Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Open the eyes of my heart
by Erik Momsen
We live in an increasingly visually stimulated world. TVs get bigger and brighter. So are all the colours and sights. Items are bought not for their function but for their appearance. However is seems that the more we see, the less we see what really matters. We also practice selective vision where it becomes easy to ignore the poor and the suffering.
The most permanent and damaging blindness is spiritual. Cindy Lauper sang, "We are living in a material world and I am a material girl". She was echoing our preoccupation with the physical world and our ignorance of the spiritual world. Regular reference is made to spiritual blindness in the Bible.
"He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." (John 12:40)
"In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Corinthians 4:4).
So many know the stories of the Bible and of Jesus Christ yet the penny has not dropped. They do not get it. Even religious people, attending church regularly, are potential carriers of this destructive disease which is only cured by the Holy Spirit who brings us to our knees, shows us the risen Christ, fills our hearts with His presence and removes the blindness.
BLIND SAUL WHO BECAME PAUL
Probably the most widely read author in human history was a Jew with Roman citizenship named Paul of Tarsus. A religious fanatic who took it upon himself to persecute the early believers.
"And cast Stephen out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. ... And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison." (Acts 7:58 - 8:3)
The story of Paul’s transformation is recorded in Acts 9.
- "A light from heaven flashed around him." (9:3)
- "He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’" (9:4)
- "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting." (9:5)
- "For three days he was blind."
- "But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name to the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." (9:15,16)
- "Then Ananias went to the house ... Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized." (9:17,18)
THIS HOW GOD WORKS
- God takes the effort to appear to all kinds of people.
- He often appears in power - He is not particularly interested in using power to get you your next toy.
- God is prepared to lay you low to get His work done.
- God confirms His plans in various ways - He uses an "Ananias".
- Being God’s person might be very dangerous and painful.
- God’s method is often prophecy, confirmation of his plans, healing, filling with the Holy Spirit and removal of spiritual blindness.
SOME MODERN BLINDNESSES
- Apathy based on materialism - just too busy to pay God any attention.
- Fear based lifestyle - fear being the dominant driving force in one's life keeps attention focused on the problem and not on God and His solutions.
- Partial belief based on comfort zones - not believing and practicing the full gospel because it threatens my comfort zone.
- Lack of spiritual growth because of hardness of heart - hatreds, prejudices, unforgiveness.
- Lack of power and authority due to poor teaching and discipling - many have not seen the Spirit work so it is difficult to believe it can happen today.
The Jesus who walked on earth and performed so many miracles of mercy was emphatic that he would be with his disciples for ever. He still is present by his Spirit. Faith as small as a mustard seed is all that is required to do the words and works of Jesus.
Date Added: 2010-09-21
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