Prayer: WHAT blinds us to His Presence?

One day, I was checking my facebook newsfeed.  My eyes scrolled down to the latest post by our daughter-in-law Cortney, on her fb page Evan Has Landed.  This is what she wrote about our then 5 year old grandson:

Evan has been awake for 10 minutes and already has asked 30 questions. Yes I've been counting! The latest question, "do snakes have eyebrows?" no wonder my head explodes about 1:00 each day! Happy Monday!!

I had to laugh out loud knowing Evan.  So I shared it to my facebook.  My friend Barb commented, "So do they?" :)

Kids are full of every parent (and grandparent) knows.  Why is that?  It's because that by asking questions, children "learn life in this world!"

And I believe that as children of God, we can "learn life in the Spirit" by asking questions...yes, of God and His Word.*

So here's our next question in our Bible study on Prayer:

What blinds us to the Lord's presence in our lives?

 1.  The Boat Story (Matthew 14:22-33)

When the disciples were out in the midst of the sea, at the darkest part of the night, winds and waves crashing upon their little boat...they were scared stiff! (Matthew 26)  The Greek word here is tarasso, which means agitated, stirred up.  It's a picturesque word, reflective of the agitated and stirred up waves and wind surrounding them!

They were afraid and rightfully so!.  Fear is a perfectly normal, human emotion in the face of danger and dread.  I suspect that it may have been part of Jesus' own emotions in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before He died (Hebrews 5:7-9).

But as a result of the disciples' fear, they didn't recognize Him who was walking to them "on the chaos of their lives."   That is, not until He spoke, "It is I, do not be afraid!"

Then their tarasso fear turned to reverential awe, "Surely, You are the Son of God!"

2.  The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-30)

As the disciples were walking along, a Stranger approached them.  In verse 16, it says that the disciples' "eyes were prevented from recognizing Him."

Now I don't want to lose you here...please stay with me.  The verb "were prevented" is in the "passive voice,"  which simply means that they didn't do the action of preventing!  It wasn't their fault that they didn't recognize Him.  Someone else did that action of preventing.  Who do you suppose that Someone was?  You got it!  Our Father God!  Jesus Himself had said,

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me... John 6:44-45 ESV

Do you remember when they recognized the Stranger as their Lord Jesus Christ?  That's right, it was at the "breaking of the bread," reminiscent of the supper the night before He died.

 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:31 ESV

Our passive voice Who do you suppose did the opening?  You got it again!   The Father opened their eyes at just the right moment.

It's so interesting to stop and think about how perfect God's timing was here.  Their burning hearts (as the Lord had shared the Scriptures with them on the way) then gave way to open eyes!

And these discouraged, confused, grieving Christ followers could then embrace the Resurrected Christ with a strong faith and tender hearts!

And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed...” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:34-35 ESV

3.  Jesus Knocking (Rev 3:15-20)

This one is a no brainer.  The sad state of this group of believers was caused by their own pride and self-sufficiency.  They were wealthy and self-absorbed.  They didn't need anything, because they had it all!  And all of that blinded them to the Lord's presence in their midst.  They had themselves in view...not Jesus!

At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

Blessed are the poor in spirit,     for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.... Blessed are the meek,     for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,     for they will be filled...  Blessed are the pure in heart,     for they will see God. Matthew 5:3-10 NIV

What about YOU and ME?

We often "strain at our own oars," thinking we have it in us to overcome our own dificulties and meet the demands of life.   Then we find out we don't!

We get, terrified at times!  We are blind to our ever-present (in fact, indwelling) Source for all of life...our Lord Christ!

It's then we can hear the Lord say to us,

It is I [I AM]!  Do not be afraid! Open the door to me... invite Me in...I've been here all the time!



* a la inductive Bible particular, Precept Upon Precept