There used to be a yogurt shop in Hemet which had some mind-blowing artwork on their wall. I always wondered if it was there for all the impatient customers waiting for their orders to be filled. It was a giant marine painting of all kinds of fish and deep-sea plant life. Embedded and well hidden within the huge watery panorama was another hard to see picture – the taunt was to find the obscure design. But even when you eventually found the hidden image, the next time you came back for yogurt, you usually had to find the hidden picture all over again. It drove me nuts.
There is a popular Christmas song we sing each year – “Do You See What I See?” It always reminds me that a great number of people do not see critical and essential life issues. 2 Cor 4:4 actually tells us that Satan has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, lest the light of the gospel would be revealed to them. Bottom line, this verse is actually saying that satan has gouged out the spiritual eyes of unbelievers to such a degree that they can’t see things correctly – they are blinded from truth
This is pretty graphic, but Paul wanted us to realize how serious this is! Spiritual eyes are the only eyes that see spiritual realities! Physical eyes can only perceive material things – physical realities. One of the most important issues we are facing today is one of spiritual blindness, even among many Christ-followers.
I find it interesting that just after birth, babies see only in black and white, with shades of gray. As time goes by, their retinas and brains develop and they slowly begin to see colors – usually at around 4 to 6 months. It’s a growth issue. Same with us! As we grow and mature as Christians, we should want those spiritual eyes fully developed and functioning! As Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:18: “Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in.” After all, how can be expect to be Christ-followers without vision?
Totally on a side note, there’s a pretty funny story about a man who finally ‘saw’ spiritual truths. He was so excited about Jesus that he went out and bought a bunch of those “Honk if you love Jesus” car stickers. He put one on his wife’s car, one on his car, and one on the company truck. Unfortunately, he forgot to tell the truck driver, Clarence. Clarence was not on fire for Jesus and typically always in a bad mood. One afternoon, Clarence stormed into the office, madder than a wet hen. “Stupid people! Everywhere I went today people honked at me. Honk. Honk. Honk. So I finally just rolled down the window and flipped them all off. I’m so sick and tired of everyone honking at me!” Needless to say that sticker quickly disappeared!
But seriously, there is nothing I want more in my life than to be a true follower of Jesus Christ – complete with all the challenging and delightful twists and turns of following His lead. After all, as someone once noted, God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does!
Romans 8:14 affirms, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” That tiny word “led” is pretty interesting. In the Greek it’s “ago” – used in both agricultural and athletic worlds. In agriculture terms, it describes a person leading an animal. In athletic terms (agonidzo) it describes the intense struggle of a wrestler during a match. It’s where we get the word “agony.” This revealing word tells us the Holy Spirit desires to lead us, but often there’s a wrestling between our flesh and our spirit. God is leading us one direction but we often don’t “see” it, so we resist and struggle, thus the “agony.”
Like many of you, I, for one, want God to forever win these struggles. I choose ahead of time pursue the right thing – and this takes big spiritual eyes! As Myles Munroe has noticed: “Sight is a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart. ‘Eyes that look are common, but eyes that see are rare.’ Nothing noble or noteworthy on earth was ever done without vision.”
Susan Beckett | Dwelling Place City Church
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