In a recent POST, “Open Your Eyes“ from my series “And You Shall Be My Disciples”, I note how the Apostle Paul prayed this for the Ephesian Christians:
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling…and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1: 18-19).
Also, in 2 Kings 6:17 Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
The problem is that we don’t always see things clearly. It is like we are squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But we can have the weather clear and the sun shine bright! We can see it all as clearly as God sees.
(“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12)
We need our eyes opened so we may see what God would have us see. So we can see our way.
The Good News is that God has made a way – even when there doesn’t seem to be a way. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Coincidentally, I finished another post, “Bring in the Poor” Lesson #35, of my “And You Shall Be My Disciples” series, with these words:
“We are living in a time where the “State” has largely replaced God in our lives. What the Church used to do (or does, in a very limited fashion) The “State” now does, but with serious consequences.
“The “State” provides food, clothing, housing, medical care, social welfare income, social security retirement income, disability income, mandated education, government funded abortions, job training, etc., regardless of your beliefs, lifestyle or habits, morals or ethics.
“WE, the CHURCH, are abdicating our role and responsibility. We must care for and provide for our pastors. But, the average church spends 70% to 80%+ of its buildings, debt, income on salaries, retirement plans, healthcare plans, perks, etc., for pastors and staff. Even the best missions programs top of their giving at an average of just 5%. Even once the mission money is delivered, it to goes largely to the same budgetary items.
We go to our church buildings and worship in relative luxury while the world around us becomes more and more secular, more hostile to Christianity and lost to God.
“WE, THE CHURCH, THE SAINTS OF GOD, HIS CHILDREN, MUST RECLAIM THIS TERRITORY!
“I pray that God will forgive me – forgive us – and that we will submit ourselves, our luxuries, our wants to Him. That I – that we – have the will and the courage to repent and follow Him, fully devoted, fully surrendered, all in!”
It seems, if you are looking around, you cannot escape this message.
For instance, today, I heard a message from Pastor Alistair Begg. Here is an excerpt from his message.
“They (the disciples) were looking without seeing. Despite the fact that the disciples of Jesus lived closed to him, listened to him, were part of seeing his miraculous deeds, and were, if you like, as tuned in as any group might be, they were guilty of taking care of practical matters to the detriment of ultimate issues. Indeed, what Jesus says to them here is that they’re living with their eyes closed.
“Now, that would be one thing if it were merely an historical description and we could look back on it and say, “Boy, those guys really made a mess of it. I’m glad we’re not like that at all”—until we read the verses, and it begins to scratcth where we itch, begins to cut into our lives.
“And we realize that this is a telling picture not simply of the disciples on that day, but it is to some degree a picture of many local churches—and actually, to a certain measure, a description of the church as a whole: taking care of what it believes to be priorities, while all the time failing to see that the issues, as good and as important as they may be, are subservient to the timeless and pressing issue of the souls of men and women. Indeed, if you like, living in the midst of time without acknowledging that eternity casts its shadow across it all.
“So Jesus, exhorts his disciples , “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” The disciples obviously were not noticing this; they hadn’t grasped it, nor had they been grasped by it.
And again, it is vitally relevant, because I find myself like them, inclined to be preoccupied with the immediate and the material needs, and that I constantly need to be refocused to the spiritual and to the eternal.
Why is it that I can be so consumed with the assumption that because my neighbors and my friends are relatively okay, they are materially satisfied, they are intellectually stable, they are emotionally not total basket cases, is that really the case?
“And, we look at indigent people, in a crime-laden society, the criminal elements, the poor people, and such, and we’re often lulled in to thinking “if we would only increase the social benefits towards these folks, all would be well for them—failing to recognize that no matter what we do in that regard, still will not address the ultimate issues of these people’s lives.
“And in that, the harvest is obscured.
“The picture which Jesus employs is to, “open your eyes and look at the fields!” Now, what does Jesus mean? I mean, they obviously weren’t standing around with their eyes actually closed. But, they certainly had their ears closed, and metaphorically, so were their eyes.” Alistair Begg.
There is only ONE WAY to fix the mess we are in and that our world is in.
1. If you have not already, then, turn to God now, through faith in Jesus
2. Put your desires and passions for luxuries of this world aside (no matter what the size, cost or context of luxury is to you)
3. Immediately, come to the Harvest. God is calling and I am inviting you.
4. OPEN YOUR EYES. Be aware that if you continue to seek your own achievements, your own status and goals, pleasures, relaxation and comfort, NO MATTER HOW NOBLE THEY MAY BE, you may be putting yourself in jeopardy as that Day of the Lord draws near. You and I must fix this.
5. If you and I continue CHURCH AS USUAL, then what are you really doing?
As the Church goes, so goes America, so goes the world
Your Brother and Friend,