SEEING IS BELIEVING
By Dan Luehrs
"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see" (Mark 10:51 NIV).
Thankfully I was not born physically blind nor have I ever been blind, but when I see a blind person my heart immediately goes out to them. I wonder what their dark world must be like. How does their imagination see everything, not knowing the colors of the sky, grass, trees, and etc? Can they even imagine the beauty of a person or an animal that is beside them? How terrible it must be to be blind to God's physical creation!
But to be honest with you, we were all born blind spiritually whether we know it or not, which is far worse! For us to see with the eyes of our spirit is far more important than for us to see with our physical eyes. It was said of blind hymn writer George Matheson, that God made him blind so that he could see clearly in the spirit; to become a guide to spiritually blind men. We must be like the blind man that came to Jesus and cried out to Him, "I want to see!" How desperately a blind man must want to see. When they know that Jesus can heal them they will cry out like blind Bartimaeus continued crying out to Jesus, "Have mercy on me!" The problem with most people is that they are like the Pharisees; they do not even know that they are spiritually blind!
"And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see (see spiritually); and that those who see may become blind." Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains" (John 9:39-41 NASB).
When we understand that we were lost in spiritual darkness is when we are having our spiritual eyes opened. The average person does not even realize there is a spirit realm of God around them to be reckoned with, much less one that they can see and enter into. God has created man to dwell in both the natural and spirit realms at the same time. The realm that I am writing about is the realm of light and truth! We are living in two realms at one time, one of light/truth and one of darkness/deception. Jesus desires to open our spiritual vision and understanding so that we might see what is hidden in the darkness of our own soul. For in our soul darkness hides and it blocks our understanding of knowing the truth. This is why many Christians cannot go beyond the salvation experience, for they do not want to deal with the darkness of their own soul. Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, "I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire… and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see" (Revelation 3:18 NASB). Oh yes, make no mistake about it. Jesus wants us to see and understand spiritual truth clearly. When Paul the apostle was thrown off his horse he was blinded by the truth of Jesus Christ, for the light/truth revealed his blindness. We must see ourselves ignorant of the truth before we can know the truth, so it then can change us. One day I was in my office and Jesus came in spirit form and sat down in front of my desk. I said to Him, "Why can't I see you with my natural eyes?" He said, "Because you can see with your spiritual eyes." It then dawned on me that we could truly see with the eyes of our heart into the spirit world.
"A woman named Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. "I just can't believe it!" She gasped as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes after her recovery from delicate surgery in an Ontario hospital. She wept for joy when for the first time in her life a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color greeted eyes that now were able to see. The amazing thing about the story, however, is that 20 years of her blindness had been unnecessary. She didn't know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30. The doctor said, "She just figured there was nothing that could be done about her condition. Much of her life could have been different." But no one told her about the wonderful advances in eye surgery?"
I think about many Christians that have a very dim view of spiritual things. They have need of spiritual eye salve being applied to their eyes so that they can see the things of the Spirit. Or there are those that have tunnel vision, only seeing what others have taught them about God, when in fact Jesus is wanting to teach us by His Spirit the deep things of God. "If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21 KJV). Many Christians do not even know what they are missing or how much they have lost in true spiritual riches because of their limited view! Many Christians think that they can see 20/20 in the spirit realm because they are saved; salvation being the only revelation they have ever had, not realizing that they are only seeing the "in part realm" of the truths of God.
We must understand that God is bigger than the universe, and that "truth" is as vast as the universe itself, never to be fully understood this side of eternity. This is why our daily prayer must be, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (opened), so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18 NASB). This is what I mean by us having our spiritual eyes opened: when we know and understand the truths of God's word by us having an on-going revelation of the person of Jesus Christ. Paul said, "For I neither received it (the truth) from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12 NASB).
NOW THAT'S SOMETHING TO SEE
People like to see many things in the earth like the Grand Canyon, New York City, Paris, etc. When they have seen it with their own eyes they say, "Wasn't that something to see!" But it was only a natural experience, lasting a very short time and they probably never gained any spiritual insight from what they were seeing. I was on a missionary trip in northern India and was staying in the Himalayas Mountains. We were there for one week and the sky was cloudy every day. The people living there would point to the mountains and tell me that the third highest mountain in the world was behind the clouds. They would then show me pictures of what the mountain looked like when it wasn't cloudy. In my mind's eye I could not imagine what a twenty-nine thousand-foot mountain peak would look like. When I was a young boy my dad took me to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to see fourteen thousand-foot peeks and I remembered being so disappointed that they were so little! Now I was on the other side of the earth and the tallest mountains in the world were all around me, yet I could not see them! So I prayed and asked the Lord to show me these mountains. The very last day we were there I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to see if the sky had cleared and it had! I then proceeded to the top of the roof where there was a viewing platform. I looked to where the people had pointed and sure enough there was the tallest mountain that I had ever seen. It literally took my breath away as if I was looking at God Himself! I was not disappointed in the least bit!
I have written all this to say this. As great as it was for me to see the wonders of the earth it never changed me one bit! But when I have seen the many facets of God's word I have been changed from within. Every time spiritual truth is revealed to me I am breathless! There have been times when all I could do was shout and praise God as truth was opened to me. There were times when I would have to lay on the floor because all my strength had left me, as it did Daniel when he had seen great visions. "So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength" (Daniel 10:8 NASB).
It is far more important for us to see and understand spiritual truth than it is for us to travel the world over and see things that will have no spiritual impact on our eternal destiny. Once we see in our spirit the wonder of wonders of God's word we will be changed little by little into the likeness of Jesus, for He is the beginner and finisher of our faith. It is only by seeing Him that we are changed. "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears (when He is seen in spirit), we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:2 NASB). We must now see Him in the word and Spirit to be changed into His likeness, by going from glory level of truth to glory level. Then we too can say, "Seeing is truly believing!" As the angel in the book of Revelation said to John, "Come and see!" -- "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV).
"Then the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman, and said to her, "Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son (Samson)." -- "… And he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines" (Judges 13:3,5b NASB).
The story of Samson is one of great wonder and awe at his power and courage, and one of sadness and sorrow at his lack of character. Samson's calling is much like the sons of God; they are called to be deliverers! Deliverers of people that are caught in the bondage of sin and darkness. Much of Samson's life is a mystery to me. Why did God call him? Why did God allow him to marry a Philistine girl when other Jewish men could not? And why did his death have to be by his own hands? I do not pretend to have the answers, but there are many great truths about his life that we must glean if we are to be the deliverers that God has called us to be.
Much like the life of Jesus, Samson was born and raised from birth to be a deliverer of the people. For this alone was he born and as far as we know he did not have any children. Samson had no other calling in his life but to be a deliverer of the people. Even though God anointed him in strange ways he was still a deliverer of the people through his own personal problems. What he did was not for the nation of Israel, but for his own revenge. And for this reason we should also fight the Philistines in our own life! The Philistines in scripture always represent the "the fleshly carnal nature" that wars against us daily, even as the Philistine Delilah vexed Samson daily. Delilah's name means, "long hair." In other words, by her lies and seduction she seduced him so much that he give his whole heart over to her. (See Judges 16:16). We must be careful of this Delilah that is living in our flesh, she is a "whore" that is living in us to seduce us by her cunning ways! The Philistine spirit is living in our flesh; and we must overcome it or Delilah (the flesh) will put us spiritually to sleep and torment and terrorize us as she terrorized Samson! "Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him" (Judges 16:19 NKJV). Flirting with the flesh will put us to sleep and we will lose our spiritual strength, our joy of salvation.
It is interesting to note that the nation of Israel is today back in her Promised Land of the Middle East as she was in Samson's day. And the Philistines are terrorizing them once again! Why do I say this? The West Bank and the Gaza Strip is the Palestinian occupied territory, the same ancient land that the Philistine's occupied thousands of years ago! The same evil spirits that attacked Israel then are now attacking Israel today. The name "Palestine" comes from the word "Philistine;" look at their close spelling. This is not by chance, for the Roman government that ruled over the land of Philistine changed the name to "Palestine!" Prophetically what does this say to us? That we, as the church, are under the same terrorist attacks as Israel is in the natural; but it is by our own "fleshly nature," that is warring in us. We, like Israel, cannot afford to exchange our spiritual land (that we have gained through our personal warrings) for any type of peace treaty with the flesh; we must fight for complete victory over our flesh! Even though the flesh (the beast system) is becoming stronger in the earth than ever before, we must overcome it through God's grace. For there will never be a lasting peace treaty between our spirit man and fleshly nature.
Many people point to Samson and say that he failed God because he was with strange women. This is so, but the truth of the matter is, God still used him in his failure to deliver the children of Israel! When Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman, his father did not want him to do so. But God was behind the marriage all the time. "But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel"(Judges 14:4 KJV). God's ways are not our ways; He is able to use many different means of deliverance in our own life and the life of a nation. We must not put God in a box and say what He can and cannot do! My personal feeling about Samson is that he was not a strong man in the natural or in the spirit. He was in fact a weakling, for this is the only thing that would have given God the glory in his victories.
The truth of the matter is Samson lost his way when he began playing around with his anointing and falsely thinking he was invincible against the Philistines (the flesh). This should be a clear warning to us not to play around with the things of the flesh. Yes, God's word and anointing is greater than anything the enemy has yet, God will leave us with the Philistines (the flesh) if we do not respect the anointing that is in us!
"And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison" (Judges 16:20-21 NASB).
Please hear me. The flesh will blind us spiritually to the deeper things of God, as it did Samson, if we continue to play around with it; for we are in danger of giving our heart over to it as Samson did! "So he told her all that was in his heart and then she tormented him!" (See verse 17,19). We must only give our heart over to the Lord, for He is the only worthy one to be trusted! Jesus is now offering us eye salve so that we might see clearly into the deeper things of God. Let us now run unto Him so that we might see clearly!
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