Thursday, June 9, 2011

II Corinthians 4:3, 4; I Cor. 2:14

"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." "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

Ironic imagery that Paul uses to describe the spiritual condition of the lost, since he himself was struck blind as he approached Damascus. His sightless eyes mirrored the blindness of his soul. He had no idea who it was who had knocked him so forcefully to the dust.

Yet, before that momentous day, had anyone asked, he would have been greatly insulted at the very questioning of his spiritual understanding. Of course he was not spiritually blind! The very idea!! His Judaic credentials were impeccible, his academic accomplishments impressive. So it is with spiritual pride. "Every man's ways seems right in his own eyes."

Thus, the one who says, "I see just fine" has the least awareness that he is spiritually sightless, while the awakened one, the redeemed believer, needs daily ask that the Lord who knows the hearts of all would continually reveal his own heart to him (for indwelling sin blinds each of us to areas which need confession, repentance, and forsaking). Praise to the gracious Father for His blessed Spirit's revealing ministry!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Isaiah 55:10, 11

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

However many the times my heart returns to this powerful passage, its confident promise of assurance still sweetens my spirit with the reading. So much in this world starts well but ends badly, shows promise initially yet eventually accomplishes little or nothing, so that this declaration stands in stellar contrast: God's Word never fails. Never.
True, I may not see the results in my lifetime. Or the outcome may not be what I expected or desired. Yet such consequences do not nullify this promise in the slightest: His Word never fails. Never.
How could it be otherwise, really...? The One making the promise is all-knowing, all-powerful, and never changes. As Jeremiah so aptly prayed, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You" (32:17).
"Familiar and needed truths, Father, which I plea You would bring home to my heart afresh. Too often I lazily lapse into assuming truth about Your Word, rather than alertly wielding it in combat with the enemy of my soul. Forgive for ways I impugn Your character by unbelief in the power of Your Word, a reflection on Your power as Sovereign Creator. Call me again to a new awareness and commitment to You and Your unfailing Truth. In Your Son's Name I pray, Amen."