What does it mean to “enlighten the eyes of our understanding”?
Notice what the apostle Paul prayed:
“That the God of our Lord Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ], the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened. . .” (Ephesians 1:17-18a)
Father desires to give each of us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. But according to the above passage, the ‘knowing’ of Messiah occurs when the “eyes of our understanding” are enlightened.
That brings us back to the question: “What does it mean to enlighten the eyes of our understanding”?
From the usage in Scripture, we see that it means to illuminate, shed light on, or instruct our understanding.
To enlighten the eyes of our understanding is a phrase that is referring to our ‘spiritual’ understanding — an understanding of confidently ‘knowing’ from within our spirit. It is an understanding that enables us to ‘see’ what is ‘beneath the surface’. It is an understanding that enables us to comprehend God’s eternal truth.
To enlighten the eyes of our understanding means to illuminate with divine knowledge and truth.
True and legitimate enlightenment that is ‘from above’ is a good and wonderful liberating gift!
True and legitimate enlightenment that is ‘from above’ is a gift — a divine gift from Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God]:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness [no fickleness or instability], neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
It is possible to obtain this wonderful and liberating gift of true enlightenment ‘from above’.
Yahuwah Elohim [the God of the Bible] is eager to give us good gifts:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask Him? (Matthew 7:11)
Yahuwah loves each one of us, and He desires to answer our sincere prayers for wisdom and insight into understanding His ways and walking with Him.
How To Begin
True and legitimate enlightenment that is ‘from above’ begins:
- when we seek our own personal encounter and relationship with the living God — the God of the Bible,
- when we have seen for ourselves Yahuwah’s truth, presence, power, and glory:
O God, You are my God; early I will seek You: my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see Your power and Your glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary [the holy place]. (Psalms 63:1-2)
To explain further, we will now look at five steps to take to help us be more receptive to receiving the wonderful and liberating gift of the true enlightenment that is ‘from above’.
We will look at these five steps, just skimming over the surface of these very significant steps, and then, look at one major warning.
Step 1: Believe the Written Word of God
The first and most essential step for receiving the true and legitimate enlightenment that is ‘from above,’ is to believe the written Word of God [the Bible] — that it truly is the WORD of Yahuwah Elohim, the living, eternal God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things:
By the Word of Yahuwah [the LORD] were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. (Psalms 33:6)
For the Word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder [apart] of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
God’s Word is unique from all other writings and sayings! Only God’s Word, the Scriptures, are powerful enough, through the Holy Spirit, to work dramatic and lasting life-changing results in anyone’s life!
But in order for the power and strength of the written Word of God to be fully known and experienced, we must do the second step.
Step 2: Receive the Written WORD of God As It Truly Is:
For this cause also, we thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the Word of God which you heard of us, you received it, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe. (1Thessalonians 2:13)
The believers in Thessalonica received the Word of God! They welcomed and respected ‘the Word’ that was preached to them, as it truly is — the Word of the Living God.
As a result, God’s Word worked mightily in them!
There will be no power or effect or true enlightenment worked into our life unless we read, receive, and respect the written Word of God [the Bible], as it truly is — the WORD from the Living God, Yahuwah Elohim.
Once these first two steps are taken, then God’s Word becomes powerful in our life!
Only then will the written Word of God become true life, enrichment, and en-‘light’-en-ment:
The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple. (Psalms 119:130)
The next three steps to receiving the true and legitimate enlightenment that is ‘from above’ are thus easy, once the first two steps are applied.
Step 3: Ask of God, and It Shall Be Given:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
As these verses teach us, asking of God is how we receive from God. This is how we begin, and how we maintain our relationship with the Living God.
Simply talking to God is the start of our own personal encounter with Him and thus, continuing our on-going relationship with the heavenly Father.
Talking with Yahuwah Elohim is easy, once we read, believe, and receive the Scriptures as the Word of the Living God. Father is with each one of us at all times, and therefore we can enter into His presence and talk with Him at any time! (See Psalms 139)
Father God has promised to answer our requests, and to give to those who ask of Him in the name of His Son:
Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] said, . . . And whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
As a side note, we will briefly touch on one important ‘principle’ for how we must enter into Father’s presence:
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. (Psalms 100:4)
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Messiah Yahushua [Christ Jesus]. (Philippians 4:6-7)
We enter Yahuwah’s presence by thanksgiving and praise — thanking Him for what He has done for us, and praising Him for who He is.
Step 4: Humble Yourself:
Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. (1Peter 5:5)
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)
For thus says the high and lofty One [Yahuwah] who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15)
These verses teach us that humbling ourselves is how we receive from God. When we are of a truly humble heart, then Father will pour out upon us His grace, His presence (His Holy Spirit), and ultimately His en-‘light’-en-ment.
This step is very important, because Yahuwah warns us that He will resist the proud. The proud receive nothing from God.
Our heart must be yielded to God and His Word with a right motive and attitude! We must have the attitude of submission to Yahuwah and to His written Word (Isaiah 66:2b). We exhibit a humble heart by acknowledging His greatness, His holiness, His omniscience, and by admitting our lack of virtue to be worthy of His gifts.
This is why we must bring our requests to God in the name of His Son, Yahushua Messiah — the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ. Only through Yahushua Messiah do we have access to Yah’s presence, if we come in genuine humility of heart.
We come to God only through the merits and righteousness of Yahushua Messiah:
For through Him (Yahushua Messiah) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
Therefore He (Yahushua Messiah) is able also to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrew 7:25)
We are to approach Father Yahuwah in the name of His Son, Yahushua Messiah (John 14:13-14).
Step 5: Obey Yahuwah’s Commandments
The statutes of Yahuwah [the LORD] are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of Yahuwah [the LORD] is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalms 19:8)
In the above verse, we can see that our obedience to the commandments of Yahuwah Elohim will result in the enlightenment of the eyes of our understanding!
Obedience to the Scriptures means that we read and believe the written Scriptures, and we receive them, repsect them, and we apply them to our behaviour.
The above verse is confirmed in many places throughout the Scriptures.
Here are just five confirming verses:
You [Yahuwah Elohim], through Your commandments have made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. (Psalms 119:98)
You are near, O Yahuwah [LORD]; and all Your commandments are truth. (Psalms 119:151)
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)
The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple. (Psalms 119:130)
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law [the Torah] is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)
When Yah’s Words enter into our mind and heart by reading the Scriptures, and by our actions we show that we believe and obey them, the result is ‘light‘ — illumination and confident understanding of God’s divine knowledge and truth!
It is foundational in our walk with the heavenly Father that we be obedient, being a DO-er, of His written Word.
Yahushua said that DO-ing God’s Word is how we can be assured of building a spiritual house that will not fall:
Yahushua said, … “Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
Hearing and doing all of Messiah’s words, is the foundational rock on which we build our spiritual house.
As the above verses teach, Yahushua declared that the “sayings of Mine” include all the words Messiah has ever spoken, including those He spoke to Moses!
Remember: when Yahushua said the above Words (Words recorded in the Gospels), there was NO New Testament in existence. So the ‘doing’ of Yahushua’s ‘sayings‘ is referring to the Torah and all the Writings and the Prophets – the ‘Old’ Testament.
I will not go into much detail at this time regarding the ‘doing’ of Yahushua’s Words, since I have written in other posts, here and here and here, about obedience to the FULL ‘sayings’ of Yahushua, which includes what is often referred to as the ‘Old’ Testament.
** The Warning **
And now, we will look briefly at one important warning in our quest for enlightenment.
It is good to desire understanding and enlightenment ‘from above’. The heavenly Father wants to enlighten the eyes of our understanding, so that we can enter into His Kingdom by way of the New Birth, and then walk in the ways of His eternal Kingdom. He wants us to know His divine, eternal greatness, which is revealed when we become a part of His family, seeking Him, through Messiah:
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light [enlightenment] of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. (2Corinthians 4:6)
As this verse tells us, Father God wants to shine His light upon us — His truth and glory — through His Son, Yahushua Messiah.
Yet we must be vigilant to learn for ourselves, what the written Scriptures actually say, in order to avoid the dark and deviant pathways of Satan. There is much misery and trouble for those who do not read and thus know the written Scriptures (See Hosea 4:1-6).
Satan himself is capable of giving ‘enlightenment’ because he can transform (disguise) himself into an angel of light:
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed (disguises himself) into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed (disguised) as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2Corinthians 11:14-15)
As this passage reveals, it is simple for Satan and his demons to disguise themselves, imitating Yahuwah’s wisdom and ways. Yet Satan’s ‘enlightenments’ are wicked spiritual mixtures — mixtures of false with truth, mixtures of darkness with light — such things that Yahuwah hates:
The way of the wicked is an abomination unto Yahuwah [the LORD]: but He loves him that follows after righteousness. (Proverbs 15:9)
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)
When you are come into the land which Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD your God] gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10) There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahuwah [the LORD]: and because of these abominations Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD your God] does drive them out from before you. 13) You shall be perfect [upright, without blemish] with Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD your God]. (Deuteronomy 18:9-13)
The dark and wicked pathways of Satan are abominations! But, to the natural and ignorant mind, they will ‘seem‘ to be the wise, rightful, and ‘enlightened’ pathway.
Satan’s spiritual ‘enlightenments’ appeal to the natural, human understanding, and tantalize us with supernatural, mystical manifestations. But in actual fact, Satan’s enticements contradict the pure and undefiled wisdom that comes from Yahuwah’s written Scriptures. The workings of Satan include manifestations of power, signs, and lying wonders, and are attractive to those who do not love and receive the TRUTH of God’s written Words [the Bible] (2Thessalonians 2:8-12).
We need to be very guarded against accepting any spiritual ‘enlightenment’ or spiritual ‘awakening’ that is a mixture of darkness and light!! We need to cultivate a sensitivity to the type of guidance we encounter. Specifically, we are to test the spirits, whether they are of Yahuwah or not (1John 4:1-3)!
Receiving false spiritual enticements will cause us to stumble spiritually, opening ourselves up to delusion and curses, and thus prevent us from walking with Messiah, who is the true ‘Light of Life’:
Then spake Yahushua [Jesus] again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
We discussed this problem of wicked and false spiritual pathways in A Way That Seems Right and in Characteristics of The Wise Virgins: Part 2. We concluded that the only real safeguard is to have a resolute love of the truth of the written Word of God, so that we can avoid the strong delusions of Satan’s spiritual mixtures (see 2Thessalonians 2:8-12)!
By Keeping Them Is Great Reward
In Psalms 19, we see there is ‘great reward’ for believing and receiving and obeying the written Word of God:
7) The law [Torah] of Yahuwah [the LORD] is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of Yahuwah is sure, making wise the simple.
8) The statutes of Yahuwah are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of Yahuwah is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9) The fear of Yahuwah is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of Yahuwah are true and righteous altogether.
10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11) Moreover by them is Your servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalms 19:7-11)
As this passage teaches, the Words of the Living God, Yahuwah Elohim, are all the Scriptures — His Torah [law], His testimonies, His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments.
These features, along with the fear of Yahuwah, describe God’s Word:
- true, and
- righteous altogether.
These are also characteristics of our wonderful, generous, loving, and ever-lasting heavenly Father!
It is only through the written Word of God [all of the Bible] that we come to know Yahuwah [the LORD], and come to know His Exceeding Great Reward — His Son, Yahushua Messiah — Who is given to us as our Saviour, our Redeemer, and our faithful High Priest.
The Scriptures of the Living God are powerful, if we will follow the five steps explained above!! (John 6:63b)
When believed, received, respected, and applied to our life, God’s Word can change our life for the better, making us wiser than our enemies, making us joyful of heart, and enlightening the eyes of our understanding!
- The Key to Gaining Understanding
- The Torah: The Key to Unlocking God’s Word
- The Key to the Holy Spirit’s Guidance
- Only The Wise Shall Understand
- Learning to Hear Father’s Voice: Removing the Obstacles