Lord open my eyes: 8 things we miss when we are spiritually blind

It is a wonderful thing that God made us with eyes to see all the splendour of the things He has made out of His goodness. The sun, moon and stars; fruits and fruit trees; birds and creeping things; fish, animals and so much more - by simply looking at them, we are convicted that there is a God.

It was through his eyes that the psalmist was able to write, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalm 19:1).

So important are our eyes that blind Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus for mercy, as He came out of Jericho. When Jesus questioned Bartimaeus, his request was that he might receive his sight (Mark 10:46-52).

But that was his physical sight. There is a blindness that is worse than physical blindness.

Spiritual blindness is our inability to discern spiritual things. It is a weapon being used by the enemy against the Church, and too many of us in the body of Christ are spiritually blind. Too many of our ministers and leaders are spiritually blind. Many of us are in some difficult situations today, because we had failed to look with our spiritual eyes from the beginning.

Spiritual eyes are the eyes that see spiritual realities. Without the opening of our spiritual eyes, we will not be able to see life the way God wants us to see it.

Here are eight things we are likely to overlook and miss out on, when we are in a state of spiritual blindness.

8 things we miss when we are spiritually blind

1. God’s Provision

Genesis 21:14-19. Hagar and Ishmael had just been put out of Abraham’s home. With nothing but bread, a bottle of water and her child, Hagar wandered into a wilderness. When the water in the bottle ran out, so did Hagar’s hope. That hopelessness drove her to abandon the young Ishmael to what she assumed would be his imminent death. But there was a well of water. Blinded by hopelessness and tears, Hagar was unable to see the marvellous provision of God right where she was. Not only was there water for the bottle - there was an entire well to refill their bottle several times over! She would have missed this provision, and her son would have died, had God not opened her eyes.

2. God’s Protection

God's protection as fire

2 Kings 6:8-17. Elisha was an open-eyed prophet. He heard from God and was led by God. Elisha’s servant, on the other hand, was spiritually blind and carnally driven. Thus, when he saw an entire physical army surrounding his master, he felt doomed. Without the right vision, all Elisha’s servant saw was the end of his own and his master’s life. But when merciful prayer was offered on his behalf, his eyes were opened. Then was he able to see that God’s host was on the scene too, ready to protect God’s servant. Though the chariots and horses of fire were great in number, and spectacular to behold, he would have missed out on their available and present protection. But with eyes open, he was able to believe in, and capitalize on the defense God had sent for them.

3. God’s Presence

Spending time in God's presence

Luke 24:31. After three and a half years spent walking and talking with Jesus, the disciples seemed to have lost memory of Him in just three days. On the road to the village called Emmaus, Jesus Himself drew near to two of His own disciples and they did not recognise Him. Their eyes remained blind en route to, and even upon arriving at their destination. It was only when “their eyes were opened”, no doubt by the Holy Spirit, that they knew Him. Every moment spent with God requires a special opening of our spiritual eyes. Our number of years walking with Him is not an automatic guarantee of revelatory knowledge of His presence. He alone can usher us into intimacy with, and worship of Him. Without His gracious opening of our eyes in a church gathering or our own quiet time, we will miss God’s presence just like those two disciples did.

4. God’s Direction

Numbers 22:1-33. Balaam was on a mission of self will, and was encountering Divine opposition. Even his donkey was able to see the angel in his way with a sword drawn. Three times the ass saved the life of the misguided prophet, but three times he stubbornly insisted that the journey should continue. It was only after God opened Balaam’s eyes that he finally saw the angel in the way. Balaam almost died because he was spiritually blind. Balaam almost died because he did not see the way God was leading him. His lack of spiritual sight prevented him from discerning when God was saying ‘no’. His spiritual blindness caused him to miss God’s direction.

5. The Devil’s Devices

2 Corinthians 2:11. Spiritual blindness walks with ignorance. When our spiritual eyes are not opened, we lack knowledge of the warfare that surrounds us. We lack knowledge of the devices of the enemy that we are encountering. When we are spiritually blind, we are ignorant of Satan’s weapons and intents - and an enemy who is undetected will not be appropriately avoided or resisted. We will walk blindly into a trap and end up in entanglement. Spiritual blindness allows the enemy to get an advantage of us. We need our spiritual vision to be enlightened so that wherever Satan is at work, he will be recognized and his plans foiled. Interestingly, Paul mentions this in the context of forgiving a brother who had fallen into sin, and who was to now be restored.

6. Our Spiritual Condition

Revelation 3:17. The Laodicean church thought they were everything, and had everything. But Jesus’ letter to them declared them to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. What a difference in perspective and opinion! Could Christ be saying the same thing about many churches and individuals today? It will take an opening of our spiritual eyes to know our real condition and to deal with it. Spiritual vision is the first need we all have if we are to recognize our true state before God and repent. Without spiritual vision, we miss out on who we really are, and fail to identify where we really need to turn.

7. Biblical Revelation

Psalm 119:18. In Psalm 119:18 the writer asked God to open his eyes. He was not referring to his physical eyes, but to his spiritual eyes. Why? Because it takes spiritual perception to appreciate, understand and delight in the word of God. Oh how possible it is to be reading the Bible but miss out on revelation. How common a reality it is for a Christian to read, but not understand the Scriptures. What a sad fact it is that so many Christians find reading the Bible boring! “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law,” is what our prayer should be. If we fail to behold the truth and joy in the Bible, then we will miss out on what we need to apply. Then we will certainly lose out on spiritual growth.


8. True Leadership

Luke 6:39. It’s already bad enough to be blind. But when a blind person is offered guidance by another person, the expectation is that the guide has the sight to lead. If the one offering leadership is blind too, then we have a really undesirable situation. Jesus taught that the blind will lead the blind into a ditch. Spiritual leaders owe it to their followers to have open eyes. Some Christian sheep are truly blind, but they are seeking to be led out of their blindness and out of their present spiritual condition. We miss out on being able to offer true spiritual leadership to others when we ourselves are blind. The final result is detrimental to both the leader and the one being led.

Can you think of anything else Christians miss out on when we are spiritually blind?

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