If there’s only one concept I could convey to you tonight, I would sum it up in one word: blinders.
It’s commonly used in the phrase, “Take the blinders off”, which always makes me think of somebody flipping up the clip shades from their prescription lenses. Or in a different word picture, removing the wall from in front of your eyes and giving yourself the opportunity to clearly see what is before you.
And behold, behold the sight.
Wow. I get all flustered and smiley just thinking about how much God has been teaching me lately. All the concepts He’s been reinforcing and all the Scriptural words that have begun to “click” in my little chickpea brain. Like what “grace” means, or patience…or how He’s been giving me an unselfish love for the Gospel. Hmm.
I find it interesting how easy it is to grow up in the church, hearing week after week about developing my relationship with Christ, and how stale my relationship often was. Ugh. Well I have good news…GOD DOESN’T LIKE STALE MATES!!! And so He started thumping me on the head last year, telling me to wake up. I began asking Him for increased faith; that He would help me to trust that He is indeed everything He says He is, especially that I could trust His existence. And pfoom! I went through crashing wave upon swirling wave of foamy doubts.
“God is not real!”
“Don’t be so concerned about the Christianity thing, it’s not that important.”
“You. Can’t. Prove. God.”
I’d lay in bed thinking, “Really, God? REALLY? I ask You to make me a better person…and this is what I get? I’m taaaa-rying to be good, and You are just making it hard. What’s the stupid point anymore! If You’re ‘really’ there, just take me now.”
Yet I could never shake the thought of “…but maybe there is more.”
So I kept searching for answers. Fortunately, I stuck with the Bible and didn’t go wandering out into the ocean of “other sources”—for which I am very grateful. The Bible used to be boring for me; now it is intriguing. I used to read ‘cause I felt it was my moral duty; now I read because I want God to show me more about what He does…who He is…who He is making me into.
It’s not an overnight process by any means. It’s definitely not done! Haha ohhh but there are so many exciting things that happen when you wrestle with God. First of all, you learn that you are stronger than you think. And then you learn that God is EVEN STRONGER than you! Hiiiyaaa. When you wrestle with God and lose, you actually win. When you think you “win” a battle with God—you’ll probably realize later that surrender was the better option.
Back to the blinders, though.
I don’t know how many articles, books, lectures and various other godly sources of information filtered through my brain—the kind that would challenge me to claim my relationship with Christ, to KNOW why I was saved, to ask if I really WAS saved, and then actively LIVE out my salvation—before the blinders actually came off and I could see that, “Whoa, it’s true.”
As they came off, and my vision became less impaired, I began to view other people differently. One of my flaws is that I can be easily overcritical of others. My attitude was that I was doing what I was supposed to, and they weren’t. My reaction became annoyance and, sadly, dismissal. As God began working in my heart, I realized the ramifications of religious people living without Christ, and how it tainted the reputation of Christianity. Then I got angry. My attitude became rather impatient toward my friends, and I was irritated more than anything else.
Lately I’ve been learning something else…God is very gracious to me. He didn’t dismiss my apathetic state. He didn’t get ticked off and huff away at my sorry sass. Instead, He patiently encouraged me back to Him, the way a knowing parent nudges their toddler away from squeezing a dandelion with a bumblebee on it.
Now I’m finding a greater desire to encourage and set an example. I need to be praying that blinders fall off. I need to be modeling God’s truth. I need to be supporting and honest and gentle. This process indeed will have it’s flopped moments, and I’m not always going to be the best example…I mean, that’s who Jesus is, after all. But that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna persevere in godliness.
So, if this is another blurb you’ve read about strengthening your relationship with Christ, and you’re not ready yet, my only request is that you ask God to show you the value of what He has to offer. That’s been my perpetual prayer lately: “Lord, show me that following You is far better than following my own ambitions.”
And be prepared for an answer. 🙂