Blinded by God
I have been praying with the sick and desiring healing miracles for many years now, and have seen some amazing healings and testimonies of Gods miraculous power. Yet, while many are healed,- some are not! This observation is not for me to question, Gods ways are “higher than mans ways” Isaiah 55.8 and Gods purposes often come wrapped in mans problems.
Sometimes God allows the Devil to touch us because God can be greatly magnified when he brings us release from the devils hold.
However, a recent healing after which a young boy died, caused me to search the scriptures for answers, more for my own comfort than for the comfort of his grieving parents and family.
In today’s Sermon which I have entitled “Blinded by God” I will show you and share with you what God has shown me.
Turn with me again if you will to Johns Gospel in the Ninth Chapter at verse One. I have preached on this miracle many times over 35 years of ministry, but today I want us to examine some familiar things from a different angle. God can sometimes hold us in the same place for longer than we expect, because he wants us to look at our circumstances differently. I believe that God has a “revelation” in store for you as he had for me as I prepared this message. We read …
(v1) And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Right from the beginning of the chapter we are left in no doubt whatever about this mans condition; – He was born blind! He had never seen his Mother or his Father, his siblings if he had any, nor had he seen the light of day. He had never seen the donkey that carried him, the water that washed him, or the bread that nourished him? Never seen the friends who followed him, the neighbours who lived near him, or the boys who may have poked fun at him? Nor could he now see this man Jesus who was in front of him, although I recon he had no doubt heard something of his name and his fame. We are told that Jesus saw him, but that he did not see Jesus. Isn’t it comforting to know that even though there are many around us in our world today who never see or recognise Jesus in their lives, he sees them. Jesus’ vision is not like mine, I wish I could see like he sees. He sees the heart of the matter as well as the heart of the man. Nothing is hidden from Jesus, and although this man knew little or nothing about Jesus, Jesus knew absolutely everything about him.
(v2) And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
The superstitious cultures of the day had prompted Jesus’ disciples to ask “Who’s to blame” for this mans condition.
Isn’t it strange that when we are confronted with, or exposed to differing situations and circumstances that are outside of our normal or our natural, we usually assume that there‘s “someone’s to blame”?
Some of us blame ourselves for the things that happen in our lives and some of us blame others – but let’s be honest, there are none of us strangers to the blame game. So here are people talking about him but not including him and looking for someone to blame. He’s blind but not deaf, and the problem in the world today is that everybody is an expert on other peoples problems but not on their own. Here they are, talking about him, but they don’t know him? They don’t know how he came to be where he was. The answer to your problems are not in the heads of men, but in the hands of God. God Knows how you are and where you are. Only God knew why this man was permitted to be blind! These “accusers” were lining up to find someone to blame. Make no mistake but the accuser will always be around in your life, yet remember that accusations do not begin with men, they begin with the Devil, Accusation is a spirit from hell.
So… Jesus answered, (v3) Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Jesus rebuked the accusers and says – “I’m to blame – if you are looking for someone to blame, then blame me”- God made this man Blind! And I want to say this, that if God made him blind, then there was nothing wrong with him. From Gods point of view, at that time he was the way God needed him to be. Just because someone doesn’t look like you, or function like you, or behave like you, or dress like you, or walk like you, or talk like you, or worship like you, or pray like you, or sing like you, or drive like you, or play like you or work like you, or live like you … does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with them!
Stop criticising others because they are not like you, Stop trying to get the world to fit into your mould. God has made us all individuals, and if he’d wanted someone exactly like you then you’d have an identical twin, but even then there are differences.
Some people spend all their time measuring others by themselves. I have no time to think about what you are doing,
I am so busy making sure I am doing what God wants me to do and I am being what God wants me to be.
God made us all unique and he made this man blind – for blind he needed to be for God to get the greatest Glory. Maybe God has made you blind, or deaf, or put you in a wheel chair, or in a bed, or in a hospital or in a home or an some sort of institution, because God needs you to be there now, so that when He moves into the picture, (when He comes into your situation) you will be where you need to be, to get what you need to get. When you’ve gotten so bad that you can’t get up by yourself, then God is ready to make you stand. God wants for you and your friends to be able to say “This had to be a God thing”! God can get Glory out of Blindness – Divine strength is made perfect in human weakness. If you can do it, then God cannot, but when you can do nothing then God can do all.
This man was Blinded by God, and he was now where he needed to be, to get what he was going to get. I didn’t fully realize it until now, that God could be glorified by something that was not beautiful and not right. But now I see that even bad, ugly, desperate, even despicable things can glorify God. There was nothing good about Stephen’s stoning or Paul’s stoning, or John’s decapitation in the prison, but a great Glory was bound up in it all. Be careful who you condemn, remember that Jesus said, “the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” Matthew 21:31 And the “last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last“. Luke 13:30 We will be surprised at who God is about to use in the coming days. God will raise the sick from their beds to build his Kingdom – mark my words!
So when God bypasses you to use the new Christian, the most unexpected person, you’re disappointed in that, it shatters your religious perceptions and you blame or criticise them, to make you look better. This man was blinded for the glory of God. It may be that You are single for the glory of God, you are broke for the glory of God, you are sick for the glory of God, you are unemployed for the glory of God. You’ve been bypassed for the glory of God, you’ve been overlooked for the glory of God or you’ve been ignored for the glory of God. Now lets see what happens; Jesus said …
(v4) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
(and remember that although man cannot work God can still work)
(v5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
(v6) When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
In Matthew 8:23 we read that Jesus spits on another blind mans eyes and he begins to see men walking as trees, an immediate miracle – but here, Jesus didn’t spit on his eyes, he spat on the ground, and made a kind of mud pie in the dirt, and slapped that on the mans eyes. God is not restricted to meeting your need in one way or two ways, but in ten thousand different ways God can meet your need and give you your miracle.
This is were I see the fresh revelation in the passage, I see that He got the touch, but he didn’t get the healing? If he couldn’t see before, he most certainly couldn’t see now. And even if he could have seen before, he couldn’t now see through what Jesus had put on him. His eyes are covered in mud! Again we see him “Blinded for the glory of God”. This was not what those who had brought him to Jesus expected, this was not what the man himself expected? Has God ever answered your prayers with something other than you expected.
This man we might say was blind, but now he was doubly blind? Have you ever asked to get out of trouble and instead gotten more trouble? Have you ever said “Lord I cant take any more” but yet He gave you more pain? Remember that mans problems are often the wrapping on Gods plans.
So Jesus’ instruction to him now was “GO”
(v7) And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.)
Was Jesus really expecting him to go in the dark? Yes. For it was in the going that he would experience the getting. (That’s not great English but you know what I mean) For Faith to work, there must always be some element of blindness. We must walk by faith not by sight. We must take the first few steps in the dark. Jesus was sending him to another place – there was another place for him to “shine” – a place where there
would be light in his darkness.
(v7) And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, … He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Before we see the revelation of transformation …let us celebrate the fact that he made it to the pool at all. He was following instruction even though he could not see the way ahead. He struggled and searched for the pool, for the place of his destiny without sight, still in the darkness of his blindness, while others might so easily have given up and packed it all in.
When you have struggled privately and fought your battles privately, and cried yourself to sleep privately, and scrimped and saved privately and proved God in the darkness privately, then you are ready to see God publicly! You can never be a victor in public until you are a victor in private. So don’t forget to praise him that you made it to the pool. While you praise him you are dipping in the water of blessing and the more you dip in the water the more you can see, the more you praise him you wash the troubles and testing away and you make room for the triumph. He washed away the mud and got the miracle.
Clearly now, at the pool of Siloam, God would get the greater glory. Sometimes God allows his children to “shine” in some small corner here in this world, but at other times, God has an even greater transformation for them than expected. He wants them to shine on another shore, on a heavenly shore, so they get the touch that is even greater than the healing, they get the transforming touch that puts them in entirely another place, Gods place, the right place for them.
I must confess that even though these observations have blessed me, and I know they will you, while writing this message, I had to go again to the Lord to ask him for a greater clarification. Then in the Spirit, he took me back to my childhood and our family home. In my Father & Mothers bedroom back then, hung two of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen. They were matching pictures of bluebells in the forest and I often tried, unsuccessfully, to urge my Mother to relocate them to the Sitting Room, where people could see them. (In those days you never went into anyone else’s bedroom – ever!)
But because my Father liked them, and these paintings were wedding presents, they continued to hang in their bedroom.
But one day when I was about 17, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and I hung the pictures in the sitting room to my delight and my Fathers distain. They truly did look so much better there in that new location, but Father being Father won the war, and the pictures went back to their original place.
The point I am making is that God in his infinite wisdom, sometimes has a new place, a new space for our loved ones to grace, a new location for them to fill, a new service for them to render and a new choir for them to sing in. We must leave that choice to Him, painful as it may sometimes be to us.
Now the man has been truly transformed, we read that he went back to his neighbours…
(v8) The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
(9) Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
Sometimes God can change your life so dramatically, and deliver you so miraculously that people around you wont believe your testimony, they wont believe you are the same person. But then, when God transforms you – you are not the same person. Don’t expect me to be the same this week as I was last week, Gods word, I hope is transforming me every day. That’s how you can tell when someone loves the word and lives in the word of God – their lives will be characterized by change.
The apostle Paul writes: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (which is the mirror of the word) beholding the
glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18 As we see the Glory of Jesus in the book, (the Bible) the Holy Spirit accepts responsibility to change us into what we see, from one level of glory to another. People who don’t change, don’t know the word – if they did the Word itself, the Bible itself would be chiselling out a new character. It is the word inside of you that Saves you, that Heals you, that changes you, that transforms you, that encourages you, that strengthens you, that arms you, that releases you, that softens you, that melts and moulds you into the likeness, the image of Christ. God has a miracle inside of you, waiting to get out. That miracle will begin with a seed, the seed of Gods word. Whatever you want, whatever you need, the word will work it FIRST in you, and then for you. Once you’ve gotten the revelation, its no longer a matter of “IF” its only a matter of “WHEN”. “He sent forth his word and healed them” Psalm 170:20 Stick to the Bible and you’ll come back with a Testimony.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
Let me underscore what I have been preaching and teaching for years, that Sickness and Suffering does not emanate from God! Clearly throughout both the Old and New Testaments, we can see that all these evils come from the Devil. In the Old Testament we read that “an Evil Spirit from God came upon King Saul” (1 Samuel 16) and in the New Testament that a “thorn in the flesh – the messenger of Satan“, God permitted to remain in the Apostle Paul’s side (2 Corinthians 12) and these two references on their own would appear to challenge my declared position – and worried me for a while.
But what we need to understand is that before any Evil can touch the people of God, Gods children, and Gods anointed, that evil must first get permission from God. When we read “an evil spirit from God” we must understand that the evil had to first come from the Devil via the throne of Gods authority before it could go any farther. God allowed the spirit of Blindness on this man for His greater Glory and for the mans greater Good. He was Blinded by God, for the Glory of God … and what a Result?
Whatever evils are in your life today, remember as a child of God, no evil can touch you, or your loved ones, without first needing Gods permission. If God permit’s a sickness, a sorrow, or a season of hardship, then it is good for you to have been afflicted, it was only a chisel in Gods hand to fashion you into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
May God Bless these truths to all our heats, for His great Glory. Amen