Do you know how photography works? I’m thinking especially of cameras with print film—not as much digital cameras, though some of the same science applies.
When you click the button on your old Minolta 35mm, a shutter opens with the purpose of capturing light. That light is bouncing off whatever object is in the camera’s focus, then the light lands on the film. But that’s not all.
The film is treated with chemicals. So the chemically treated film is able to capture the image clearly. The chemicals allow the film to be permanently impressed with and changed by the image, producing a photograph of that exact image.
The apostle Paul prays about this process happening, but on your heart instead of on film. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18).
Different than the eyes on your head, which open like a shutter to capture light and observe images, the eyes of your heart are treated with a “chemical” so that the image is impressed upon your heart. Your heart is changed. You change.
That “chemical” is faith. And faith is both the work of God and your work. It is both a divine gift and promise, and an act on your part that nobody else does but you.
Your head can read, believe and remember facts. Zebras have stripes. Jesus died and rose. The Holy Spirit is God. Your heart is impressed with those facts—the truth—and is the place in you that changes you, moves you, aligns you to the truth, convinces you to practice the truth, and touches your emotions.
Take a picture today, not with your phone, not with your old Minolta, but with your heart.
Look at the truths you’ve always known, perhaps truths you’ve filed in dusty drawers somewhere in your head. See them with the eyes of your heart. See the light. Align your beliefs and motives to the loving, life-giving Jesus. Trust that his impression on you will not allow you to stay the same.
PRAYER: Open my eyes, God, not just to see facts but to believe truth. Impress Christ upon my heart. Change my life by the enlightening of the Spirit. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Take a tour of Ephesians 1:15-23 and answer these questions.
- Paul gives thanks for something that has already happened (vv. 15-16). What is it?
- Paul prays for something more to happen (vv. 17-18). What is it?
- Reflect on this statement: God’s best work in my life is already done. How will your view of that statement change you?
- Similarly, reflect on this statement: Christ’s work is already done. Meditate on vv. 19-23 here.