Can You See?
I once heard a pretty famous pastor say regarding the verse of scripture that discusses the blind leading the blind, that the second blind man, the one who followed, should have shouted to the first man, the one who presumed to blindly lead “can you see (Matthew 15:14)!?!” It is a legitimate and logical question for two reasons. First of all, what would make a blind man presume to lead anyone, including himself along an unfamiliar road with nothing serving to aid him as he attempts to avoid obstacles? Second, why would you blithely follow someone, when you yourself cannot see and do not know where you are going? Particularly if you are not certain that the presumed leader can see and knows the directions either?
Similar principles apply when it comes to taking a Journey with God, along a course the He has laid out for you. If you are Following God, you can take the assumptions off of the board immediately.
You know that God can See. And you know that God, the Leader, Author, and Finisher knows where He is Directing you to go. But like Abram, you do not yet know where the road ends nor how many ‘miles to go before we sleep (Genesis 12:1).’ So you do not have to shout at the Leader “can you see” as the second blind man should have queried.
But when we are taking a Journey with God …
On a road that is intentionally unfamiliar to us …
We often end up shouting to the Leader …
“… Hey!!! Can You See!?! …”
A Difficult Road Ahead
Now we do that because of the pain associated with following God on Enoch’s Journey to a Promised Land or to “Was Not” as I called it in a Book. It is difficult to do what Enoch, Abram, Joseph, Job, Nehemiah, and so many others have done, which is to Hear and Receive a Revelation from God, by Dream, Vision, or Spoken Word. And then, to Obediently, Blindly, and Faithfully follow God the Leader all the way to the point where we enter the full manifestation of what God Promised.
We face many difficulties along that Journey after initially Hearing from God. Those trials are very painful. Not to mention all of the fateful yet faithful friends who will betray, doubt, and constantly serve as a thorn in our flesh along the way (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
And if you are ‘lucky’, they might be your own family members who sell you into slavery only to have the slave owner’s wife lie on you about cheating on the slave owner and have you thrown in jail (Genesis 37-41)! All the while you were just Obediently following God to the Journey’s end!
No wonder you end up like Paul the Apostle asking God, three times for Paul “Hey … God!!! Can You See?” God took time to answer Paul and told him that His Grace to finish the Journey was more than enough to enable Paul to endure all of the pain that occurs along the Journey. And I Believe and have written in that same Book that Paul endured all of his hardships after entering into his “Was Not” or Promised Land.
Joseph in that same vein ended up having a slight crisis of conscience or temporary moment of doubt before he was called to Pharaoh’s Palace where he would see the full manifestation of the Dreams that he had many years prior. Joseph asked a Butler for whom he had just translated a Dream to “mention me and my plight to Pharaoh when you get out of Jail and are restored to the Palace.” Joseph, I Believe, made this request out of frustration regarding the Dream. You can tell because he began to discuss how he was betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers and did nothing wrong to end up in Jail (Genesis 40).
So, like Job and so many others we have Biblical evidence that discusses the fact that many people who take Enoch’s Journey with God end up questioning God’s ability to See where He is Leading us. The Journey is frustrating by Design. It is intended to Refine and Prepare us to effectively live in the Promised Land.
However, all we feel is the pain.
It makes us feel like we are stumbling & fumbling around in the dark. Following a Leader who cannot see. A Leader who did not tell us that he was blind before he promised us that he would take us to a better place. And a Leader who does not actually know where he is going. Nor what trouble lies ahead.
I Know What I Heard …
Irrespective of how many people doubt your intellect for building an Ark in the middle of a Desert because “God Said …”, you have this Confirming Witness in your heart that lets you know that you are doing the right thing no matter how bad it looks or feels. I saw a movie yesterday where the man who also happened to be imprisoned for an extended period of time, for a crime that he did not commit, said that when he was first incarcerated he knew he would not be in there for a long period of time because he had the “Truth” on his side.
Then, as time went on and his family and friends started to doubt him as well as visiting him in jail less often, he began to allow doubt to creep in, making him even question what was real and what was false. Although, he knew that he did not actually commit the crime that he was accused of committing and that he was falsely imprisoned.
As time continued and as he persevered and endured, he encountered someone who could help him. Things still did not immediately go his way, and his most recent attempt to prove his case was again rejected by the Judge. However, he said that as a result of that most recent encounter, he “had his Truth restored.” Suddenly he believed again … in what he had actually known all along.
He knew that he had been falsely accused. But the Journey caused him to fall into a ditch of self-doubt, making him doubt reality! But now, he was reminded of what was real and what was false.
God sent someone to help him. Someone who could Restore Reality for him. He knew the Truth! But the pain associated with the Journey caused him to even doubt the reality of that immutable Truth.
In other words … the man …
“Knew What He Heard!”
James (3:11-12, Phillips) discusses two kinds of water coming out of the same fountain. I have read other translations of this verse that speak of brackish water (a mixture of salty and fresh water) and fresh water coming out of one fountain. In other words, you go to a water fountain, or in modern vernacular, you go to the water cooler. Not one of those fancy ones with the hot red button for hot water and the blue cold button for cold water. This is a regular ole one faucet water cooler with the clear, blue tinted, ten gallon jug of water on top.
Now, when anyone goes to that water cooler, they expect to get a cup full of fresh, crisp, clean, cold water. However, you go to that fountain one time and get a cup that tastes like fresh spring water. Then you drink that cup. Still thirsty, you press the button again in order to get a refill. As you drink that water, expecting the same clean taste, you spit the water out on the carpet in your Doctor’s office because all of a sudden, somehow, inexplicably you got a cup of salt water that tastes like it came from the middle of the Atlantic ocean!
The seemingly impossible has just occurred! You got two different kinds of water from the same fountain, jug of water, and same cup. Nothing has changed! … Yet almost simultaneously … Everything has changed!
That is what it feels like, albeit over time, when self doubt creeps in and begins to cause you to lose sight of your Dream. ‘You Know What You Heard’ God say to you or show you in the Dreams. But because you have spent the next thirteen years like Joseph bumping into furniture while you call yourself “Obediently Following God to the Journey’s End”, you start to doubt what you know to be True.
It is like drinking saltwater from the same water cooler that just provided fresh clean spring water!
I had wrestled with that verse in James (3) for years. Knowing that as the old chocolate bar commercial says “sometimes I feel like a nut! And sometimes I don’t!” Sometimes I know and Believe EXACTLY what God Said. “I Know What I Heard!”
I learned that the key word is ‘simultaneously.’ Two different kinds of water cannot come out of the same fountain at the same time. Or in this instance, from the same source or jug of water. If there is fresh water in the jug, and the cup is clean, then the same fresh spring water will come out. Particularly while you are standing in front of the same jug. You may look away from or lose sight of the water jug from time to time while pouring out the water. But the water is the same.
The Truth is STILL the Truth …
The Dream is STILL the Dream …
Thus, no matter how many doubt me for building my Ark in the middle of a Desert, as I said when describing Noah’s Personality Portrait in my first Book (Genesis 6:14-22). Now these same people, like Job’s doubting friends, will SIMULTANEOUSLY come to you for Godly Advice & Counsel! All the while talking behind your back and in the RARE instance be BRAZEN enough to tell you to your face, in effect:
“You have the ability to Hear from God … FOR ME!!!”
“But when it comes to you, your Obedience, and that Ark you buildin’ … ‘CAN YOU SEE?!?’”
Now that is an example of two waters coming out of the same doubting fountain! And why that verse in James (3) confused me! How can … NEVERMIND!!! They are just spewing water out of their fountain!!!
You have a Destiny to Fulfill!
So, for us Ark Builders, we have to keep our eyes on the Prize of the High Calling (Philippians 3:12-14, Phillips). We have to keep our focus on what we ‘Know We Heard!’ The Journey will be difficult!
But the Leader, Author, & Finisher can See!
He Invented Seeing!
He Invented Hearing!
So … You have to ‘Know What You Heard!’
You have to Faithfully endure all hardships and even tolerate losing sight of the truth from time to time (2 Timothy 2:3-7, Phillips). You might even ask a Butler to help you get out of Jail when God NEVER told you to ask anyone for help (Genesis 40). But that is ok, you have to pick yourself up and march on to the end of the Journey, knowing that (1 Peter 5:9-11, Phillips) …
The Leader Can See!
You Can Hear!