Saturday, November 5, 2011

NOVEMBER 5 "EYES TO SEE"

     AS we function in a natural world we can begin to view Christianity as a natural process, we can begin to view salvation as a logical decision.  Although, in many ways "salvation" is a logical decision, it is anything but logical to the natural or carnal mind.  The verse in Ezekiel is a common verse through out the bible, "they have eyes to see but they do not see and ears to hear but do not hear".   Isaiah also spoke these words and so did Jesus in quoting Isaiah say,  14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:  “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’[a] 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."  How many times have we found ourselves rattling around in our minds, different scenarios in which we may present the Gospel; that it would be irrefutable to the hearer.  The only problem is, your "hearer" for which you have spent many sleepless nights preparing....can't hear a word you are saying, no matter how logical and persuasive you are.  Jesus said, "count yourself blessed, that you see and hear".  Now Jesus doesn't mean this in the literal sense, He means it in the Spiritual sense.
     How frustrated we can become "trying to save people" however there is not one command that ever left Jesus' mouth, that speaks of saving anyone. We are human and we will get emotionally involved and we will relentlessly try to persuade (even the Apostle Paul admits to this) but we must always come back to the realization that Jesus us gave us the simple command to "preach The Gospel".  Whom that seed flourishes in and whom it doesn't, is in God's hands, but the problem is we don't accept that.  We choose for ourselves those that are going to be saved (of course we don't admit that).  WE choose that it will be our siblings, friends, families and of course, our kids; and we become quite frustrated when the random drug addict walks into the church and hears the Gospel for the first time and is gloriously converted while those that we have so cleverly and faithfully tried to persuade are still not  not converted, but only harder, than ever, towards The Gospel.
     We run into even more trouble when we cut people out of our lives and allow resentment to work in to that relationship because they have rejected our clever persuasion and presentation of The Gospel. Why are we angry at them?  Why are we angry at them for being blind and deaf?  They are not hearing what you're saying and they cannot see what you see, why are you becoming resentful towards them?  The answer is because of your sinful nature. How many times in the car or outside to we try to point out some awesome thing to our friend and he cannot see it and then the moment has passed and we become angry with him, "what's wrong with you, it was right there, I don't know why you couldn't see it!", we say.  The individual who is the victim of our wrath is amazed at how angry with are with him for not seeing our "great and awesome sight".  That individual thinks to himself, "it's not as if I intentionally tried not to see what he was pointing out, for one reason or another I just didn't see it, don't know why he's so mad at me".   And we function the same way with The Gospel.  We get so angry with those who "just don't get it".  We get so angry we become resentful towards them (as if we understood the Gospel from birth ourselves) that the relationship deteriorates over this and you have to ask yourself,..."what good will that do?"
     Our job is to be Christian, to continue to love them just as Christ loved us when we were the objects of his wrath. Our job is to keep the communication lines open, our job is to continue to gently and patiently teach as opportunities arise and then, leave the results with The Holy Spirit. I believe the strategy of The Devil is to exploit our flesh and ego's into thinking we are the converters and getting us in to a place where we begin to measure our results and then determine it's not working and quit speaking, quit trying to explain and quit trying to even be a vessel God can move through.  Then what? Then we are no longer "salt to the earth" are we?  And what did Jesus say, "what good is salt if it loses it's flavour but to be thrown out and trampled upon".   Don't wear the yoke upon your shoulders of trying to "save people", but simply preach and teach and allow God to open up the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf.  In doing this you will find yourself a lot less frustrated and a lot more fruitful and don't ever forget "blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."