2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. Although Satan is the one that blinded them, it is their choice to choose to continue to reject the Truth of the Gospel. It is their own unbelief that continues to blind their minds. Therefore these people bear the responsibility for their own rejection of the gospel. It’s only in believing in Christ Jesus that our spiritual eyes are opened and we can find freedom from what I like to call ‘Spiritual Vision Impairment’. (2 Corinthians 3:12-18)
For the believer the spiritual veil that blinded our minds from receiving the Truth was removed when we believed in Jesus Christ. We now have freedom through the Spirit of the Lord to see and reflect the glory of God. So as we read his Word and spend time in His presence the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
But is it possible for believers who have already had their spiritual blinders removed to begin to experience Spiritual Vision Impairment again? The answer is sadly yes!
Spiritual Vision Impairment is not much different from natural vision impairment. Natural vision impairment results from either disease, trauma, or congenital or degenerative conditions and cannot be corrected by conventional means, such as refractive correction, medication, or surgery. Spiritual vision impairment is similar in that it is both congenital and degenerative. From birth we were born with a sinful nature that causes spiritual blindness that also cannot be cured by conventional means, such as psychotherapy, man’s wisdom, or religion. It can only be corrected by faith in Christ Jesus. Spiritual vision impairment can also be a degenerative condition for Christians who have already been freed from spiritual blindness but haven’t supplemented their faith with godly living and are not growing spiritually.
The Holy Spirit explains in 2 Peter 1 that by His divine power, God has given us everything we need for godly living. He said that we received this empowerment when we came to know Christ. He goes on to explain that we have to supplement our faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. He promised that the more we grow like this, the more productive and useful we would be in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But for those of us who fail to develop in this way, we can become spiritually shortsighted or blind. Then we forget they we have been cleansed from our old sins and begin to revert back to our old ways. (2 Peter 1:3-9, Ephesians 4:22)
* Weak in faith and convictions with a double minded attitude. (James 1:5-8)
* No desire to do God’s will. Do what they think is right in their own eyes. (Proverbs 14:12)
* Inability to discern and resist attacks from the enemy. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
* Consumed by the cares of this world. With a “woe is me” attitude. (Matthew 6:31-34)
* Dominated by thoughts of worry and anxiety about life’s tests and trials. Inability to see God working in the midst of it all. (Philippians 4:6-10, Romans 8:28)
* Hardening of the heart to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit. Being led by the flesh producing the results of the sinful nature which are clearly: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. (Galatians 5:19-21)
* Denial, minimizing or justifying sinful behavior. Making a practice of sinning. (1 John 3:6-10)
* Legalistic, religious, judgmental, know it all, prideful, or critical attitude. (Matthew 9:9-13, 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, Proverbs 16:18)
* Consumed by unforgiveness and bitterness. (Hebrews 12:15, Colossians 3:12-13)
If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of these symptoms I urge to run to the throne room of our gracious God to seek help and healing. He is full of mercy. We WILL find favor with Him and He will give us His grace to help us in this time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16) He does not want us to continue in spiritual darkness. He is the one that wants to open our eyes and reveal Himself to us.
1) Acknowledge that Spiritual Vision Impairment is the result of sin. (John 8:32)
2) Humble yourself before God, confess, and repent. Then He will lift you back up again. (James 4:10, 1 John 1:8-9)
3) Start truly seeking God’s way of living through prayer and reading the Word.
4) YOU MUST RENEW YOUR MIND! (Romans 12:2) Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. (Ephesians 4:22-24) Start by meditating and applying 2 Peter 1:3-9 to your life, which means supplementing your faith with: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, and brotherly affection and love for everyone.
5) Have a support group. These are people that you can call to keep it real with. Talk, vent, and ask for prayer. Allow them to speak into your life. Be willing to be accountable and accept constructive criticism, godly counsel, and direction from those who love you and know you best. These people will be the watchmen that God has placed around you to prayerfully watch your back and hold your arms up in battle. (Galatians 6:2,Ezekiel 33:1-9)
Each of us has a choice to make. What will it be? To continue in spiritual darkness, or to humble ourselves and ask the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, to heal us and give us eyes to see again? May the Lord help each of us to make an honest evaluation of our spiritual condition.