Friday, September 15, 2017

Growing in the Christian Life

"He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." (Mark 8:23–25)

I've been focusing on Romans 6 over the past week where Paul set before us the prospect of a new life in Christ, complete with goals and priorities God has established. “Pleasing God” is the theme of the next six days that will focus on the struggles in this new life.

We have to be very careful in drawing “spiritual applications” from the narratives of Scripture. The story of Jesus’ healing the blind man in Mark 8:22–26 is not a parable but a real historical event. All the same, I believe that this event shows us some principles that at least illustrate some of the basic aspects of the Christian life.

Every Christian begins his spiritual pilgrimage because of the immediate work of God. We all start by spiritual birth, which is not something that happens gradually. When the Spirit regenerates your heart, you are taken from blindness to sight, from death to life. So all of us begin our Christian life instantly by a work of God that He accomplishes without human means.

But that’s only the beginning. The Christian life thereafter is a process. Our sanctification is something that takes place gradually. It is a process that continues throughout our entire lives.

When we are regenerated and the light breaks into us, it is as if we see things that we never saw before. Our whole outlook on life changes because of the touch of the Lord. But it is as if we see men as trees walking. We see, but we see imperfectly. From there we need another touch of Christ, and another, and another, so that our vision of the loveliness of Christ and of the presence of the kingdom of God becomes sharper and sharper.

Walking with Jesus day by day means staying in contact with Him. We not only need the first touch, but the daily touch of the Master. That’s what you are doing now, isn’t it? As a result you are getting a sharper focus on the kingdom, and a clearer understanding of your duties in it. Don’t let these daily devotions become routine, but stir yourself up to make real personal contact in prayer and study with Jesus Himself.