(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
A pair of glasses can significantly change a life. The child, struggling at school, no longer falls behind in learning; the elderly man is able to read once again; a mosaic of blurry shapes and colours is restored to the sharp definition of traffic lights, cars, trees and pedestrians. Sight is important, and sometimes we need some help to see.
. . .
I recently experienced some eye soreness. Being unable to wear my contact lenses for a few days, I rediscovered what it feels like to be blind, and then to see again.
Many times in the Bible, we come across descriptions of people “seeing but not seeing”. There are all kinds of ways in which we can be spiritually blinded:
Blinded by stubborn disobedience – In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus explains to His disciples that He speaks in parables:
“… Though seeing, they do not see;
Though hearing, they do not understand.”
(Matthew chapter 13, verse 13)
He goes on to explain that this is because the people have developed a hardened heart towards the gospel. Hebrews chapter 4 explains this further, in that disobedience and disbelief can blind people to the value of the good news so that they do not accept it.
There are many examples in the Old Testament where Israel’s perception of a situation differs from God’s perception of it. For example, at the edge of the Promised Land, the Israelite spies and people refused to enter because they saw the greatness of the people in the land instead of the greatness of their God. 1 Samuel also describes a situation when Israel presumptuously takes the Ark of the Covenant into battle with the Philistines, assuming that this would guarantee God’s victory for them. They are defeated, but later learn that it is in waiting on God in relationship with Him that His presence is with them, rather than in simply holding up a symbol of God.
Blinded by lack of revelation – Complacency is another way in which we can be spiritually blinded. Jesus says this about the lukewarm church in Revelation:
“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation chapter 3, verse 16)
We need to be continuously growing in relationship with God and seeking Him. There is always more to discover about our amazing God, and He promises to reveal Himself to those who seek Him.
“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew chapter 7, verse 8)
What is clouding our spiritual vision? Let us submit it to God so that He can help us to see clearly.
. . .
Hydrate and Refresh
In the case of my eyes, I eventually decided to see an optometrist who did some tests and discovered that the issue was to do with dryness. A few days of proper sleep and hydrating eye drops fixed the problem.
Sometimes, all we need to clear our vision is a bit of refreshing from the Holy Spirit. Life can get busy and slowly, we can neglect to water the secret garden of intimacy within our hearts. Without close relationship with God, however, how are we to see the way He is leading, the desires in His heart, or the way in which He loves us? We need to spend time in the refreshing presence of God because this cultivates growth in our relationship with Him.
“O God, you are my God;
earnestly I seek you;
My soul thirsts for you;
My flesh faints for you,
As in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
(Psalm chapter 63, verse 1)
. . .
Eyes to See
“Jesus, shepherd me,
Make my eyes to see.”
These lyrics have been playing over and over in my mind like a little prayer. We might not always realise what we do not see, but when God gives us revelation of who He is and what He is doing, it is incredible. Our hearts overflow with praise and in my life, I remember these moments of revelation with great joy.
We don’t want to miss out on the wonder of God! Lord, help us to see Your glory and Your majesty!