Luke 24:45 (NIV): Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
One of the first principles of the kingdom of God is that the things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Trying to describe or explain spiritual truths to one whose spirit has not been quickened, whose eyes have not been focused, whose mind has not been opened, is like trying to explain a sunset to someone who has been blind from birth; your words may be perfectly descriptive, but they are spoken to a person who has no experience base that would allow them to catch the meaning, let alone to internalize it.
Sometimes, especially after we have been a Christian for a while, it is really easy for us to forget how blind we were before God opened our mind and enabled us to catch our first glimpse of spiritual truth. And it puzzles us when we cast beautiful spiritual pearls into a conversation, only to see them irreverently trampled on. We don’t understand why these great truths that have amazed us don’t seem to have any impact on our listeners.
The truth has always been that the unspiritual, those who have not surrendered themselves to God, have spiritual ears that are plugged and spiritual eyes that are closed tightly so that God’s words, even His miracles, cannot penetrate their spiritual hearts. They are like the people of Nazareth to whom Jesus revealed Himself (Luke 4:14-30), who could not accept that He really was the Messiah, despite the miracles He had been doing. They had only earthly eyes that could only see earthly things, and actually ended up trying to throw Jesus off a cliff! They are like the servant of Elisha, who had only earthly eyes that saw them surrounded by the Aramean army and despaired. It seemed like nonsense when Elisha told him, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16 NIV) Elisha had spiritual eyes that were divinely opened to see the reality behind the physical world. But Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” (6:17 NIV) And then the servant, with divinely provided spiritual sight, could see the surrounding hills ablaze with heavenly warriors.
Today there are many who completely deny the realities of the spiritual dimension, and even of God’s own reality. Sometimes those people even read the Bible, but they do so without any spiritual ability to understand, so its truth remains hidden from them. At times God’s people try to fight these people, to reason with them, even to argue with them. But all of this will be to no avail. The things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned, and we will never be able to argue them into accepting them, no matter how impeccable our logic. They are blind, despite their bold professions that they can see clearly. They are lost sheep, who cannot even see the ravening wolf just steps behind them. The most powerful, compassionate thing that we can do for those poor, blind, lost souls is to pray the prayer that Elisha prayed for his servant: “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Only when God has opened their eyes, minds, and hearts to spiritual reality will they be able to see the truth, turn, and be saved.
Father, I must admit that we usually don’t pray this prayer for the lost, let alone for those who are so entrenched in naturalism and atheism, yet claim to see. But to paraphrase Peter: “Because you say so, I will do it.” (Luke 5:4-5) Thank You for opening my own eyes to see Your truth. Help me to powerfully pray that same opening of eye, mind, and heart into those I am trying to reach. Amen.