Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Great Spiritual Threat

The LORD to Isaiah: “Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” ~Isaiah 6:10 (NRSV).

When we lose access to power, most predominantly in ambivalence, we enter the spiritual void and growth becomes increasingly untenable. Life that was once sprinkled with joy and delight in the Lord has become difficult and we don’t know why.

What’s most frustrating is we may believe the theory, yet the practice of joy in the Spirit is beyond us. Some might call this “a dry time.”

This passage in Isaiah is confusing—surely God wants us healed? No, there is a deeper message to be accepted first.

A Requiem Of The Dry Time

We are brought into the Kingdom somewhat easily, blessed in abundance initially, and sent on our way to redeem the terrific beauty in store for the baby-believer.

Before God can take us into the deeper spiritual life there must be an awakening. Usually this process comes with great cost, personally. The interesting thing is this process happens iteratively—it takes place not just once, but perhaps several times over our spiritual journey.

God knows it’s not good for us to be blessed when our passion has ebbed away. His love for us is so rich, the holiness of God so pure, there can be no abiding in the untruth of fabricated allegiance.

And this is what the dry time is—despite our reticence to it. We can’t understand why our passion for God has dissipated; we love the Lord never more, but that love has no natural manifestation just now.

Before Healing, Tumult

So, we are scourged as the Lord Jesus was. To bring us back under him—by way of intrinsic and effective allegiance—our Lord will take us to some matter of depth to our personal selves; the true appreciation of life. This is necessarily painful. We must endure it to continue on into the fullness of God’s revelation. This is always about healing, though it may present as many other things also.

The nature of our lives is that to come back to the truth requires a realisation. Many of these realisations are not pretty; they are, in fact, humbling. We cannot be healed—a state we must continually acquire to be whole—without such realisations.

God is about healing: the fundamental premise. But healing comes only due our spiritual vision, which comes from relating truly with God. Otherwise, our ears will not hear and our eyes will not see.

The Restoration of Spiritual Vision

The great spiritual threat, perhaps the greatest, is inner blindness to spiritual vision. Saved people are not saved from this. Spiritual vision is entirely dependent on our relationship with God; an intimacy that must be maintained.

Hence, our spiritual vision is bound to wax and wane, as our relationship with God—as with others—will wax and wane.

The way around this great spiritual threat is to honour the truth: if we feel distant from God, let us agree. This way we will humble ourselves before our Lord in prayer, and soon enough our spiritual vision will not only be restored, but enhanced.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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