Tony Evans - Seeing With New Eyes
Today I want to help all of us to look a little clearer, to be able to be more precise in our perspective, to put on the set of glasses that will help us to see with new eyes. That's why I'm calling this, I want you to see me to see and collectively us to See with New Eyes. So I wanna change your prescription on your spiritual glasses so that you, we, us, see more clearly in our day-to-day lives. Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened". You see that? He says, "I pray that you'll start seeing, that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened".
So he's not talking about your physical eyes, he's talking about the eyes of your heart, so he's still talking about sight, 'cause he's talking about your eyes, so he's suggesting that your heart has lenses. I pray that you will see with your heart and that you will be enlightened. Things will get more in focus, things will become clearer and I'm praying this. As the psalmist says in Psalm 119 verse 18, he says, "Lord, open my eyes that I might see".
Now Paul is writing to Christians, he's not writing to non-Christians. He says, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened," so therefore it is possible to be a Christian and be spiritually blind and not see clearly because the lenses we are using are secular lenses, secular bifocals and cultural contacts. He says, "I'm gonna pray to this end". And one of the things that you do with prayer is ask God to help you see what's really going on. Because all of us have been in circumstances where what we thought was happening really wasn't happening the way we thought it was happening when we looked at it.
The beautiful thing about spiritual eyeglasses is that you can see deeper because you're seeing the heart of the matter. Open my eyes that we might see, every time you are confronted with something, you whisper a prayer to God, "Help me to see the reality, not just what I'm looking at, open up my heart so that I can grasp it. What my eyes are seeing, give me the backstory, give me the real deal about what I'm looking at so that I can apprehend it, grab it, grasp it". He says, "I want you to see," in verse 18, "What is the hope of his calling, the riches of the glory of his inheritance of the saints". He says, "I want you to see what you already possess as part of the family of God".
There are certain rights and privileges if you are a Christian that God has provided for you as part of his family. He calls it the hope of his calling, he calls it, "The riches," in verse 18, "Of his inheritance". You have, I have, we have inherited some benefits that accrued to us that you may not automatically know about or be utilizing. Did you know some of the things you're looking for you already have, you just may not know it? Paul says, "I pray that you will apprehend God's purposes and God's wealth," talk about that in a moment, "That he has provided, that he has bequeathed to every believer because it belongs to the saints".
If you are a believer in Christ, God wants you and me to see our purpose, he wants us to see his direction, he wants us to understand what he's doing as he unveils it. See, a lot of folk follow Jesus for the perks. They want the big stuff but they may miss out on many of the key things that are life-altering things. It may not look like much now, I pray that your eyes might be enlightened, that you might understand all that God has provided as part of your relationship, your inheritance, your salvation. I love the word he uses here because he uses the word in verse 18, "The riches". This word riches is used over and over again.
Let me show you what I mean. In chapter 1 verse 7, "In him we have redemption through the blood, the forgiveness of trespasses according to the riches of his grace". So first of all, you are rich in grace. You know what grace does? Grace does for you what you can't do for yourself. And guess what he says, "You got some riches in grace". Notice what he says in verse 8, "Which he lavished on us". The word lavish is the same concept of riches. In other words, he got so much grace you can't get to it. In chapter 2 verse 7, let me show you how much grace you've got, "So that in the ages to come, he might show the surpassing riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus".
Let me tell you how much grace is there. It'll take eternity to run out of it. Let me put it this way, you ain't seen nothing yet. But you don't have to wait till eternity 'cause he says, "It's bequeathed now". He says in chapter 3 verse 8, "To me, the very least of the saint, this grace was given to preach to the Gentiles, the unfathomable riches of Christ". He says again in verse 16 of chapter 3, "That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man". So he goes deeper with this concept of new eyes. He wants us to look at things differently and more deeply.
Verse 19 says, "And what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe these are in accordance with the working of the strength of his might, which he brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in heavenly places, far above all, rule, authority, power, and dominion, every name that is named not only in this age but in the one to come". He wants to now tell you about what these new bifocals, glasses, spiritual perspectives do. They are power lenses. He says, these lenses if you will put them on, a divine God-centered perspective that you pray down, 'cause he says, "I pray for them," he says that God will grant you power.
How do you know that you're looking through God's glasses? Because you're seeing his work, his power, his activity, his energy, his engagement, his involvement. You are seeing things trump earth. If all you wear are earth glasses, you'll only see earth results. What kingdom glasses do is it gives you the ability to see God at work at another level in your circumstances. Chapter 1 verse 10, "With a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of times, that is the summing up of all things in Christ: things in the heavens and things on the earth". It's all in him. "To an administration," okay.
God says he has an administration and the administration, stay with me here, is to be summed up in Jesus Christ. God's administration is summed up in Jesus Christ. I need to say that again, God administers what he's going to do through Jesus Christ. Now, why do you need to know that? Because it is your relationship with Christ that will determine how much power you experience not merely your belief in God. Now, we've said that many times but I don't want you to miss this: Sure you must believe in God but when it comes to history, all authority has been given to Jesus Christ and he administers, that's why we end our prayer, "In Jesus's name". "In Jesus's name," that is, I want this prayer answered by virtue of his administrative responsibility.
So you will not see what he's up to, you will not understand, see, understand, perceive what he's doing if you skip him in the process. And that's why he says, "I pray that you will recognize him". Let's go a little deeper. He says, "Which he brought about," verse 20, "In Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority". This is so rich. When he raised him from the dead, now, now, now, how could such a thing happen? There's only one way that can happen and that is the natural order of things were overridden. In other words, if somebody rises from the dead who's died, that means the natural order has been skipped over, it's been trumped by resurrection. Here's why you need to have spiritual eyes, so you're not limited to earth's conclusion.
See, when a person dies, that's earth's conclusion, that's the conclusion of the physical life. So you're limited to earth's conclusion. But he says, "If you get new eyes, then you can see beyond what earth has concluded". And that's why there's nothing like a testimony when a person said, "This is what everybody else said but let me tell you what God did, he trumped earth". I don't know how many people have ever seen God trump a boss, God trump a situation, trump a sickness, trump a scenario. The reason you want spiritual glasses is so that you can trump the natural order, the natural processes when it's God's will. But if you don't know that's what he wants to do, then you'll just react to the earthly situations that you find yourself in. He says, "According to the power of his might, when he raised him from the dead and he set him at the right hand".
Right now, Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. This chair is on the right hand side of the Father. The right hand side of the Father is his power location. Hebrews chapter 1 puts it this way, verse 2, "In these last days has spoken to us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things through whom also he made the world". He made the world through his administrator, Jesus Christ. So God made the world but he did it through his administrator, Jesus Christ. That's 'cause Jesus Christ of course is God. "And he is the radiance of his glory". Jesus is the radiance of the Father's glory and the exact representation of his nature. All that makes God, God makes Jesus, Jesus. "And upholds all things by the Word of his power".
God upholds all things through the word of Jesus's power. "When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high". Notice what he says in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 24, "Above all rule, authority, and power and dominion in every name that is named". Let me explain something, Jesus has veto power. He can overrule, why? 'Cause "He sits on the right hand side of the Father," and I love this, "Far above all rule and authority," okay. Let me tell you how much rule and authority. Hebrews chapter 2 verse 14 here's what it says, "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise, also partook of the same". Jesus became a man. "And through death he might render powerless him who has the power of death that is, the devil".
Jesus is in veto power over everything human and over everything spiritual including the devil. You're gonna see what that means next week but including the devil. So even hell does not have the last word over your situation 'cause he's far above even the devil. He not even close, he's far above. That means if you have eyes to see, you have connection with somebody who can say, "I overrule you". Chapter 2 verse 4, "But God being rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ. By grace, you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus".
So let me define heavenly places. Heavenly places means the spiritual realm different from the physical world. Right now we are seated in earthly places, we're seated in the physical realm, earth. But once you come to Christ you go through a relocation process. Okay, every Christian should be functioning in two places at one time. God doesn't expect you to be so heavenly minded you're no earthly good. He doesn't expect you to be so earthly minded you're no heavenly good. He expects you to be heavenly minded for earthly help.
So while you are seated on earth, you're supposed to be interacting with heaven so that you know what to do on earth. But if you do not operate with that view in mind, he says you are seated with him. That means you're not just here, you're here and there. You're here physically, there spiritually. He wants you thinking spiritually. You're sitting next to Jesus and you gotta picture that in your mind 'cause it's real, but it's spiritual so you don't physically see it. But nevertheless, it is a reality. You've been given an all-access-pass to heaven, which gives you access pass to his veto authority. That's why Romans chapter 16 verse 20 says, "And he will crush Satan under your feet," my feet, our feet.
Okay, so now he brings this home. Watch this, these are two of my favorite verses in the book of Ephesians, verse 22 and 23. "And he," God, "Put all things in subjection under his," Jesus, "feet". "And he," God, "Put all things in subjection under his," Jesus's, "Feet and gave him," Jesus, "As head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all," okay. Please notice the word "all" and how often it is repeated in those two verses. All, all, all, "All things have been placed under the feet of," which means under the authority of Jesus Christ, that goes back to the administration. All things.
So you best get Jesus on board 'cause he's the administrator. So you best get Jesus on board. All things have been placed under Jesus's feet, okay. But here's the trick, "And gave him as head," he's in charge, "Over all things to the church". Okay, wait a minute, Jesus is over all things but the all things he's over don't know it, only one group knows it. He's given him as over all things but only to the church. He's only been given to the church. Now wait a minute, it says the church, which means Christians, which is his body.
Now, last time I checked the job of a body is to carry out the dictations of the brain. The problem is the body doesn't wanna do what the head says, the body doesn't. The body wants to do its own thing. And when the body does its own thing, here it is, when you and I do our own thing apart from Christ, we go blind, we're gone spiritually blind. And once you're spiritually blind you can pray till you're blue in the face but God won't administer that 'cause he's only administering that with Christ as the head. Which means if you don't solve the lordship of Jesus Christ, meaning he can overrule you, if you are a Christian that God can't overrule, then you are a Christian that's got cataracts and glaucoma. You won't see clearly. You will live life with a distorted view.
So what Jesus is offering us, all of us as believers, is the opportunity to see differently, to see with new eyes. How do you do that? Simply, you invite God's perspective into decision making, okay. And he's got plenty of grace, he lavishes it, he wants to be utilized in this fashion. It can be financial but not limited to that it's relational, it's circumstantial, it's career, it's do I move here, do I go there?
He can let you know things that you would not have normally thought of. He can bring a person into your life to say something that will totally change your mind. He can bring thoughts to you because he's enlightening the heart. Whoever got the Son got everything else. Whoever got the Son got access to everything else. So if you don't want the Son, you don't get access to everything else. Jesus Christ wants you to know if you grab the Son, you have access to lavished grace, to overruling power, to his supernatural presence because you are wearing glasses that can see the spiritual realm and be transformed by it. Jesus is the administrator.
Being in the midst of the magnificent beauty of the Rocky Mountains has given me a more excellent perspective on God's creative order. It helps me see nature a lot clearer. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life with modern man doing his thing, the awesome, creative genius of God can easily be obscured. But what God wants us to do is to be able to look at him and life through his eyes so that we see what he sees untampered with by the things that men have put up that has destroyed his presence, his power, and his purpose. And that means we must live life with a spiritual perspective, not a worldly, secular point of view.
When you put on worldly eyeglasses, everything's gonna be cloudy and confusing, but when you put on the lenses of glory, the perspective of God, the guidance of the Spirit, you will see things as they were really created to be seen, which means you'll see them correctly. Let's not live our lives with blinders on not really seeing what God had in mind when he created us and when he has set forth his purpose for us. Let's begin to look at things based on his Word from his Spirit and consistent with his character, and then we will not be blind as we live our lives. We will live our lives with clear sight lines before us.