Thanks be to God our father and to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. For, he has sent to us his Holy Spirit to guide us and empower us and to teach us all things. And he has given us the written record, not as the old covenant on tablets of stone but as a better covenant written on the human heart. Two Corinthians 3:4-11.
Therefore, we are empowered to go to the places where we can shine the light of Christ and become a beacon to people who are lost. And, we can be fountains of salvation, for as Christ Jesus spoke “he who believes in me as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” This he spoke of the spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. John 7:38-39.
But, men’s hearts were hardened, for until this very day when the old covenant is read the veil of Moses covers their eyes and they behold not the glory of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:12-15.
But, when we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior the veil is lifted and we who were blind see. 2 Corinthians 3:16; John 9:39-40.
But, the gospel is still veiled to those who are perishing because the devil has blinded them. 2 Corinthians 4:3. This is because people who are unspiritual cannot understand what must be spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:10-15.
“Okay, Joe, that’s a nice Bible lesson, but how does this play out in our real lives, and why is it important?”
Here is why it’s important. All the temptations of the devil are designed to distract our attention. I discovered this when I started spending more time alone with God. And many people have an hard time seeing and understanding the spiritual because if this. Does the Bible seem opaque at times? Are there aspects of faith that are hard to understand? This is true for everyone to greater or lesser degrees. This is because of distractions and lack of focus.
There are the temptations of the flesh, not only sex, but food, nice things, pleasing things, anything that one may focus on. Why? And advertising, seemingly endless streams of unwanted information. Why is it a problem?
Because our little 3 pound brain can only focus on one thing at a time. And, it takes one’s whole brain to focus on the spiritual reality in order to understand it. You can’t do it in little snippets, or even in a 30-minute church sermon. That is why the Israelites were given a Sabbath day. They were farmers and worked long hard days. Toil was their lifestyle. We live in a different world. But you need at least a couple of hours undistracted several times a week to enter God’s rest. See Hebrews chapters 3 and four. I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep Sabbath if you can. But what I am saying is that it is not a “rule” to create guilt; it is a practice to create a spiritual state of mind so that you can get away from worldly distractions.
The devil puts so many of these in our paths to keep us blind. Internet pornography is one. Highly addictive. Facebook is another if it is used incessantly to post inane and ridiculous trivia all day. I never turn it on until after my “God time.”
Tasks, our jobs, homes, kids, take us away from the special time we require to find God.
Anger and irritation, vexatious calls, traffic, nasty comments on Twitter, frustrations of the world, 99% of the stuff on TV. Yes we need our downtime to. But excessive TV time is another distraction. I reserve an hour or two a day for escape just to rest the mind. The point is, it doesn’t matter what is keeping us away from God. It only matters that we spend enough time with Him to see in the spirit. When we keep the channel open, he will teach us all things and empower us, and through us, others. We become beacons of light to the world.
I can testify that this is how I manage to live as I do, despite advanced cancer, despite age, despite treatments, despite distractions, obstacles, fears (I’m human) and all the other things that would stop me. And I spread the gospel in the homeless shelter, on the Internet, in the book I wrote, the Holy Spirit through me works day and night to show the glory of Jesus Christ to the world. Amen. And he has used me as a carpenter uses a hammer and saw to do his will. Nor do I often pray for myself, because he has given me everything. But for others I pray, so that they receive what I have received.
In practical terms, find yourself a time. Spend that time alone with the Bible, pen and paper. Read, pray and keep a journal. Require everyone to let you alone during this time. Shut out all noise and distraction. Early morning, or late night work best, but whatever works for you. If done with patience and perseverance eventually you will open your God channel, your spiritual eyes, and things will clear for you. What is hidden will be revealed, and what is invisible will become visible. You will receive messages and callings and comforts in the spirit. Fears, anxiety and worries will diminish, and power to act in His name will gradually grow. Amen.
Peace, blessings and comfort.