Last Thursday, in "Arm-Stretching? Or Reading Glasses? Part 1", we saw from the example of my farsidedness and my need for reading glasses, that it isn't necessary to undergo the torture of "arm stretching" to be able to read and understand God's Word. Just like I need reading glasses to read, we all need "Spiritual Glasses"--God's Holy Spirit. When we humble ourselves before God and ask for His Spirit to help us as we read the Bible, we are amazed at how the words suddenly scream forth meaning.

It is also true, however, that there are still days that even these "spiritual glasses" don't seem to be doing the trick for me. My "arms" are still way "too short", for I still can't always understand what I'm reading. Why?

If I think about my reading glasses, there are also times when they are properly balanced on my nose, but I still can't make out the words of the book or email I am trying to read. This is because there is a dirty haze covering those all-important lenses, and it is amazing how clear the words become once I wipe that haze away. Could it be that my spiritual "glasses" can also become dirty? Is there a "haze" or "fog" that can cloud my ability to discern spiritual things, even when I ask for God's Spirit to help me understand?

The Bible suggests that there is actually something that can keep us from communicating with God: "If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened." (Psalm 66:18 NLT). Isaiah also suggests something similar: "Listen! The LORD's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore." (Isaiah 59:1,2 NLT) In other words, when we harbor sin in our hearts, we block that line of communication with God!

But just what is this great sin?

Any sin, really; however, there are some things that may not be quite as obvious as others. Take worry, for example. The Bible tells us to: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). When I worry, I am being disobedient to this command, and that worry clouds my spiritual vision and makes it difficult to communicate with God.

There are other times when I do understand. Clearly. But what I understand isn't in line with what I want to understand. It is at these times that my own will clouds my ability to utilize my "Spiritual glasses". It is so often said, "You hear what you want to hear", and if you think about it, we aren't so likely to listen when what we hear isn't in line with our own will!

Another related "layer" that can coat my Spiritual vision is control. Often times what I see in God's Word speaks to me about relinquishing control...to Him! But I don't want to relinquish control, for that would put me...out of control! Horrors! That would be just...awful!

There is, however, something absolutely amazing that I have learned: when I repent of my sin, renounce my will, relinquish control and hand my worries over to God, my spiritual vision clears and I can make full use of those "Spiritual glasses". It is truly amazing!

God's Word. One of the greatest gifts He has ever given us; yet our arms will always be "too short" unless we choose to wear the "Spiritual Glasses". The Bible will never make total sense without the help of its Inspiration, God's Spirit, and this is the first and most important step in understanding the Word of God. However, just like my reading glasses are of no use to me when they are dirty, when we allow our minds to become "clouded" with things like our own will, worry, control, sin, or whatever it may be, we will not be able to see through God's "spiritual glasses". We won't hear the voice of His Spirit, and when this happens, we have a little "lens cleaning" to do.

Last Thursday I suggested that we pray and ask for God's Spirit to be with us when we read His Word, to unblind our spiritual eyes and unstop our spiritual ears, to be a lamp unto our feet, to pierce to the division of soul and spirit, to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (See Ps. 119:105, Heb. 4:12). In addition to this prayer, I would suggest that we also ask God to help us search our hearts for anything -- sin, control, our own will, worry, whatever it may be -- that could cloud our spiritual vision. Repenting of these things will work on our "spiritual glasses" in the same way the lens cloth cleans my reading glasses, rendering our spiritual vision crystal clear. The result will be an exciting time in God's Word. Guaranteed.

In His love,
Lyn




Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire "Arm-Stretching? Or Reading Glasses?" mini-series, please click here.)