Spiritual Fog

Jesus and His disciples came to Bethsaida, a blind man was brought to him and he begged Jesus to touch him and give him his sight. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had put his hands on him and wiped spit in his eyes. Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” (Mark 8:22-26, NIV)blindness

The Bible describes four occasions when Jesus healed the blind.  Only on one occasion did He touch a person twice to heal them completely.  I have read this passage many times but when I reading it recently it occurred to me how unusual this was.  Not only did Jesus touch the blind man twice, but he took him out of his surroundings and told him not to return to the village after he received his sight.

Jesus did nothing without purpose and that would not bring glory to the Father.  Every miracle He performed had a purpose other than the healing of the individual(s).  The people of the region did not acknowledge Jesus although they were aware of His many miracles.  They had no faith, and because of their unbelief, He did not perform many miracles in the region.  In Matthew 23:26, Jesus admonishes the Pharisees for their unbelief.  Jesus also used this as a lesson for His disciples.  They who were closest to Jesus believed in Him but did not have clear spiritual vision.  Their vision was clearer than the Pharisees who were spiritually blind, but the disciples could not see clearly.  Their vision did not become clear until after Jesus’ death and resurrection when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they understood clearly all that Jesus had said and done.

All Believers have what I call spiritual fogginess at one time or the other, and some never get passed the fog.  This is often because we are so used to being in a fog that we are unaware of its existence.  Jesus asked the blind man of Bethsaida whether he was able to see clearly and he acknowledged that he saw people who looked like trees moving.  We do have someone to tell us we are in a spiritual fog and need to seek another healing touch to clear our sight–The Holy Spirit.  We must pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit within us for help in moving away from the fog.

Our Spiritual Enlightenment is a continuous process.  We cannot see God’s truth clearly until our faith, obedience and growth develop in Jesus, “… the author and finisher of our faith….”  (Hebrew 12:2, NKJV) who increases the clarity of our spiritual vision through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Integrity

Definition:  Quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, morally upright.

The integrity and moral courage of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3, AMP)

Do you try to do your very best at everything you set your hand to or do youintegrity just do enough to get by?  As a Believer you should be striving for excellence, using Jesus as a  model.  It is unlikely that any of us will totally be able to match His model, but we can keep reaching towards the goal knowing that as long as we are trying we will continue to move forward.  We live in a world where mediocrity and substandard are a norm. How do we stand out in a world that imbues average as normal?  Where it is good enough to get by is always the response when you seek better quality or performance.

I am constantly reminded by my grandson when I tell him he must excel in his education, work up to his full potential,  and get into the habit of doing more in order to prepare for the type of life he says he want that I am passing all my classes with average grades. Or if I tell him that he is not living up to his full potential,  I get a, “Everyone else is doing it”.  My response to him is that you are not like everyone else, you want to get all that has been destine for you. To get it, you must give nothing less than the best and accept nothing less than the best.  No one can or should measure him/herself by anyone else.  I remind him that excellence should not only be his goal, but it is mine also, and there are times when I fall short and must try harder. Old habits are hard to break it is better to form good habits when you are young.

How do we change this habit of mediocrity–one task at a time.  Goals must be set and habits developed by each Believer that exemplify instead of float along on a sea of mediocrity.  Our behavior and performance should reflect a belief that Jesus is watching us because he is. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.…” (2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV) “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” (Hebrews 4:13, AMP)

Integrity is an individual choice of how we wish to life.  As a Believer, living a life based on integrity should be one of the characteristics that shows that although you are a part of the world you are not of the world.

Reaching Forward

Philippians 3:13, “… But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” (AMP)

You cannot see what God has for your future while hanging onto your past.  God is the future. As we await the dawning of a New Year, we reach forward towards the unknown–developing goals to propel us into the future and the better life we want for ourselves and our families.  Many of these goals reflect changes we want to make in our own behavior.  As this New Year’s Eve brings us closer to the beginning of a New Year, our determination gets stronger to carry out our goals.

After the newest of the New Year wears off, many of us will settle back into the same old habits and the new goals become nothing more than a fond and frustrating memory to be filed away.  We have all done it; reached for the future and the unknown but allowed Satan to pull us back into the familiar and limited.  Doubts about the future and our past failures all bloom on the horizon reminding us of our fears and futile efforts of the past.

To get to the next thing, God has for you, you must leave the old and familiar.  A perfect example of this can be found in Abraham (Genesis 12:1-9).  He left everything he was familiar with and traveled with his family to an unknown country.  Three years ago my family and I made a move from North Carolina to Florida.  We did not know where we would be spending the night, had no job awaiting us, and only knew one person who lived in Florida.  What we did know was that it was time to leave North Carolina.  Everything went smoothly during the over 800 mile drive, my daughter driving the moving truck and I drove the car.  We found a hotel upon arrival that accepted dogs (We have two small ones.) and soon we found a house to rent, my daughter found a job and we were settled within a month of our arrival.  Sometimes, I still look back at and am amazed at how God looked out for us and put things in place for my family.  Truly,  I believe and have experienced His love.  I feel as though I have been sheltered from the storm.

Staying with a situation or a person longer than you should instead of moving toward the new thing that God has for you keeps you from the destiny that God has designated for you.  Do you feel the Holy Spirit within you gently pushing you toward the unknown and God’s future for you?  Are you reaching, but holding back?  Let Go and Let God is an expression I heard many years ago, but it still rings true.  Abraham listened to the Lord when told to leave all he knew and ventured forth with courage and did not doubt.  silhouette-936721_640Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Additional Scripture to help you move forward.

Psalms 62:8 “Trust [confidently] in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us.” (KJV)

Isaiah 43:18, ““Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past.  (AMP)

1 Peter, “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. (AMP)

I pray that Everyone’s New Year is Happy, Prosperous, and

you attain your goals for 2017.

Courage

lion-515028_640Courage – The quality of mind or spirit that enables one to deal with or face danger, fear, pain, etc; the confidence to act in accordance with one’s belief.

Joshua is one of my favorite prophets of the Old Testament.  He was the first prophet after Moses, the greatest of them all; hand-picked by God and a man who God talked with face-to-face.  Joshua as Moses’ second-in-command was brought up under the tutelage of Moses.  Moses was truly a tough act to follow.

After the death of Moses, Joshua had to step-up and lead the people into the Promised Land across the Jordan.  Can you imagine trying to step into the shoes of Moses.  I am sure that this heavy responsibility caused Joshua to doubt his abilities and result in some sleepless nights.  God and Moses knew of Joshua’s uncertainty that is why Moses “… laid his hands upon him [Joshua]; at an assembly of the people so the Israelites would listen to him and do as the Lord commanded.” (Deuteronomy 34:9, Amplified)   At the laying on of Moses’ hands, Joshua not only received confirmation of the handing over of  leadership to him but he also received the spirit of wisdom from Moses.  Without this confirmation the Israelites would more than likely not accepted Joshua after Moses without question for they were known for being a stiff-necked and difficult people.

Joshua was told by the Lord to  “Be strong and confident and courageous, for you will give this people as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers (ancestors) to give them.  Only be strong and very courageous … ” (Joshua 1:6-7, AMP)

I cannot count how many times I have read Joshua 1:6-9 during times of trials in my life.  Each time I read this Scripture it gave me the strength to continue.  When I was car-less and had to ride the bus and subway an hour and a-half to work each day and then return in the evening to begin my other job as a mom to my two kids, cooking dinner, helping with homework, cleaning up, etc. believe me I needed all the strength I could muster. Joshua 1:9 was just one of the scriptures that I wrote on a 3×5 card and read every day, but this one was one of my favorites. So many times as I got tired, depressed, and frustrated reading about what God said to Joshua encouraged me to keep on going and reminded me that my family depended on me to be courageous and keep going.  As I often told my kids,

Giving up is not an option!

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