While John the Baptist was in prison, he heard about the works of Christ. So, he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the one they were expecting or should they keep looking for someone else.
Jesus told his disciples to tell John ‘those things which you hear and see’.
The disciples saw ‘the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead raised, and the gospel preached to the poor.
When a person’s visual acuity is 20/20, it means that he/she has normal and clear vision (at 20 feet).
The church has been hearing the word of God for years, but 2020 will be the year that we will ‘hear and see’.
We will see what we have heard.
Happy New Year!
[Scripture reference: Matthew 11:1-5]
How can you trust the one you see who hurts you, but you can’t trust the One you cannot see Who will never hurt you?
God told Moses that He was going to use him to deliver His people. He also told him that He had given them favor, but the king of Egypt wasn’t going to let them go. It was going to take a mighty hand and wonders and then Pharaoh would let them go.
Moses did and said what God told him, but he returned to God without what God had promised. It was disappointing for him, but God wasn’t worried. He knew Pharaoh was going to let His children go.
There is something I’ve been desiring and the Lord said to me, It’s yours.
So, I went after what God said was mine.
But I just didn’t go after it. I went, knowing that I was going to receive the thing that God said He has given me.
I faced Pharaoh, but Pharaoh wouldn’t let it go.
So I went back to God because maybe I heard it wrong. Maybe it wasn’t Him, but I knew it was Him. Like Moses, I began to question what God said.
Why did you send me (Exodus 5:22)? Why get my hopes up like that?
But you know what God did? He just reminded me again, It is yours.
When the disciples told Thomas that they saw the Lord, Thomas told them that the only way he would believe them is if he could touch and see the print of nails in his hands.
Eight days later, Thomas saw the Lord and Jesus told him to touch him. The only reason why Thomas believed was because he could touch and see him, but God doesn’t deal with me the way Jesus did with Thomas. Maybe He did years ago when I first got saved, but now He wants me to grow up and to believe Him for what I have yet to see.
He doesn’t want me to worry like the disciples, who when they were in a storm, woke Jesus up from his rest. Instead, he wants me to rest in and with Him.
Pharaoh didn’t want to let the Israelites go, but God said he was going to and Moses had to believe God. No matter how many times Pharaoh told him no, the promise was still yes and amen.
Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29).
The Egyptians recognized that the Israelites were more and mightier than they were. According to The Living Bible version, they saw them as becoming dangerous. So, they came up with a plan to put them in bondage and to make them slaves when God actually called them His son (Exodus 4:22). Come on, let us deal wisely with them. For the next 400 plus years, the Israelites were servants to the Egyptians. They built their cities. They made them rich while they remained poor.
But before the enemy had a plan, God had a plan to send a deliverer named Moses to bring them out of that land into a good land. They saw themselves as slaves, but they were heirs to what was promised to their fathers. They were wealthy. They were landowners. Cities belonged to them and God was going to restore everything that they lost.
To keep you from becoming what God made you to be – to keep you from knowing who you really are, the enemy came up with a plan to put you in bondage because he is afraid of you. He is afraid of who you will become. He is afraid of what you can do to his kingdom. He doesn’t want you to discover just how mighty you are in God.
I remember being a quiet (I still am at times), but confident little girl. I remember sitting on my porch calling something mine that I hadn’t even possessed yet. But the enemy had a plan – the loss of my mother as a toddler, molestation, unholy covenants, depression, divorce, just to name a few. Even at a young age, he was after that confidence, which produces a great reward.
Although our words are powerful, our thoughts are powerful, too. One of the reasons why the enemy attacks your mind is because he knows that God will do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or THINK according to the power that is at work in you.
God told Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho. God had already given them the city. Yes, someone else was occupying it, but it didn’t belong to them. To enter into the Promised Land, the Israelites had to go through Jericho. They couldn’t go over it or around it. They had to go through it and some of us don’t like to go through anything. But between where they were and where God wanted to take them was a wall. Before the wall fell down, they had to ‘see’ themselves possessing the city.
The enemy fights you the most in your mind. He doesn’t want you to see yourself blessed, prosperous, happy, intelligent, powerful or mighty. The enemy has used bad situations in your life to build a wall. The wall of Jericho was at least 15 feet high. The enemy wants to use a wall to keep you from entering into what God promised you. He also wants to keep you from seeing who you really are and what you can do.
The moment you accepted Christ as your Savior, you were delivered from a bad land and brought into a good land. In exchange for your past, He gave you hope and a future. You are mighty and the weapons God gave you are mighty through God. It pulls down strongholds (thoughts that are contrary to God’s word).
Our responsibility is to believe God’s word and to do what it says. Strongholds are built on lies, but they can be torn down by the truth. So, read the word of God and listen to it daily so that it can transform the way you think and the way you live. Find scriptures in the bible that tell you who you are in Christ and speak those words until every wall the enemy built through lies, deceit and imagination fall flat down like the wall of Jericho.
You are more and mightier than you think.
Now the Lord had said to Abram, Get out of your country from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-2).
God is telling some of you what He told Abram because He wants you to go where you’ve never gone before and He wants you to do what you’ve never done before.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8).
Abraham had faith and obeyed God. He was told to go to the land that God had said would be his, and he left for a country he had never seen (Contemporary English Version).
Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith (The Passion Translation).
To go to a place that you don’t know sometimes will require you to leave a place that you do know. For Abram to become what God promised in Genesis 12:2, he had to first obey Genesis 12:1. Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is to leave certain people. Abram couldn’t leave Lot. That was his nephew. But the thing Abram found hard to do finally had to be done. There had to be a separation.
Sometimes the person you refuse to let go of is the person who is keeping you from seeing what God promised. The moment Lot left Abraham to enter the land he had chosen, then Abraham could see what God had promised.
And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward and westward. For all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever (Genesis 13:14).
You are different, but you keep fighting to remain the same. You are not like the others, but you try to be like them. Like Israel, you want what the other nations have when they be should desiring what you have. You should be like Peter, who chose to walk on water while others chose to stay in the ship.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13).
God is making you, but you’re fighting the way He is taking you because the way is not always easy. You fight it because you would rather walk with many than to walk with a few, but the way that many are taking leads to destruction.
When I talk about going to a place in God that you’ve never been before, I’m not talking about a physical location. I’m talking about a spiritual location. I’m talking about your relationship with Him. I’m talking about getting closer to Him than you’ve ever been before. I’m talking about you drawing so close to Him that He asks, Who touched me?
God wants us to come up higher and to come closer. Zaccheus climbed a tree to see Jesus. Moses climbed a mountain and God spoke to him face to face as a man speaks to his friend.
Terah took his grandson (Lot), his son (Abram) and his daughter-in-law (Sarai) and they left Ur to go to the land of Canaan, but when they reached Haran, they settled there. Abram’s father died never entering Canaan. Abram, on the other hand, refused to settle and he chose to go all the way.
Do you want to go to a place in God that you’ve never been before? And if so, how far are you willing to go?
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him (Joshua 6:5).
You can’t avoid hurt. It happens. Either you will hurt someone or someone will hurt you – and it’s not always intentional.
In the Old Testament, walls were used to keep out enemies. Today, people build up walls to protect their hearts. Maybe you’ve met someone who was labeled as being guarded, stuck up or standoffish, but what they really saw were walls. These walls are like the wall of Jericho. Nothing good could go out and nothing good could come in. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in (Joshua 6:1).
The enemy builds a wall in your life using bad experiences. Every brick has a name – hurt, rejection, shame, and disappointment as well as many others, but his walls are built on lies, not truth.
It’s my fault.
No one will ever love me.
I’ll never get it right.
I’m not smart enough.
The walls we use to keep out hurt really hurt and isolate us. When Jesus withdrew himself, he did so to pray – not to keep himself from being rejected or hurt. Had he isolated himself from others, the woman with the issue of the blood would have never touched his garment and receive her healing.
Oftentimes, we use walls to hide behind anger and hurt, but you can’t heal what you hide or cover. He that covers [his sins] shall not prosper (Proverbs 28:13a). Walls blocks out the light (truth) and this keeps you from learning and growing in the Lord. It keeps out the truth about yourself and causes you to believe something that is not true, which is deception. How we see or think of ourselves is very important. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior] Proverbs 23:7, AMP.
Living behind these walls is imprisonment. It limits you causing you to only go but so far. All you do is go around and around in a wall – repeating the same cycle and the same mistakes. To be fully effective and used the way God wants to use you, the walls must come down. God can use the hurt and whatever else you had to go through to build a testimony. You can and will overcome by the word of your testimony, but this means you must talk from a place of victory, not a victim.
God told Joshua, Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, I have given you (Joshua 1:3). He gave him a promise. Even while Jericho was securely shut up, the first thing God told Joshua in chapter six was, See (Joshua 6:2). It didn’t matter what happened. It didn’t matter who did it. It didn’t matter how things looked at that very moment. God wanted Joshua to see himself possessing the land. I have given unto your hand Jericho.
God had already given it to him, but there was something Joshua and the people had to do for the next seven days for that promise to manifest. Do not be discouraged if the walls do not come down on the first day or the seventh day. Remember, this wall wasn’t built in a day. It was built over a course of years. It may have begun at birth (rejection or abandonment) or after losing a loved one (grief, sorrow) or maybe after a divorce (brokenhearted).
Like Joshua, believe God and believe what He said. Despite the bad, believe that He will complete the good work He began in you. Believe that by His stripes, you were and are healed. Believe that no weapon formed against you will prosper. Believe that God will restore the years.
If you truly want to be free from the walls the enemy built, ask God what you need to do and then do it. Don’t do it and then stop because nothing has happened yet. Do it until your expectation is fulfilled.
Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and lay it to the root of every bad tree and every lie and cut it down – and watch every wall that the enemy built fall down.
Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. – Charles Kettering
The word, understand, means to grasp the meaning, significance or importance of something you know (information). Jesus and his disciples had just entered the ship to go to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to take some bread and they only had one loaf of bread on the ship. Jesus told them, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. Jesus made this statement because He didn’t want them to be contaminated by people who honored God with their lips, but not with their hearts (Mark 7:6). He didn’t want them to become like those who kept the tradition of men, but refused to keep the commandment of God (Mark 7:9). Instead of asking Jesus for understanding, the disciples reasoned among themselves. They saw when five thousand were fed with only five loaves and two fish and there were twelve baskets of leftovers. They saw when four thousand were fed with only seven loaves and a few small fish and there were seven baskets of leftovers. So, why were they fussing about who forgot to bring bread? There was something they didn’t understand. How is it that you do not understand? (Mark 8:21).
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews yet he didn’t understand what it meant to be born again. Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things? (John 3:10). Nicodemus thought an old man had to go back into his mother’s womb to be born again. Although his statement didn’t sound intelligent, he was smart enough to ask for understanding. How can these things be? (John 3:9).
When we were in school, some of us raised our hands to ask questions when we weren’t sure of something while others pretended to know or understand what the teacher was saying when they really didn’t. Maybe we just didn’t want to appear stupid or maybe we were just trying to impress someone we liked or maybe we were just trying to fit in. What happened in school is what has been happening in the church. We know lots of scriptures and can quote them, but our life living, our actions and our disobedience are proof that we really don’t understand what we are saying or what we heard. To shun evil is understanding (Job 28:28b, NIV).
There is something I’ve been doing for months now and recently the Lord told me that what I’m doing now is what He wanted me to do all along. Then, He reminded me of the things He told me to do (through men and women of God), but I missed it. All I could do was repent and tell the Lord I was sorry. I really didn’t understand. I heard, but I didn’t understand – neither did I ask for understanding. I was doing, but it wasn’t what God wanted me to do. I was giving, but it wasn’t the gift He required of me. When you are led by your feelings, you are going to either hit or miss, but when you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will never miss. God’s Spirit knows what is in God’s mind. There are things we don’t know, but He knows and understands all things. Nothing is hidden from Him. If you follow Him, He will guide you into all truth. He will let you know what is going to happen. He reveals what has been given to us from God. When He prays, He doesn’t pray amiss.
We are getting a lot of word and we are getting a lot of revelation– and that’s good, but with all your getting, get understanding. Some of us have been going to church most of our lives, yet we are blind. We have eyes, but we really don’t see. We have ears, but we really don’t hear and we forget what we should remember. Jesus doesn’t want us to be like the blind man who was brought to Him in Bethsaida. He wants us to see clearly. He doesn’t want us to be people who are not able to discern between men and trees (Mark 8:24-25). He wants us to recognize and to identify when it’s Him and when it’s the devil. There will always be a way that seems right, but He doesn’t want us to try to figure things out on our own. This is how we miss God. He gave the church true apostles, true prophets, true evangelists, true pastors and true teachers and He gave us the Spirit of Truth so that we wouldn’t be deceived like Eve.
People who are trained to recognize counterfeit money don’t study counterfeit bills. They study and learn every detail of real money so that when the counterfeit appears, they can see (discern) the difference. Let us study the life of Christ so that we will know what is Him and of Him, and what is not.
Prayer: I pray that you receive your sight today. May God anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you may see. May the Spirit of the Lord rest upon you, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:3). Open our understanding that we might understand the scriptures (Luke 24:45). Father, You commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Now command Your light to shine in the hearts and minds of Your people. Thank you for restoring our sight, Amen.