Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 7, 2013

"Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
The reality you live in and is visible to you is impacted by a greater reality you don't see. It CAN be seen but it takes a soulshift - the shift from Seen to Unseen.
I am dedicating several posts to illustrating some DTR  (Define The Reality) moments from the Word. The DTR issue is essentially, "Will I believe what I see or what God says?"
Yesterday I gave you an example of Bartimaeus who went from being blind to being healed by Jesus (or by his faith, as Jesus told him) and gaining his sight. Once his physical sight was restored he began following Jesus. In the few minutes he had been following Jesus he was more in tune with the unseen than the disciples were after two years of being His followers. Apparently, because of his strong faith, Bartimaeus not only gained one level of vision  but two. He shifted from Seen to Unseen in those miraculous moments when he went from blindness to sight.
I want to give you another example of moving from seen to unseen. It comes from John 20;

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:19-28
Wow! This is amazing on several levels isn't it! Thomas asked for a DTR moment and he got it!
The resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples in a locked room soon after His resurrection but Thomas was absent for some reason. How excited and relieved they were to see Him, as you can imagine.
Since we are on the topic of two realities, think about this appearance. The room was shut up tight and all of the sudden He shows up in their midst. It seems He would have to be a spirit to get into the room and yet they were able to see Him and touch His scars! But for some reason Thomas was not there. He missed it!
Stay with me here! This gets even more amazing when a week later Jesus appeared again in their midst in a locked room. Thomas is in the room this time and Jesus walked over to him and it is obvious Jesus had heard Thomas' statement of doubt. So, Jesus was in the room that day and they didn't see Him! Whoa! In response to Thomas' declaration, Jesus offered His hands and His side to supply the proof.
Thomas collapsed at Jesus' feet and cried, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
If I can paraphrase Jesus, "Blessed are you who have had a soulshift from Seen to Unseen" or "blessed are you who believe what I say above what they see."
What will define your reality today? Will it be what you see or what He says?


March 6, 2013

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road." Mark 10:51-52
Hans Janssen and his son Zacharias were spectacle makers in the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century. They experimented with combinations of lenses secured inside a metal tube and are credited with inventing the first compound microscope.
Looking through that first crude instrument revealed a whole new world that never been seen before with human eyes but a world with a definite impact on what is seen.  This world had been there all the time but thanks to the microscope it went from unseen to seen and allowed scientists a whole new understanding of the human body.
The shift from Seen to Unseen is like that. It can allow you to see things in the spiritual realm that have always been there, that are as real as the visible world, that effect the visible world but you cannot see apart from faith.
In the Gospels Jesus healed about half a dozen blind people. Blindness was not just a physical malady it was also a metaphor for spiritual blindness. Not only did these formerly bind folks gain their eyesight but they were given spiritual insight.
Bartimaeus is an example of one who was given his sight because of his faith. The first face he saw was the face of Jesus. How good is that? If that doesn't change you, what will?
Not only is this an inspirational story but it is instructive as well! I want you to note how he responded to Jesus before and after his healing.
First, he knew what he wanted Jesus to do for him. "I want to see!" he declared concisely and with conviction. Most blind beggars asked for food or money but Bartimaeus wanted a miracle.
What do you want God to do for you? Do you know? Could you answer Him with conviction?
Second, he asked with faith. Obviously, he believed Jesus was able to give him what he asked. Otherwise, why would he have asked with such certainty and convictions? Jesus acknowledged as much when He declared, "Your FAITH has healed you."
Do you believe God can give you what you ask from Him? Do you even have enough faith to ask?
Third, he continued his faith by following Jesus. He didn't take his miracle and run as some did. Now that he could see he wanted to grasp the unseen. He followed by faith because he wanted more faith.
Bartimaeus moved from unseeing to seeing so he could shift to the unseen.
There is so much to be seen ---- in the unseen. Are you ready to see? Will you pray like Bartimaeus, "I want to see!"