The Hope To Which You Are Called

As I prayed this morning for someone I love, the Spirit reminded me of a phrase in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18: “the hope to which you are called.”

I understood the Spirit was pointing to the specific plans He has for this person (and for each of His children) — plans I prayed would be revealed to my beloved, so they could know what God wants to do with and for them, and therefore, what to let their heart hope for! Discouragement had come knocking, and I went to prayer determined to help them overcome it. Nothing overcomes discouragement so completely as a settled hope in the plans our Faithful Father has for us. My beloved needs to know; we all need to know.

Think of these words again: the HOPE to which we are CALLED.

We need to know what the Lord wants each of us to believe and have hope in concerning our life as it rests in His hands. I do not believe we are asked to hope in just some vague idea of goodness from God towards us. God has unique plans and a calling for each of His children. Perceiving, knowing, and understanding what the Lord wants us to hope in becomes a great anchor for our faith. As the Lord has said,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

We need to know what the Lord is calling us to hope in when doubts come. We need a settled faith in what God is planning for us when life becomes disappointing. We need confidence in the personal words God has whispered to our spirit, when the enemy comes nagging with his words of discouragement and accusation.

Towards this end, we need to ask, “Lord, what would you have me put my hope in?” Insofar as He is willing, we can know and perceive God’s plans for us, and we should. I believe with all my heart that God is not trying to hide these things from us; that he wants us to seek, to know, and understand, so we may believe, agree and rest in them. In fact, Scriptures I have come across over the years have convinced me that God is really pleased when we seek to know and engage with him like this, because it stirs faith in us, and God loves few things so much as seeing that His child BELIEVES Him. (Think of how much faith excited Jesus when he saw it in people.)

I leave you to soak in the full prayer of the Apostle Paul:

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”  (Ephesians 18-19a, NIV)

Another song in my spirit…

Not long ago I posted about the songs I often awaken to being sung in or to my spirit. Because they are often songs I almost never hear or haven’t heard in months or even years, they always seem to be what one friend of ours calls “God making a bid for my attention…” i.e., saying, “Ahem, this is what I am saying to or wanting to show you.” It might be a rainbow where there has been no rain, or some other “sign” or “wonder” that makes you pause and look up from life as usual.

So as I have said before, I awaken to songs that are singing in my spirit, where The Lord and I share life. I tell you these things in hopes that you will perhaps pay more attention to your own beckonings from The Lord.

Now most often the song that awakens my my spirit is a clearly recognizable Christian tune. But my last one was not, nor has ever been, in my worship playlist. No, the most recent song I awakened to only evokes images of shadowy naked female silhouettes floating around in some artistic colorful graphic soup on the screen while you waited for James Bond to appear on the screen and do his dashing sleuth work. I grew up watching James Bond movies, but hadn’t seen the old ones in years. But here is what I heard in my spirit last Tuesday morning on arising:

“For your eyes only, can see me through the night.
For your eyes only I never need to hide.
You can see so much in me, so much in me that’s new.
I never felt until I looked at you.
For your eyes only, only for you.”

Of course, the immediate images in my mind were those female silhouettes, and my first thought was, Where did THAT come from? I dismissed it, laughingly. But as I washed the sleep out of my eyes and made morning tea, the song wouldn’t go away, and I thought, “What if The Lord is trying to say something to me through this song? So I googled the title and when I saw all the lyrics, I was amazed at what I now realized was The Lord speaking to me. Because with the exception of one phrase, the words profoundly spoke to the places in me that had become recently deeply discouraged, even depressed. I don’t think God understands the concept of “secular”… his heart is attentive to the cry of all our creative culture.

Here are all the words, and I leave you with them to ponder in case they might refresh you (and drive doubt and despair at yourself away):

“For your eyes only, can see me through the night.
For your eyes only I never need to hide.
You can see so much in me, so much in me that’s new.
I never felt until I looked at you.
For your eyes only, only for you.
You’ll see what no-one else can see, and now I’m breaking free.
For your eyes only, only for you.
The love I know you need in me, the fantasy you’ve freed in me.
Only for you, only for you.

For your eyes only, the nights are never cold.
You really know me, that’s all I need to know.
Maybe I’m an open book because I know you’re mine.
But you won’t need to read between the lines.

For your eyes only, only for you.
You see what no-one else can see, and now I’m breaking free.
For your eyes only, only for you.
The passions that collide in me, the wild abandoned side of me.
Only for you, for your eyes only.”

(For Your Eyes Only, By Sheena Easton; source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/)