The second touch – from a blind man to a visionary
So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. (Mark 8:23-25)
One of the attitudes that we must cultivate in order to benefit spiritually from the scriptures is that we must recognize that every event recorded in the Bible has a prophetic application to us as God’s people. Just as the deliverance of the bent-over woman speaks of God’s desire to help us take our eyes off the ground and prophetically look to the future, this healing of the blind man also represents much more than a mere historical narrative. The Holy Spirit is making a statement about us as God’s people. Perhaps Jesus did not heal the blind man all at once in order to expand on his emphasis of our need of objectivity. We must be willing to admit that we are much like this blind man . . . our vision is out of focus. The Lord’s second point of contact is the focus of objectivity. Many people today do not see others as they should. They are confused, mistaken, insensitive, often arriving at absurd interpretations about the people with whom they relate.
Beyond the touch of upward and forward vision, we must also receive the Lord’s touch of focused vision. A God-given vision of others enables us to envision worthwhile and significant projects. Rather than cultivating a vision for the nations, God wants us to have a vision of people. Spiritual objectivity occurs when Jesus sees people’s needs through our spiritual eyes.
Looking up: our responsibility
“Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly”
After Jesus put his hands on the blind man a second time, he asked him to look up in order to receive the restoration of his sight. Look up expectantly to the challenges and purposes that God sends to you. This is what will give your vision objectivity. You must put forth an active effort in order to receive a focused vision, in other words, you must exercise faith and trust.
Isaiah described this principle in the following manner: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” The word translated “mind” here implies forming, or molding direction.
The principle foundation of objectivity is our trust in God. To trust is to confide in, or in other words, to agree with the faithfulness of someone. God personally reveals His faithfulness to us and it is our responsibility to agree or to disagree with it, in other words, to trust or distrust him. If we fail to put our trust in God as we live, we will become spiritually hunched-over and isolated. If we trust in him, he will straighten us up and give us the correct vision of his specific purposes.
Trust is an intimate and personal attitude that characterizes people and relationships that are truly free. The first aspect of the restoration of objectivity is the strength of mind or purpose in God based on trust. God will form, mold revelation and impart clear direction that is just as personal as our own identity is.
The power of the second touch: the three aspects of objectivity
After the Lord touched the blind man the passage says that he saw everyone clearly.
He saw distant objects clearly. The vision gained depth. The stronger your vision, the further you will see. Through objectivity, we begin to unmask new horizons that we have never perceived before.
He saw people clearly. The vision became clear. The stronger your vision, the more details you will perceive. We can focus on matters that will cause an impartial and complete discernment of the situation.
He saw everyone. The vision included people. The stronger your vision the more people you will be able to see, and the more you will understand in God what their true needs are. We begin to enjoy the compassion of God for people. Objectivity leads us to be practical with people concerning their real needs.
Seeing the blindness: divine objectivity
But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:12, 13)
In order to be spiritually objective one must be personal. God is highly sensitive to and considers our individuality. Jesus sees our blindness from afar and perceives our myopia. He also considers our mistaken tendency to look in foolish and absurd spiritual directions in search of solutions. In some way, he will approach us and help us correct our vision. God’s purpose is specific. Jesus approached the bent-over woman and her problem in a specific manner for a specific purpose.
The most important element in this story is neither the woman nor her infirmity, nor even the amount of time that she had suffered because of it, but the fact that Jesus came to her. Whenever Jesus approaches us, he always comes in a personal way. His objective is to restore our objectivity. Jesus is not a force, neither of positive philosophy nor of eastern religious opinion. He is man’s creator and redeemer. He loves us intelligently and cares about each detail of our lives. Obviously, this woman’s dilemma was recorded in the Gospel account because it represents situations that occur in each of our lives. This passage demonstrates four ways that Jesus objectively comes into our lives:
Visual contact “when Jesus saw her”
This “encounter” with Christ was the most prophetic moment of this woman’s life. Jesus made visual contact with her through his gaze of compassion. He perceived her misfortune. When God comes to us, he always begins with an objective vision. After 18 years of suffering her chronic infirmity, her time for healing had come. She was at the right place at the right time. Even though we sometimes fail to perceive him, Jesus is with us and sees us. He not only sees us, but he also sees that which prevents us from seeing him!
Emotional contact “he called her to himself”
When Jesus sees us, he calls us. He approaches us and at the same time attracts us to himself. This demonstrates his emotional contact of compassion and understanding. He tapped into her ability to hear him in order to free her. Although she could hear him, she had a hard time directing her need for provision to him. The call of God may be ignored, but it is never misunderstood. God is an expert in communication.
Verbal contact “and said to her”
When Jesus calls us to himself, he tells us what he wants to do in and through us. This verbal contact (in whatever form it comes to us) restores our faith. He came to proclaim liberty to the captives declaring, “Woman you are loosed from your infirmity”. This word straightened her faith and then her body, knocking down all her unbelief and hopelessness in the process.
Physical contact “and he laid his hands on her”
When Jesus speaks to us, he also touches us supernaturally. This is not only the touch of the hand, but the touch of the heart, the touch of identification and the touch of healing. His touch will release power in our lives. Jesus passed something on to her. He imparted his grace upon the life of that woman. He demonstrated all of his empathy. In that moment, through faith in the sacrifice that he would yet make, Jesus took her infirmity upon himself: “and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God”.
So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound — think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?
This diagnostic aspect of God’s touch is extremely important. This woman’s situation was spiritually evil. Here we can perceive how Satan wants to destroy our vision, our dreams and principally are spiritual objectivity. The Bible relates how Satan tried to attacked the fulfillment of Joseph’s dream through his brother’s jealousy, how he attacked Mary’s vision by inspiring Herod to kill the children two years or younger, etc. Many times these terrible attacks will come in an indirect and subtle manner.
The purpose of this spirit of infirmity was to cause this woman to look to the ground of her life, casting her into an enslaving routine of inferiority and unbelief. Jesus described this woman’s situation as a “prison”, someone who Satan had kept prisoner. Lack of vision and spiritual objectivity is a type of bondage imposed by Satan. This woman had already served a sentence of 18 years of imprisonment in “Satan’s prison”.
What about you? How long have you been walking in circles looking at the ground of life, steeped in inferiority, idealizing your problems, licking your wounds and caressing your self-pity? We must discern these types of situations as much more than mere emotional difficulties: they are true demonic prisons. After 18 years, attending the same church there was still no one who could spiritually discern the source of and solution to this woman’s affliction. This is more than sad, it is shameful.
How many people are like this in our churches? Some of them have no idea that they are potential Satan worshipers, imprisoned and blinded by sensuality, disobedient to parents, full of religious hypocrisy and other iniquities that nurture terrible disorders of spiritual vision. Apart from a spiritually unfruitful existence, such believers end up easily manipulated by demonic forces becoming chronic hotbeds of confusion, rebellion and division.
A daughter of Abraham
This is perhaps the principal point at which we must wake up from our spiritual stupor. This woman was part of the church of that day. We must admit that in some way she was a faithful believer. Otherwise Jesus would not have called her a daughter of Abraham, an heiress of saving faith. From this story, we can diagnose one of the greatest evils that a person can go through from within the church: a vision compromised by the lack of spiritual objectivity.
History and destiny: structure and objectivity
There is a connection between our past and our destiny; between our structure and our objectivity. In some way, every human being has an innate desire to have direction and purpose of life. Why is it that in the church there are so many apathetic and spiritually sleepy members? Even though they possess the most powerful message of the world, able to change the eternal destiny of people, many hold on to life with no spiritual expectation. Again, we must learn to recognize this as demonic! An English atheist once said: “If this business of heaven and hell that Christians claim is really true, I would be willing to cross England on my knees in order to gain a single soul!” Unfortunately, most people who claim to be a Christian would not even cross the street to win a soul! Such is the evil reality of the lack of objectivity in so many believers’ lives!
A correct and healthy spiritual structure is based on a resolved past. Objectivity is the effect of the manifestation of this structure in a promising future full of expectation. Structure is the cause that brings objectivity as its effect. A body with no bone structure is nothing more than a pile of organs. Structure promotes form that provides the just and correct functioning of an organism. This woman had an unresolved past which manifested itself through a terrible deformation of her spinal column. Our vision will be just as defective or functional as our structure is.
We need divine knowledge and perspective with respect to our past, a deep encounter with the mercy of God. This will help us overcome traumas, learn new attitudes, examine values and patterns of behavior, correct spiritual errors to which we have been addicted far too long, shake off spiritual ticks and twitches that are nothing more than the manifestations of religious hypocrisy.
The correct question is not how long you have been in the church, but how great has the consciousness of eternity affected you. Many times we need to discover how fragile, vulnerable and incompetent we are.
What are you living for? Purpose and destiny are moral synonyms. By failing to answer this question, we declare the death of our faith. Faith without vision and objectivity is dead. Without vision the people perish. Without prophecy, they corrupt themselves. If we strive for nothing, we will achieve nothing! Without objectivity, we condemn ourselves to inactivity where idleness, depression, apathy, laziness, monotony, and frustration thrive. These things are all children of a small or selfish vision and lack of spiritual objectivity in life.
Lifting up our eyes
Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35). Few people understand and obey this commandment. Jesus was preparing his disciples to receive the promise of the Father: “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28) Visions, goals, objectives, dreams and prophecies are highly spiritual elements. These things come only through the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh.
Without the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives, our conflict with our past and our uncertainty of the future will indelibly mark our present. It is tragic to see Spirit filled believers with no vision of eternal consequence, living a Christianity that amounts to mere “feelings of God’s presence”, looking merely to selfish interests and personal whims, tolerating a life devoid of bold projects, and blindly feeding on fantasies of conquests of future feats without the willingness to pay the least price.
To what extent does the story of this bent-over woman who could in no way raise herself up, correspond to your story? We must not lose sight of God’s promise of the outpouring of his Spirit upon us in prophecy, visions and dreams equipping us with objectivity, ability to develop far-reaching plans and strategies, and strong conviction of a consistent purpose for our lives. Objectivity is an indispensable attribute of vision. Objectivity is vision’s focus. Vision without objectivity becomes just as foggy and nebulous as a life without purpose.
Effective prayer and spiritual objectivity
The secret of successful prayer is to know how to focus requests in prayer according to the prophetic need of the moment. We must learn how to cultivate and employ spiritual objectivity as the target of our prayer. Jesus did this when he prayed for his disciples.
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. (John 17:9)
Defining spiritual objectivity
I believe that this verse expresses the most complete definition of spiritual objectivity given in the Bible. Spiritual objectivity is simply the ability to “hit the right target” in prayer. There are far too many people aiming at the wrong target.
Many people proceed to climb what they perceive as the “ladder of success” only to discover that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall when they reach the top. Objectivity implies leaning the ladder on the right wall in order to reach the right target. For Christians this means investing in the things and people who the Father has given them to distribute to others.
Objectivity is also the power to transform our dreams into reality through elaborating and following executable projects. Many people idealize projects that are so abstract and unreal that they are impossible to implement into anything doable. This is frustrating. Every illusion is a promise of disappointment. Many people never wake up to live out and experience their dreams. To cultivate the art of dreaming is very important; however, it is more important to know how these dreams will materialize in a practical manner. Objectivity is one of the principle measurements of distinguishing dreams from illusions.
The practice of spiritual objectivity speaks of the ability to establish living examples in accordance with the divine plan. We must hear God’s voice in order to recognize the right priorities that we must focus on in harmony with the moment. Spiritual objectivity is the fruit of intimacy with God’s divine purpose manifesting itself through a deep sense of destiny concerning our inheritance in God
Spiritual objectivity in prayer
The lack of objectivity communicated in many prayer meetings is tragic. Many prayers are as long-winded as they are empty, as religious as they are mystic and as foggy as they are unbelieving. It is common to hear prayers that are the exact opposite of what Jesus prayed: “Lord, bless all of the nations of the world and all the churches on the face of the earth!” Jesus simply prayed: “I ask not for the whole world”.
We can define prayer without objectivity as prayer that requires no evaluation of results. Effective prayer of the righteous involves specific motives and implies unquestionable effects and answers. They are shots fired under the precise guidance of a target. Spiritual objectivity in prayer demonstrates the exercise of faith. Vague and wide-reaching prayers attest to religiosity. They try to impress, but deep down inside those who offer them do not believe what they are praying.
Jesus did not meander in prayer; He enjoyed a focused intimacy with God through the Holy Spirit that pointed to prioritized responsibilities. He knew where He wanted to go. His prayers had a clear focus. When we speak of prioritized responsibilities we are principally speaking about praying for people and for the vision that God has directly given to us.
Jesus made it a point to limit His prayer. His prayers were short and sweet. His disciples would soon be under the same crossfire. He said: “I do not pray for the world”. He targeted his prayer to his primary scope of responsibility. Although they were few, Jesus interpreted the value of his responsibility to his disciples as far superior to that of what he had with respect to the whole world. This focusing power is distinctly impressive and strategically necessary.
We have the responsibility to know “who” and “what” God has entrusted to us. If you do not know whom God has entrusted to you, you must find out, and begin to cover these people in prayer. We must learn to pray specifically for the people who God has chosen and has given us to care for independently of our present position of leadership. These people constitute and represent a specific purpose of God, which we must strive to attain. Do not shrink from this objective responsibility! Do not question God as Cain did irresponsibly inquiring, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). God always entrusts people to other people.
The greatest responsibilities are usually small ones. God pays attention to how we face small responsibilities. This is the way that God tests us and knows whether we will remain faithful to Him or not. God is adamant in this: if we are not faithful in the little, we will not be faithful with much. No matter how much you desire or even “pray” for much, if you are not being faithful in the little, your prayer will be irresponsible and if God were to answer it, you could even be destroyed. Therefore, God will not give you the much.