I love this picture. It perfectly captures a man who has lived a life in one arena of experience about to make a bold step into a new arena of experience.
It is "change" in the happening.
Have you ever had a change take place in your life that you could not seem to describe quite accurately enough to other people?
I was reading an event in the book of John that I had read before, but this time when I read it everything was different. I was completely able to identify with the person that I had just read about.
The story began to unfold and all of the sudden I began to see "The Man and The Wall" all over this thing!
"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" ~John 9:1-2
I would like to point out that Jesus passed by. I love the fact that Jesus was always there in my life even in the times when I did not seem to see Him. Your life is chock (southern word to describe just how much) full of the finger prints and impressions of God's presence, guidance, and provision, and when He opens your eyes to that it is amazing how huge He suddenly appears to us!!!
Jesus passed by this man and saw him at an "allowed wall" on his path. Instantly the question is asked that everyone of us asks when we hit a wall in our own path or see others at a wall in theirs. "What did they do that caused this?".
I would like to point out that while there are consequences for actions that we take, there are some things that happen that are out of our control. The one thing that both of these have in common is that there is nothing that happens in our life that is not allowed by God and there is nothing allowed by God that will not be able to work for good. (Romans 8:28)
"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." ~ John 9:3-5
The answer that Jesus gives is the entire message of "The Man and The Wall". The wall that was allowed into this man's path was allowed there so that God could personally introduce Himself to the man as he faced the wall. The wall was not placed there as punishment, but rather to be a introductory card from a mighty and majestic God who was consuming in His love for the man.
"When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay," ~John 9:6
Once again the God who made man with the dust of the ground reaches back into the ground to create again. This time God is creating a way for His creation to see Him.
"And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." ~John 9:7
I love the fact that whenever Jesus gives a command, it is always going to result in something happening that could never have happened without the command. If God has opened a door for you and He has clearly directed your path to that door, then you can be fully confident in Him and in His direction. If the events that come with the open door do not seem to make sense please remember that Faith is simply choosing to trust God even when so many other options seem to make more sense.
What has God told you to do in regards to direction or the next step on your path? Look at the results in the lives of everyone around the man who watched him return after stumbling off in the direction that Jesus had sent him.
"The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?" ~John 9:8-10
They watched a transformation in the life and purpose of the man who just a while before seemed destined to live life as he had always lived it.
Blind to the world, the people, and every opportunity around him. They all passed him by because he was not able to see what it was that was passing.
When he was questioned about what happened, all he could say was what was bursting from his heart.
"He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight." ~John 9:11
I have been here in my life before. Have you?
Blind to the world, the people, and every opportunity around you. They all passed you by because you were not able to see what it was that was passing?
I lived my live in a driven pursuit of making God pleased with me. I looked at everything that I did for Him as a notch on the gun belt and a comparison rod against others. If someone else had "lower" standard in an area of life than I did, it was an automatic disqualification of their spirituality.
God was a boss who needed production from me in order to see me as a valuable member of the corporation. If I was not on the prowl to witness and give out a tract then I was not a dedicated enough Christian, and if I chose to travel or visit with a family member from out of town on a Sunday, well let me tell you, I was a disappointment to God and I had elevated people over Him.
Blind to the world, the people, and every opportunity around me. They all passed me by because I was not able to see what it was that was passing?
I was mean, judgmental, critical, and stubborn and it did not matter how I treated others as long as the job got done. The show needed to go on and the image of the "ministry" was everything and it did not matter what or who got trampled as long as the image of the "ministry" plowed through the waves in triumph.
Then one day, after years of learning about Jesus, I feel like I truly met Him.
It was like He passed by me and saw me struggling in my own zealous efforts to produce, be accepted and valued in the "work of the Lord" and He just stopped and saw me.
He reached out His hands and touched me and my Spirit shook. He spoke and I heard Him in my heart. He gave me a direction that pointed away from where I had been sitting and when I walked into that new direction everything changed.
It truly does not matter where I am employed or who I work for because He showed me that His children do NOT have jobs, only assignments. A work for such a time as this.
He showed me what my purpose was and what the message was that He intended for me to speak with my life!
It was as if for the first time in my life I could truly see.
It may sound silly to some who read these words, but I do not know any other way to say it. The burden of living FOR Jesus is gone and I never want to ever live FOR Jesus again. I want to live THROUGH Jesus! To live FOR someone or something indicates an effort in my own strength on my part.
Paul would word it this way;
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~Philippians 4:13
I no longer have to manufacture a moment for God. Every moment is His and I get to be a part of what He is doing! I cannot help but tell people about Him in the places He leads me to go. I cannot describe it any other way than to say I have never loved Him like the way I love Him now!
This is something that started several years back and over the last four years it has continued to become overwhelming!
It started with Jesus seeing us.
Then He touched us. It was called salvation.
Then Jesus spoke.
This is where I had stopped and where most Christians stop. He speaks to us about a direction He wants us to go in, and if it calls us out of our experience we choose our experience rather than His voice.
What has He asked you to do?
Where has He asked you to go with Him?
See for most of us we have an "experience fence" that surrounds our mind, will, and emotions. The gate can be opened but we choose to stay within that fence.
For some it is God prompting them to reach out to someone who disagrees with them and experience is right there to remind them of all the hurt and disappointment that can come with that, so you remain seated in the yard.
For another it could be that God moves on your heart to speak a word to someone or just to walk up and pray with a person about a situation, but experience tells you that people just don't do things like that.
Maybe God says, "I don't want you here anymore." and it concerns a job, but experience says, "God would not ask you to quit a job He provided would He?"
People stay in the fence of experience of jobs, churches, relationships, and even a way of living and Jesus comes to offer sight and in some cases, sight can only come from following His direction outside of our experiences.
If He has directed you into a new experience and you are in the process of deciding if you should walk in the direction that He has sent you in or remain seated in the comfort of your experience I want to urge you to rise up and step out of experience into Faith!
He is waiting!
I love what happens at the end of this story. The blind man is questioned by the "religious crowd" and when He tells them about his step outside of his experience, they throw him out of the church.
Jesus once again comes by the man and watch what He says!
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him." ~John 9:35-38
Freedom and sight come with a seemingly high price tag that many are not willing to pay. It costs you the comfort of your experience. God moves outside of our experience and our parameters that we set on our life.
If He has touched you, then He wants you to have your sight. He has directed, and deep down in your heart, you have heard Him...
Climbing with you,