaches; “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” (2 Timothy 2:7) God gave Timothy insight into His Word, and He will give us insight and understanding as well.
Do you find the Bible confusing and difficult to understand? Some parts of it are, of course (like the visions in Revelation; Bible scholars don’t even agree as to what they all mean). But much of the Bible is very clear; the narratives show us obvious lessons and God gives us clear commands, encouragement, and guidance for every aspect of life.
How can the eyes of your heart be opened to what God has to say to you?
- Study your Bible every day. Whether you read and meditate on a few verses or a few chapters, make it a habit. Use a study Bible, which has notes about the verses, culture, and background of the passages. You may also choose to use a Bible dictionary and/or Bible Handbook (I use Halley’s Bible Handbook). For more suggestions on Bible Study, see The Bible Tells Me So and Spiritual Discernment.
- Before you begin studying, ask the Lord to open your eyes to what He is saying in what you’re about to read. Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart to His message to you that day. James promises, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
- After you read and re-read the passage you’ve chosen, take a few minutes to just think about it. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” After you read His word, give God a few minutes to impress upon you the message he wants you to have from that Word. Write down your thoughts about the reading, questions you have, and how you can apply it to your life.
When I read through my Bible study journal notes, or look at notes I’ve written in the margins when I’ve read that part of the Bible in the past, it’s interesting that sometimes a verse will mean something completely different to me today, than it did months or years ago. The Bible is an amazing book; what happened and was written thousands of years ago can teach us in our lives today.
“Let the words of my heart and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight.” Psalm 19:14a
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Your word. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to Your Word, to the message you want me to get and understand. Open my eyes to Your plan for me, and give me the courage to follow the path You have for me. Amen.