Adjusted Blindness

blind John of the Cross calls it "The Dark Night of the Soul". But we all know how it feels. If not, you will experience that time eventually.

I think about it this way. If you have some experience where the lights are turned out for a considerable amount of time, your eyes adjust to the darkness, but you know the light that was present just before they were turned out. You enjoyed the light greatly, but now you came into the darkness and your eyes have adjusted to the darkness. Now, the feeling I have been talking about...what John calls "Darkness of the Soul" comes when the lights are turned back on. Glorious light! Finally you have gone from light to darkness, and now back to incredible light. This whole time you have been in the dark room longing for light.

You knew ABOUT light. You recalled everything ABOUT light that you knew before. But, o happy day, you get to actually EXPERIENCE the light after so long spent thinking ABOUT light. Glorious....right?

Not necessarily! As soon as you experience light after being in that dark room, you are temporarily blinded because you go immediately from dark to light, and your eyes cannot take the sudden change. You must now learn to adjust. For so long you knew ABOUT light. You even proved very confident in your knowledge about how light operates, but now in full EXPERIENCE of light, you are thrown into a temporary blindness. You cannot take all of it, and now you must adjust. It still seems dark for a second, but you have EXPERIENCED the light you had only known ABOUT before.

We are believers who know a lot about God. We have become excellent at how much we have learned about our phenomenal God. We see great things, and we know God has shown these things to us. But now, we are beginning to actually see God. We are at the piont of entering into truly experiencing the God we have learned so much about. We are entering intimacy with the heart of a relational God.

When Moses got closer enough to God, he "hid his face", and he was terrified. The closer to God he got (and he got closer to God than we will ever know), the more darkness he experienced. Darkness came in ways of fear, anxiety and confusion. Now that sounds very familiar to our darkness of soul, and Moses knew much of God, and yet still faced himself in darkness when he experienced God.

After all we have seen, we all the sudden become blind. But it is because we are in the midst of a great transition into experiencing the God we have always known ABOUT. This God we know so much about now becomes "absent"...or at least appears absent behind our exposure to a light our faith cannot handle. God is not actually absent, but we have become temporarily blinded by the purity and glory of God coming into a closer relationship with us.

The question is:


Random Reflections: Wednesday

If your plate is full, get rid of some of the things you do no need to eat.

Set time aside for God, and when you do, do not let anything interrupt it. Create time for God.

We love to hear God but hate to obey and do what we love to hear. Good intentions don’t always turn into actions. Sometimes we can even spiritualize our disobedience. Sometimes we even pray about it because we do not want to do it.

We have too many options and choices and we get frustrated when there aren’t as many options. This is why we come to church on our terms and not on God’s terms.

The National Day of Prayer is like: you come running in, punch the devil in the face and then run back out; leaving him 364 days to do as he pleases.

I lack desperate prayer. God hears desperate prayers. My American dream knows nothing of desperation. I cannot be desperate as an American. I far too often pray with dry eyes.

The deal Moses denied, America accepted. (God stays behind, but he gives us security, prosperity, and protection) But this is no good. We have say with Moses, "GOD, UNLESS YOU GO WITH US, NO DEAL." Unless you clothe us, we are naked…Unless you feed us, we are hungry…Unless you refresh us, we are always thirsty for more.

What Moses dreamed of

"would that all the LORD's people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them." (Numbers 11:29)

What Moses basically dreamed of IS our reality today. ALL followers of Jesus have his Spirit in them and upon them. This is absolutely incredible and we rarely tap into it, use it, or listen to what Moses only dreamed of.

Empty-hearted - PG

Over  and over, God reveals to people how they are to come to him. WHen they worship Him and bring their sacrifices, it is to be done with intensive preparation and intentionality. They were not to come to God's presence without the right preparations. In Exodus 34.20 God says "Don't show up empty-handed." Again and again there is a reminder we would not, should not, and better not come to God empty-handed. But we are often so lazy about our worship. We drag ourselves into worship on Sundays. We are empty handed and empty hearted. We have done nothing to prepare ourselves. We have not prepared our worship to be a pleasing aroma to God. Many or most Sundays we are lucky if we prepared anything at all.

Most Sundays we dray our apathetic hearts to worship and expect God to be overwhelmed by our valiant efforts put forth. "At least I showed up!"

My empty hearted worship is a joke and I am lucky I do not have to suffer the consequences the Israelites would have suffered for bringing such half-assed and empty-hearted sacrifice.

Later in Exodus 34,  Moses is so close to God he gleams bright in the face. He has to wear a vail when he leaves God's presence, but every time he comes into God's presence he removes it.

When I come to God's presence, I want to be sure I admit and remove any blockages or hindrances my heart and mind have between me and God.

I have to remove my vail every time I come to worship him. I have to grow sick and tired with half-assed, empty-handed, and empty-hearted worship.

Things my biographer should write

Only a short time into the book of Numbers, there are two statements I've read numerous times, which have not escaped my mind. "So Moses did as the Lord commanded him."


"Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground."

Both Moses and Aaron are leading large groups of incredibly obstinate and stubborn people, and during all the whining, struggles, and frustrations, these are two very common responses from Moses and Aaron.  On countless occasions you see the Lord give Moses a command for his next move as the leader (often decisions and commands which will inevitably anger and frustrate the people), and the next statement in the text is, "So Moses did as the Lord commanded him."  It is written so simply in our Bibles, but that statement represents a very significant action.  Moses was incredibly obedient to God when commanded anything of him.

Those commands were never simple, but the simple presentation of his obedience in scripture shows the great devotion and dedication of Moses.  That is phenomenal, and I really need to take a great challenge from that.  How obedient of God's commands on my life have I been?  Would someone be able to write my biography and write, with confidence, "So PC did as the Lord commanded him"?

Well I am not so sure this person would be able to write of me that I frequently heard from God enough to actually do as He tells me, which brings up the second statement.

Each and every time anything came before Moses and Aaron, there was this second statement quickly following: "Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground."  Generally, once they were berated by their own people for having done what the Lord asked them to do, this statement followed.  Often when circumstances came their way and HUGE decisions needed to be made, this statement quickly followed.  Nearly every time, that statement would be followed with, "The glorious presence of the Lord appeared to them..."

As a leader, a husband, a man...I wonder if my biographer would be able to write of me that I was quick to "fall face down on the ground" once presented with difficult circumstances and decisions.  Actually, no, I don't wonder at all!  My biographer would NOT be able to write that statement of me; at least not frequently enough to indicate a pattern.

This makes me wonder if I could change the course of my hypothetical biography from this point forward...