The Cure for Spiritual Blindness

The following excerpt is from God’s Power for Your Life by A W Tozer

Not just wicked men, but good ones as well, can be inwardly blinded to the point of self-deception. Yes, even good men and women can be so deceived as to miss heaven in the final analysis. How tragic to live your whole life believing you are on the road to heaven, and then to find out, when you cannot change, that you were deceived!

Remember these words spoken by Jesus: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in they name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23)

How are we to avoid hearing those dreadful words? Surely, there is something we can do to prevent ourselves from being deceived. What is the cure? How am I to deal with any kind of spiritual blindness I might encounter?

Take heart – there is a cure. “For ye were sometimes darkness,” Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians, “but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). These men and women once walked in darkness, but they came to walk as children of light. At the root of this transformation was a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.

Jesus is the cure, and only the Holy Spirit can apply this remedy to restore a person’s life and chase away the darkness of the soul forever. (emphasis is mine)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” Jesus proclaimed, “because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18). Light is available to all who seek. That is the secret. Those who seek God earnestly and desperately shall surely come into the glorious light of His presence.

Take Refuge in God

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.

Psalm 57:1 NIV

Prayer

Oh, Lord, exalt Yourself above me and all that I am – possessions, friends, comforts, pleasures, reputation, health and life – everything. Test me, Lord, and see whether I can really leave everything in Your hands. Bring my life into line so that I will not be fully myself, but fully in You, knowing the truth that I can take refuge in You. Oh, Lord, set in motion a chain of circumstances that will bring me to the place where I can sincerely say, ‘Be thou exalted above the heavens’. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

All hail the power of Jesus’ name!

Let angels prostrate fall;

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all;

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all.

Edward Perronet (1726-1792)

The Faithful Remnant

The Faithful Remnant

Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.

 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.  And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

Malachi 3:16-18 NIV

More than Conquerors

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39 NIV

Hanging On

Hanging On by Eddie Askew

It all seemed fine, Lord,

Walking along, not a care in the world, everything going right.

I was even remembering to say the occasional thank you to you,

when it changed.

The sun clouded over: A cold wind blew out of nowhere.

The first drop of rain splattered down

hitting the warm, dry earth of my path with a finality

that said the weather’s changed. I shivered.

Lord, when things go wrong help me to remember the good times.

When my life with you, and my fellow Christians,

hits rock bottom and I find it hard to take,

stay with me.

No, that’s wrong, Lord. You are with me,

I know it.

Just help me to feel it.

Not just the theory, but the experience.

When I’m disappointed

and hurt by outside events,

by the way others behave,

when I’m honest enough to look at myself

and admit that the fault often lies inside me,

then let me feel you near.

And when the pain is bad,

when the sheer effort of keeping my feet

moving along your road,

when the scenic route through the mountains

-AA recommended –

turns into the rocky path of a small Calvary,

give me the strength to go on.

It would be easy, sometimes, to give up.

To drop out at the roadside, a casualty.

A great future behind me.

I’m not sure, at times, why I do go on, until,

when I get out onto the other side of the pain,

and warm myself again in your sunshine,

I know.

You were with me. Are with me.

Lord, I pray for those

in the middle of their pain barrier today.

Trying to stay on the road, putting everything they’ve got

into the effort of getting through to the night.

Through the cloud of uncertainty,

may they be sure of your love.

In the loneliness,

may they feel your arm slipped through theirs.

In the darkness of depression,

may they hold on to the promise of your light.

Help us, Lord,

Just to keep moving.

From his obituary in The Guardian (2007)
“Eddie Askew, the former general director of the Leprosy Mission (TLM) … devoted half a century to the disease and its consequences. …
Inspired by his travels and his Christian faith, Eddie found an outlet for his creativity in painting and poetry. A Silence and a Shouting, his first book of meditations and artwork, was published in 1982. It was followed, over the years, by 16 others, and the sale of his books and paintings raised around £2.5m for TLM.”

The Twenty Third Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
   He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

For the Brokenhearted

O Lord my God, I come to You bereft in spirit with a heart that is breaking. My mind is in turmoil and I just do not understand all the anguish that seems to be hitting me from all sides. You know Lord exactly the pain that is in my heart and the sadness and grief that I am going through and I come to You, my God, seeking Your blessed peace in my heart.

Heal my hurting heart and bind up the lacerations that have penetrated so deeply into my soul, for You alone are my hope, You alone are my strength and stay. I have nothing and no one left but You Lord.

Bind up my fragmented heart I pray, as You have promised. It says in Your Word that You came to heal the broken hearted and to free those that were entrapped in the emotional suffering of their lives. Lord, that is my position now and I trust in You alone.

I give You my fragmented heart and pray for Your blessed peace, Your gracious peace, Your perfect peace that passes all human comprehension. Take me as I am Lord and fill me anew with your love and grace, for only through You can I be renewed in spirit, only in You can I rest in safety.

Thank You O Lord my God,

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dear Heavenly Father, You are the Creator of all things and You sustain all of life. I come to you, acknowledging that your will is best and that your plan is far greater than any I could ever ask for or imagine. Lord, I come to you with troubles that are weighing on my heart and the hearts of many believers. God, I know that you carry all burdens, and I ask that you share your yoke with us now during this difficult time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God, I want to be a person who stands firm and trusts You wholeheartedly. I want to be unshakable and resilient, but that can only happen by depending on You and trusting You. Develop that deeper trust in me, God I desperately need it and want to trust you more. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

I waited patiently for the Lord;

he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40:1-2 NIV

You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12 NIV

Thinking Is Not Enough

We humans want to help each other and that is good insofar as we can, but God wants us to press through to His presence where there is no natural or artificial help. Our denominations have their place, but they cannot aid us at this point of aloneness. He asks that we come with a naked intent unto God. We must want God Himself – and nothing more!

When we present ourselves to Him in this way, what a blessing to have His assurance that God Himself has removed all of the legal hindrances to our access. It is a glorious hard core of fact that Jesus Christ has removed all of the legal hindrances!

There are many legal reasons why I should not go to heaven. There are governmental reasons why I should not go to heaven. I believe that a holy God must run His universe according to holy law – and I do not belong there because I have broken every one of those holy laws in some way. Therefore, there has to be a redemption, a justification of some kind if I am to have God and He is to have me.

Thank God, it has been done! The New Testament language is plain as can be – in Jesus Christ and through His death and resurrection, every legal hindrance has been met and taken away. There is nothing to stop you except yourself – no reason why we cannot enter into all the depths of the fullness of God!

Here I must repeat – too many people are trying to think their way in. The only way to get in is to believe Him with our hearts forevermore, crying after Him and looking unto Him with a naked intent of love! The time comes when all we can do is believe God – believe what He says, believe Him and love Him!

The thinking process is not enough in this realm. The great God Almighty that fills the universe and overflows into immensity can never be surrounded by that little thing that we call our brain, our mind, our intellect – never, never, never! Never can we rise to face God by what we know and by what we are, but only by love and faith are we lifted thus to know Him and adore Him!

This excerpt is from the book I Talk Back to the Devil: The Fighting Fervor of the Victorious Christian by A W Tozer

(Emphasis in paragraph Four is mine)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Come Follow Me

I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, no turning back

Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow
Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow
Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow
No turning back, no turning back

The world behind me, the cross before me
The world behind me, the cross before me
The world behind me, the cross before me
No turning back, no turning back

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back
No turning back
No turning back

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”- Mark 8:34

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

Miracles

FIREFLY BY JEAN VADAL SMITH

The following is an excerpt from the book MY FATHER MY KING by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Hear your Father your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe saying to you:

The world in which you live is full of miracles so that you will have constant reminders of My presence.

There are miracles of history. There are miracles of biology and botany. There are miracles of chemistry and physics and of anatomy and astronomy. There are miracles of events that are mathematically improbable. There are major miracles and there are minor miracles miracles that are easily recognizable and miracles subtle and hidden.

What you refer to as “nature” is the manifestation of My will in the world. All of nature is ultimately a miracle. Don’t allow familiarity to blind you to the magnitude of the miracles that appear commonplace.

Every heartbeat is a miracle. Every cough and sneeze is a miracle. Every step you take is a miracle.

Keep your eyes open for the myriad miracles in your life. Seeing those miracles will add a spiritual dimension wherever you are and wherever you go, and your entire life will be filled with joy and gratitude.

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord

Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word.
Once His gift I wanted,
Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.

Once ’twas painful trying,
Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation,
Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding,
Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting,
Now my anchor’s cast.

Once ’twas busy planning,
Now ’tis trustful pray’r;
Once ’twas anxious caring,
Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted,
Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking,
Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working,
His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him,
Now He uses me.
Once the pow’r I wanted,
Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored,
Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus,
Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying,
Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited,
Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored,
Safe within the veil.

Written by Albert C Simpson c.1891