“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). Jesus declared that His mission on earth was to, “restore sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18). The Master Teacher made sure that those who were spiritually blind had an opportunity to see, and the vision He gave them was life-changing. Just like the blind man whose sight was restored in John 9:1-11, our lives will be changed radically when we understand the significance of His presence in us (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27).
Satan is hard at work trying to deceive us, however. The Lord’s church may have seen God’s glory in the past, but Satan is doing his best to ensure that we don’t see it in the present. The Devil wants to create as many vision problems as he can, because when he does so he undermines the mission of Jesus Christ’s church. Here’s how he’s doing it:
“Business as Usual” Christianity — We are blinded to real challenges and opportunities for growth and service when we take a “business as usual” approach to Christian living. God came to transform lives (Rom. 12:1-2), not to leave us complacent and comfortable. Even the mighty preacher Paul did not regard himself as having attained the prize of Christianity (Phil. 3:11-13). Too many churches blindly think that if they have programs in place and nobody’s complaining, they are fulfilling God’s will. In reality, Jesus expects us to get out of our comfort zones and make a real difference in the world around us (Matt. 5:13-16). Mark these words: “business as usual” Christianity is a guaranteed recipe for shriveled souls and dying churches. Let’s pray and encourage our families and churches to continue to rise up and meet new challenges and launch out in faith — it’s what Jesus would do (Luke 4:43).
“Somebody Else” Christianity — It’s easy to sing, “We’ll Work ‘Till Jesus Comes,” but it’s sometimes much harder to live it. Brethren, we live in a lost and dying world (Rom. 3:23), and the privilege is ours to reach out to others with the gospel. How delighted the Devil must be, then, when he sees Christians waiting for “somebody else” to do the Lord’s work. I believe we’re all too often like the disciples waiting for “somebody else” to wash our feet (John 13:1-11). How humbling are the words of Jesus: “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The power and beauty of a Christian life is revealed in humble service to others. So many congregations of God’s people are full of “benchwarmers” just waiting for someone else to serve them. Whether we’re elders, deacons, or members of Christ’s church, let’s rejoice for the privilege of serving, and let’s resolve not to be blinded by what “somebody else” is or isn’t doing!
“Too Busy With Life” Christianity — If you want to follow Christ, it can’t be a partial commitment (Luke 9:23). He must be the center, the focus, of everything we are and do. If Satan has his way, our lives will be so filled up with good things that we’ll miss out on the very best thing of all — a relationship with God! Relationships take time to nurture and develop, and our time is what Satan would really like to control. No wonder Paul said the, “days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). We will be blinded to the glorious and life-changing power of the gospel if we never make the time to investigate it. Jesus describes this phenomenon as the “choking out of the word” by the “cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches” (Mark 4:19). Let’s be sure that our priorities are right (Matt. 6:33), and that we’re not so caught up in good things that we miss what’s truly important! — JB