Sunday, March 1, 2020

Real eyes that Really See

“But blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear.” Matthew 13:16 

When you became a Christian, God gave you spiritual sight and hearing so you could begin experiencing His presence and activity all around you. The Holy Spirit helps you to develop these spiritual senses as you walk with Him. Spiritual sensitivity to God is a gift that must be accepted and exercised. Scripture indicates that those who are spiritually dead cannot see or understand spiritual things (Matt. 13:14—15). Without spiritual eyes, you can be right in the midst of a mighty act of God and not recognize it. There is a radical difference between seeing your surroundings from a human perspective and seeing life through spiritual eyes. Non-Christians will see world events around them and become confused. You will look at the same events, recognize the activity of God, and adjust your life to Him. When you meet a person who is seeking God, you will recognize the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and adjust your life to God's activity (Rom. 3:11). Someone without spiritual perception will encounter that same person and not grasp the eternal significance of what is happening in that person's life. Others will hear of new philosophies and trends in society and not know how to discern the truth. You will hear God's voice over the din of the world's voices, and you will keep your bearings in the midst of the confusing circumstances. Sin dulls your senses, ultimately leaving you spiritually blind and deaf. Do not be content with merely seeing with physical eyes and hearing with natural ears but not sensing what God is doing. Ask God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to sensitize you to His activity all around you.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Although there's much in this devotional, there's a vivid Biblical example that ought to be read as well.  Actually several that can be, but for today, God's shown me two right from my Bible-in-a-year plan.
Nehemiah 22:22-35 "But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. The angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.”  Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.” Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.” But the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you shall speak only the word which I tell you.” So Balaam went along with the leaders of Balak."

Now, Mark 7:1-13 "The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’

Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

Really look at those passages.  Take in the message of what Jesus is saying.  Look back at the part from the Old Testament.  

When we who have truly come to Christ, our eyes are opened for the first time ever. 

Interestingly, to me, a movie quote comes to mind.  The only similarity is in what's being said, I am not at all saying any other Spiritual connotation to that movie.  

In 'The Matrix' Morpheus is looking down on a Neo that is looking up at him asking why his eyes hurt. Morpheus responds with "It's because you have never used them.".

When we come to Christ our Spiritual eyes are opened for the first time.  Whereas before we only had a dark description of sin and what it was, now we see just what it is.

But things can still be twisted towards those who believe too.  Satan tried for 40 days to tempt Jesus. To twist Scripture.  Look at what Satan achieved with the so-called Jewish leaders. That mentality still exists today in the modern Church. You have the very same things happening. Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.  Dressing a certain way. Having to read only a specific version of the Bible. Having to pray a specific way. Only on certain days you worship, the others you can do what you want. The list goes on.  

None of this really comes as a surprise to those who really are seeing with Spiritual eyes.  2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not hard sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,"

People will always seek people who will agree with them. 

In this day and age to not agree means you are being intolerant.  Within the Church you can be branded as one who's not a true follower of Christ. 

Something hit me this morning concerning that part from the Old Testament.  This actually marks the SECOND time someone not traveling with or living with the people of Israel were spoken to by the Lord.  It's obvious by his reputation Balaam was indeed in some level of communion with God.  God did speak to him and apparently through him. The other was Melchizedek.

With open eyes comes a realization of true reality.  You wake up in the morning and leave behind your slumber.  Your eyes adjust to your surroundings. Once they do you can navigate your world.  Until they do, it's not safe. You, in essence, await for truth to be revealed before acting. 

In Scripture, it's what we are told to do Spiritually.  Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.  

Every single person Jesus healed had their Spiritual eyes opened.  Many outright dropped down to worship Him.

We really mess things up when we try to squint through the Spiritual eyes we know are working properly, working perfectly. 

God isn't limited by anything but the obedience of His people. But as Scripture shows if we don't obey, He WILL find someone who will.  Then on that day we face Him we will be explaining why we didn't. 

Today, open your eyes.  Look at your world around you with what God wants to do in mind. Talk with Jesus. See what it is He had for you today.  I guarantee you that He does.  Use your eyes, live as though today you could be meeting Him at any moment. Truth is, that's also what Scripture says. 

The hymn Living for Jesus. 

Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please him in all that I do,
yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free, this is the pathway of blessing for me.

O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to thee, for thou, in thy atonement, didst give thyself for me;
I own no other master, my heart shall be thy throne, my life I give, henceforth to live,
O Christ, for thee alone.

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