I have a saying, and it’s one I use quite often: “You can’t blame a blind man for being blind. You can only pray that the shackles will fall from his eyes.”
What is Spiritual Blindness?
Spiritual blindness is the inability to see truth, even when it’s staring you in the face.
Sometimes I look at the things going on in the world and wonder how people can’t see the schemes that the enemy is using. Are they choosing not to, or are there more sinister forces at work?
You have to admit, it’s kind of crazy how two people can look at the exact same situation and draw two polar opposite conclusions, especially when it’s an issue that the Word of God speaks to.
I’m particularly concerned that people have an upside-down view of good and evil. It’s almost as if they have gone completely blind to truth.
Only a blind man would willingly trade the truth for a lie. Yet, it seems to be happening all around us.
Discernment: A Tool Worth Using
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)
Practice makes perfect, my friends.
There is a tool that believers have, one that is more critical than ever. With so many lies swirling around us these days, we’ve got to lean heavily on discernment.
What Does it Mean to Discern?
To “discern” something simply means to figure it out. Someone with discernment has Holy Spirit-infused insight and wisdom that a spiritually blind person simply doesn’t have.
According to Hebrews 5:14, the ability to discern good from evil comes from constant practice. And let’s face it. . .we’re getting a lot of practice right now.
We don’t always get it right, even those of us who are walking closely with the Lord. We get confused at times, too.
I’m constantly praying, “Lord, if I’m wrong about this, please re-direct me.” And He does.
Imagine where we would be if the didn’t have the internal compass of the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Discernment. . .a Spiritual Gift
In 1 Corinthians 12 we find a list of the gifts of the spirit that believers can enjoy. Here’s the full list:
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[b]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Take a closer look at the second half of verse 10: He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit.
How will we know which ones are right and which ones are wrong? How do we discern which narratives bring life and which lead to destruction?
Only through spiritual discernment. And it’s available to anyone who dares to ask for it.
You Can’t Blame a Blind Man for Being Blind
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:14 ESV)
Well-meaning people are often swayed by the chatter going on around them. They get swept away by passion instead of relying on godly wisdom. Instead of genuinely tuning in to that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, they give themselves over to false narratives and lies without even realizing it.
They think they are safe, but they’re on a slippery slope.
Others haven’t come to faith yet. They don’t know what it means to walk in discernment. They’re doing the best they can as the voices shouting at them from every direction bring chaos and confusion to their souls.
And that’s why we’ve got to be so careful not to bring further division and damage by insisting the blind see things the way we see them.
They can’t. Not yet.
But. . .Shackles Can Fall
Is this not the fast that I choose: To release the bonds of wickedness, to undo the ropes of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? (Isaiah 58:6 NASB)
And this, my friends, is how we should be praying. Instead of arguing about the things you disagree on, take the time to pray–really pray–for those who seem lost and confused.
Think back to what you were like, before you came to the Lord. Was your belief system skewed? Were your actions always honorable?
Without Christ, we simply can’t discern. We can try, but we’ll never really have the Helper on our side to guide us to truth.
So, don’t blame the blind for not seeing. Instead, pray for shackles to fall.
How to Become More Discerning
1). Give your heart to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to take total control of your thought life.
2). Be pliable in His hands. Say, “God, take my former beliefs and change them to bring joy to your heart.” It’s remarkable how painless this process is once you’ve entered into a relationship with HIm.
3). Study the Word of God. The Spirit gives discernment, but remember. . .it comes by practice, too. Do all you can to know and understand His Word, then incline your ear and heart to do the things you find written there. If you’re struggling to know the answer to a tough question, search out the scriptures. You will find what you need there.
4). Practice listening prayer. Prayer is a two-way street. Pour out your heart to God, but then pause and listen. More often than not, He wants to speak to you, too. His words might come as a still, small voice to your heart. Or, they might come through the Bible, as He highlights a scripture. They might even come through a conversation with a mentor or godly friend. God can speak in any way He chooses! Just be listening.
5). Specifically pray for the gift of discernment. Many years ago I was in a particularly volatile relationship. I was the victim of many lies and falsehoods. One day I prayed, “Lord, please give me the ability to tell the truth from a lie.” Remarkably, God answered that prayer. From that point on I could always tell when I was being lied to. It stung, but I was so grateful for that ability. As the relationship deteriorated, I was fully able to discern what was happening and ultimately walk away from the one speaking the lies.
6). Remember, you are a new creation. When you walk with Christ, you are made new. Those old beliefs and ideologies don’t match the new you. So, let them go, my friend. On to bigger and better things!
7). You will still face opposition at every turn. The world is hostile to the truth of God’s Word. Christianity isn’t an easy gig, which is why you’ve got to be armed and ready with the Word of God settled deep in your heart. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16 ESV)
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But wrongdoers will stumble in them.
Hosea 14:9 ESV