Can you imagine what it’s like to live as a blind person? To intermingle in a world void of color, beauty, depth, height . . . void of light?
For most of us blindness would seem unbearable. However, even 20/20 eyesight isn’t a gurantee that you can see much of anything. In fact, you can fumble around, trip, and fall just like Bartimaeus, only your blindness might be spiritual rather than physical.
No matter where you are in your journey with Christ, you should never live beyond the ache to see more of God’s Light. Our pursuit of revelation, intimacy, wisdom, and mercy from God should be the prayerful desire of every believer.
Still our Light flickers. It begins to diminish when we think we know it all or start to see other’s opinions, beliefs, ideas, or perspectives as less than. We begin to ignore the pull of Light. Instead, we take the reigns because we caught one too many glimpses of our remarkable selves.
Time and again Jesus uses blindness in His parables to illustrate how easily pride, religion, sin, and self righteousness can replace the ache for Light in a person’s heart—even a person who claims to know God.
In John 9, Jesus heals a different blind man. The man exuberantly tells the Pharisees about his miraculous healing. Outraged (for several reasons), the Pharisees promptly throw the man out of the synagogue to which Jesus later retorts in John 9:39-41: “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” He goes on, “If you were blind you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
In the book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, author Donald Miller suggests that the enemy’s best trick isn’t to get us to commit some great evil. Instead, he allows us to develop a religious habit in which we hear about God but really never engage with God.
Religious habit suffocates our ache for Light.
That’s what happened with the Pharisees. They weren’t so much “the bad guys” as they were guys who had “arrived” and settled in their minds exactly who God was (and wasn’t)—so much so, they didn’t recognize Him standing in front of them. Turns out, God was greater than they could have imagined. Jesus blew their tiny, little God boxes to smithereens.
We’ve all got some Pharisee in us. We think we’ve figured out something super spiritual so we check off the box as “done.” But that’s never true. Until we “arrive” at Heaven’s door, we’ve never really “arrived” at anything.
God is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. For self-reliant, type A people (yes, especially writers), that truth can be one of the toughest to which you’ll ever have to surrender. Absurd isn’t it? That someone else holds the pen and makes the edits to your life? That someone else can shed more Light on a bias you’ve worked years to build up? That someone else might actually . . . be . . . perfect?
So how do you keep your ache for Light strong? Like Bartimeaus, the blind man, you simply tell Jesus each day, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
Scriptures to help amplify your ache:
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death . . .
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Post/Tweet this today:
Until we “arrive” in Heaven, we’ve never really “arrived” at anything. Open my eyes, Lord. Give Light to my understanding. #LiveSticky
Join us tomorrow for The Direction of Light: Pointing Them to Heaven at Wayne Hastings’ blog.
Rachel here. I really loved the line "religious habit suffocates our ache for light." It is easy to replace our desire to see Jesus in both His divinity and humanity by going through the motions of worship but never really opening up our hearts.
What about you? Are you going through the motions, pretending to "see" the Lord but being quite blind? I'm asking to "see" my religious blindfolds this Christmas season. What do you think?