Have you ever prayed, “God open my eyes?” This is a prayer that often leaves my lips when I am seeking wisdom and understanding in a situation. I do think there is always more wisdom and insight that God is willing to give when asked.
The other morning in my daily reading, I was in Acts reading about Saul’s Damascus road experience and something struck me that I hadn’t noticed before.
“Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.” (Acts 9:8)
This is what struck me: Saul has this blinding- light encounter with Jesus. He is confronted with the truth of Jesus and is now a “believer.” No longer can he deny the deity of Jesus. What stood out to me was the statement “although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing.” My mind immediately was captivated with this.
I wonder how many of us have had an encounter with Jesus where our eyes have been opened to the truth of Jesus, but we are still blind to what exactly that means for us and the world around us.
How many people sit through worship service after worship service, whose eyes are opened to the truth of Jesus, but are still blind to the blessings, power, and authority of Jesus?
They have the truth in their heart but have settled in to a spiritual blindness.
Immediately after Saul encountered the truth of Jesus, a series of events took place. He was lead to a safe home, and he encountered an individual, Ananias, who was further along in the faith. God prepared Ananias and used him to speak more truth in order to remove the blinders from Saul’s eyes. From there, Saul went into a season of intense discipleship where his spiritual eyes were opened even wider and his understanding of Jesus and His gospel became a personal, burning passion in his bones. It was after these experiences that Saul, now Paul, set out on arguably the most important mission the Church would ever embark on.
My mind has been captivated lately with this thought: how do we intentionally help those who have encountered the truth of Jesus? How can we lead those whose eyes have been opened to the truth, but yet are still blind to begin a similar growth journey that Saul walked.
The reason I bring this to you is two-fold. Maybe you find yourself in this story in one of two places. Maybe you see yourself and your situation as Saul. Your eyes have been opened to the truth of Jesus but you would have to admit that you are still blinded to what all that really means. If that is you, I would encourage you to reach out to one of the leaders here at ECC and let us help you enter that growth journey. I promise an amazing and enlightening adventure awaits you with Jesus.
Others of you might have seen yourself more in Ananias, your eyes have been opened and the blinders have been removed. God wants to use you to help others remove the scales from their eyes. Like Ananias, you might be hesitant to do so. Let me just encourage you to move beyond your discomfort and obey. You never know the Saul that God might lead you to will become a Paul.