The problem with spiritual blindness is that those who are spiritually blind don’t know it.
This is why we are exhorted in the Word to make a self-examination.
(See 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB), “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?”
The point here is that there actually is a test.
- No, it is not one of those multiple choice kinds.
- This test involves applying the Word of God in your life, examining the results, and then testing the again.
In 1st John 4:1 (NASB), it says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
- The Lord clearly instructs us to put everything to the test, even His own Word.
- How do I know this? Look at the verse, notice the words, “to see whether they are from God.”
- This clearly shows that God not only has no problem with us testing His Word but that He wants us to do so.
- This way we can come to learn how to tell the difference between His Word and the voice of others.
Notice this confrontation between the Lord and the Pharisees found in John 9:38-41 (NASB), “And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, 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.”
- Can you see (pun intended), the Lord is saying that the Pharisees failed the test.
- In their case, they would remain blind, because they did not want to see.
- They were face to face with God in the flesh, and they did not recognize Him because He was not behaving the way they believed He was supposed to behave.
Additionally, Matthew 13:13-17 (NASB), says, “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
- This is Jesus explaining that He uses certain techniques to get His message across to those who really want to hear, and understand while allowing those who do not want to change to keep on acting like they do not understand.
- Notice as well, that it tells us that there are those who are blessed because they can “see.”
- This ability to “see,” for these people is a “blessing,” or rather, a gift from God Himself.
In the Bible, this inability to understanding things is referred to as being blind.
- Spiritual blindness comes about for different reasons.
One of those reasons is found early in the Bible in Deuteronomy 29:4 (NASB), “Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.”
- Here we can see that God not only is capable of “blinding” people spiritually but obviously, He actually did it.
Why He would do this is also something that would have different reasons for happening.
- One of those is that the people involved are not ready to understand,from God’s point of view.
- This could happen because He is not ready for them to understand and do the right thing because His plan calls for something different.
- As an example, He hardened the heart of Pharaoh, so that the king would not release the Jews and God could take the opportunity to demonstrate His power to the world.
Another reason why God would keep some people from “seeing” is found in Romans 11:25 (NASB), “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
- Because God has a plan and that plan must work out the way He wants it to, He has kept Israel from understanding some things about who Jesus truly is, so that there would be ample time for people who are not Jews to get saved.
- See also Romans 11:7-8 (NASB), “What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”
- See how God intentionally kept Israel (the Jews) from understanding and acting on that knowledge, until He is ready for them to do so, until then, they will remain “blind.”
Another reason why some people are “blind,” is found in 2nd Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB), “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
- Satan has been given the power to “blind” the eyes of those who are not going to be saved.
- If they were to understand that Jesus Christ is the Lord, then they might get saved, and that is not part of the plan in their case.
- These people, who do not see, but act as if they do, often turn out to be people who also end up fooling true believers with their erroneous religious beliefs.
- The book of Galatians speak clearly of this problem.
Jesus’ response to us, regarding these blind people is to, “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14 (NASB))
In our case though, we have different instructions from the Lord, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 (NASB)).
- In this verse we see the process which God expects from us so that we may be able to really “see,” and know that it is truly God speaking, and not some other voice.
- In our heads we have three voices.
o One of them is the voice of God, the second is the voice of the enemy, and the third is our own voice.
- Which is the most powerful of the three, you might ask? Your voice.
o Too often our voice is so strong and powerful in our heads, that it actually sounds like what we would expect God’s voice to sound.
- In truth, God’s voice is the still small voice which you have to stop and listen to, so that you can recognize it and know it truly is His voice.
- But, we do not always know if it really is God’s voice.
- To know this, we must become “transformed.”
o This means to stop thinking the way we always have, and start thinking the way God wants.
- Once we start thinking His way, or as the Word says, by using the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), we will be able to know it is His voice, as best as we can.
This transformation, or rather the ability to see and not be blind, requires us to use the tools He put at our disposal.
- Those “tools” are simply the Word of God. Notice what Hebrews 4:12 (NASB) says. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
- It is the Word of God that “transforms us,” opens our eyes so that we may see, so that we may use it, and lead others to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The way we learn to use the Word of God correctly, and use this tool in the proper way is to follow the instructions of the Lord in 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB), “Be diligent (study) to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
- The study of the Word, the testing of the Word, and the application of the Word, is what will be required to stop being “blind,” and “seeing.”
The final question is this:
- Are you able to take God’s Word as the truth, just as you take a scientist’s word at what they say is true.
- When there is a conflict regarding what scientists say and what the Bible says, how do you decide which to believe?
- Your answer will decide whether you are blind or not.