“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Saul or Bartimaeus?, by Randall D. Kittle


As I was praying, the Lord spoke to me, “Ask my children, ‘Are you like Saul of Tarsus, who thought he could see and because of this was blind to My vision — unable to see what I was doing on the earth, and what I was calling him to do for Me?’ I would rather that you were like blind Bartimaeus who, though he could not see in the natural, saw the spiritual. During My earthly trek, many who had eyes that saw could not see that I was the Anointed One come from Heaven for man’s salvation. But Bartimaeus saw the spiritual reality of the Anointed One in his midst, and despite being told to be quiet would not keep silent until he was face to face with Me: knowing Me, being known by Me, and receiving all I had for Him.”

The Lord is warning us not to be like Saul of Tarsus. Even before he surrendered to the Lord, Saul knew he had a calling on his life. He had a big vision of all he would accomplish
for God; unfortunately, it was not a vision from God. Because of this, all of his efforts were merely from his own desires, and in the end they actually went against God.

Saul thought he saw clearly, but the sad truth was that he saw only with the dim, artificial illumination of his own misunderstanding. As Charles Spurgeon once said,
“He who will not see is much the same as if he had no eyes; indeed, in some ways, the man without eyes had the advantage, for he is in the dark and knows it.”

Being Desperate
On the other hand, Bartimaeus, though physically blind, was able to see the spiritual truth that Jesus Christ was the promised Anointed One come to save His people. Because Bartimaeus not only knew this was true, but in his heart had come to see Him who is the Truth, he was not satisfied to merely know the truth about Jesus, he had to meet Him — to have an encounter with the Lord of Glory.

Though the disciples told him to be quiet (see Mark 10:46–52), his response was to call out all the louder. He would not be silent. He would not comfortably fit in. His heart had gained a glimpse of the Lord, and nothing would satisfy him till he met the Lord face to face.

How about you and me? Are we seeing only in the natural? Or, do we see things through “religious” eyes? Has self-righteous serving blinded us so that we see things as they have always been and not from God’s perspective?

Being Disillusioned
It is God’s desire for us to become re-enlightened with His vision. In order to do this we must become “disillusioned.” It is not that the Lord is calling us to be discouraged or hopeless. He wants to free us from any and every illusion that blinds us and keeps us from advancing in His kingdom. The dictionary defines the word “illusion” as, “an erroneous belief or perception, the state of being deceived by such beliefs or perceptions,” and the prefix “dis-” means, “to negate, reverse, invalidate, or remove.”

Just as the Lord encountered Saul on the road to Damascus and removed his spiritual blinders, He wants to cancel and remove from us every false belief that brings deception. Jesus wants to heal our spiritual vision so we no longer cling to our own vision, but receive His vision.

But to receive this spiritual vision, we must be willing to be like blind Bartimaeus. We must not keep silent, but zealously cry out until we have had a life-changing encounter with the Lord. As we have the blinders of false vision stripped away and gain a fresh vision from an encounter with the Lord, may we be able to say with the apostle Paul,
“I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19).

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