Beth Moore - Vision Testing - Part 4
I want you to notice something. You've got to see the juxtaposition of the end of 14 and the beginning of 15. Remember, the Word of God was inspired by God. It is God-breathed. But the chapters and verses were put in later. That's to help us with order. But it wasn't there originally. So you have to go straight from, it would read just like this: "They brought in the ones who were sick. They begged him that they might only touch the end of his robe, but as many as touched it were healed. Then Jesus was approached by the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, who said, 'Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat.'"
I want you to understand something because we live with this constantly. And if this is us, we desperately need God to show this to us. In a world of sorrow and suffering, we keep wanting to talk about handwashing. He's just seen all this human suffering, people just begging to get to him, clamoring to get to the hem of his robe, and here come the Pharisees and scribes, going, "Your disciples don't wash their hands. And so you wanna talk, you're gonna talk to, oh, you wanna talk to me about handwashing! All this sorrow, all this suffering, and you wanna talk to me about handwashing"? Matthew 23:24 says: "Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, but gulp down a camel"!
Straining a gnat, can you see it, just straining a gnat, straining a gnat, straining a gnat, and meanwhile we need to floss the camel hair out of our teeth. What is wrong with us, me, what's wrong with me that I cannot see it in myself? If you have the courage, turn with me to Luke chapter 6. Luke chapter 6. If you don't have the courage, I'm going to read it aloud anyway. Listen, if this steps all over your toes, I need you to know something. It has nearly beaten me to death all week long. You know what I'm saying to you? Because here's the thing about teaching. If a teacher is worth his or her salt, they have been put before that Word throughout the entire preparation and it has had its way with them and these words have had their way with me.
I want you to see with me Luke 6:37 through 42: "'Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.'" And he told them this parable: "Can the blind guide the blind? Won't they both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother's eye, but you do not notice the beam of wood in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out that splinter that's in your eye,' when you yourself don't see the beam of wood in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the splinter in your brother's eye".
Then you will see clearly. Then you will see clearly. Then you will see clearly. Let me tell you, we're resistant to deal with the log in our own eye but here's what I'm gonna tell you. It's impairing our vision, so this is about repentance, certainly, but it's not only about repentance. You and I are trying to see by way of the Spirit what is it that is impairing the way we see? What is causing our vision to be off, our perceptions to be off? Distorting the picture that we see, the log in our own eye. If that doesn't get removed, then we look at everyone in a distorted way.
It brings us to our next point. Please write this one down: "THIS EYE DOCTOR CAN EXCISE FOREIGN OBJECTS FROM OUR EYES". You know, I tell you, we've all got blind spots, don't we? And here's the thing, is that we're the only ones blind to our blind spots. Everybody else can see 'em. You know, it's such an annoying thing because we think because we're blind to 'em nobody else can see 'em, but they're like, "Man, does she ever have blind spots. Those are more like, honestly, this is what she's picking on, and she can't even see this"? I feel like maybe one of our first clues with what our blind spots may be, because we're blind to our blind spots, but one way we probably can recognize them is that we despise them in other people.
What is it that gets on your nerves the most in other people? What gets on your nerves? Because chances are, it's your blind spot, it's your blind spot. Because actually, you're looking in the mirror. I'm looking in the mirror, and so it's really, really getting on me because I don't wanna see it and it annoys me when you act like what I am. Lord, show us where are we just blind. I started thinking of some of the blind spots that may be in our lives and I thought I wanna use one that's really on the radar right now and common so that we can all just kind of go there for a minute. One of 'em, of course, can be racism and here's an interesting thing about it, because so many of us will swear and declare that we are not racist while almost everybody in our lives is very similar to us.
See, here's where we have a blind spot because we think every racist is hateful and angry and that could not be less true. There are hateful, angry racists, but there are also very happy racists, racists with great personalities. And one reason they're really happy is because they have successfully managed their lives where they don't have to be around the people that they are most prejudiced toward. Therefore, they can say, "I'm not racist. I don't feel any of that hate". Well, yeah, "'cause I don't ever put myself around any of 'em". Anybody getting what I'm saying? We can see, I say this quietly, how we feel about people unlike us by looking around us and if they're not there, we have to face the fact that we've probably got ourselves a problem. Think it's right, I'm gonna tell you something that's happening today and I know, you need to know I'm not cynical about, I see lots of wonderful things going on in the church today.
I love the fact that we're understanding now that we carry the gospel into every kind of field, any kind of honest, ethical work is a place for the gospel. In my day, we used to think that it was always somehow ministry-related within the church. It was on the mission field. I do think we're understanding today. I think there's been a worship movement. Certainly, a discipleship movement. So many things going on, but I'm gonna tell you, what is quickly dropping out of the church vocabulary and it will be death to us. And I do mean, I'm gonna be real dramatic here and say it just like I mean, death to us. And that is when we lose the word "repentance". Because listen, we don't just have to repent, we get to. What you gonna do with the fact that we repent of our sins, we confess our sins, and we are purified completely from our sin?
I ask people all the time, you know, can you find a better deal than Jesus? Because if you can, go do it. I just, I don't know, what are you gonna do with the one that said, "I'll take all of it. I will take all of it on me, every single bit of it on me. I will take it all. All you have to do is put your trust in me. I will take every bit of it for you. I will take it". We have to own it, and truly, today, we will not know revival without repentance. And I just pray today that this will just be the day of just repenting of our slander and our gossip, our self-righteousness and our pride and our arrogance, our condemnation of others, our sexual sins and strongholds. Can you imagine what would happen among us if there was a move of repentance? Jesus is still calling us to repentance.
"THIS EYE DOCTOR CAN HELP US TO NOT ONLY SEE, BUT TO SEE IN". Would you go with me to Philippians chapter 1. Philippians chapter 1, verses 9 and 10. Listen to these words. I love 'em in every translation, but my favorite translation for this one is the NIV and it's what I learned this verse in: "And this is my prayer," this is the apostle Paul "putting a prayer on our times, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ". "That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best".
Listen carefully. I mean, this is something to start praying today. This is so important because here's what we think, we sort of think about when we think about insight 'cause when we're talking about he not only helps us to see, but helps us to see in. But the purpose of having insight into another or into their situation or into what is up in this situation or relationship, what is up in this conflict, is not so that we can dislike them more, but so that we can love more and more. This is gonna be the big difference between the way God wants our eyes to see. Remember that one of our points is it's not only what we see, it is how we see. And God is going, "I wanna give you vision so that you will love more and more". The enemy's going, "I wanna give you vision so that you will hate more and more, so that you will judge more and more, so that you will condemn more and more".
Our insight, when it's coming from God, the insight that we get is going to free us up to love and it won't be because we're kidding ourselves. I mentored a young woman that was just in the biggest mess. This was many, many years ago, and the Lord told me pretty early on, "She is lying to you like a dog". I just kept loving her and just kept, I kept thinking to myself, "You lyin'. You lyin'. You just lyin'". Some months in, she said, "You know I've been lyin'"? I said, "I know you've been lyin'". And you know, knowing, good and well, she was lying to me, God still just so put her on my heart that I came to love her so much and that girl is walking with the Lord in such might and strength today. Ah, there's just no one he can't reach. There's just nothing. But remember with me that the end result is that we would love more and more, not less and less.
Do you need insight? This is what Proverbs says over and over. I do this at home early in the morning sometimes 'cause there's, my husband's in another room with the door shut. He's gonna be asleep. I'm in there. But what Proverbs says over and over is, "Cry out for it. Cry out for it". So I do that. I'm like, "I need insight. I need revelation". Anybody know what I'm talking about? "I need it, Lord, I need it. I need wisdom in the worst way". I wanna read something here. You sit tight, I'm gonna read it to you. I want you write down the address, 1 John 2:11. 1 John 2:11, and I want you to hear this verse because, oh, I pray this is gonna get to somebody today. Man, it got to me. It got to me. 1 John 2:11 says this: "But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes".
I wanna be... you know what? I'm just gonna be straightforward here, and be straightforward here because for many of us, our freedom is at stake here. So why, you know, dance around it when we could just go ahead and say it? Maybe we could be real blunt and get freed up. But let me tell you something. If we have hate in our hearts toward people, and we're saying, like, "I don't know why the Lord is not guiding me right now. I just I don't know where I", it's because we are in darkness when we hate people. And we're not just in darkness where they're concerned. We're walking in darkness. Today, would you join me in repenting of our hate for people? That if you got somebody in your heart that just like, let me tell you something: God will not let me enjoy my hate, and it drives me crazy. He does this over and over again and you know, some of you think, "I just can't believe she said she's hated," oh, and so have you. Oh, and so have you. We all have. We all have.
I'm gonna give you one example but he's done this every time. Our entire pattern of relationship goes like this every single time: I will have someone that I will think, "Really, honestly, the thing about it is I wanted to love you, but you have made it so hard that I cannot stand you". I want, you know, because I'm a happy person. I sort of like people. And so it takes a while. You have to sort of beat it out of me. And then I'm going like, "Ah-huh, now that you've started the beating, I can finish it". So, you know what I'm talking about? And so, just we'll use that and there is... so I'm gonna use one example but it's one example of many.
There is a particular stream of the body of Christ that is particularly nasty to me. And they have caused me so much pain. They've lied, lied, said that I believed things that I didn't, that I teach things that I don't. I mean, I've just been going like, "I'm about to pull my hair out over you". And I mean, there's no way to just sit, just put out fires all the time. It's just so annoying.
Well, about a week and a half ago, I was on book tour for "Chasing Vines". And there was a man who was driving us all week long and, oh, he was so fun, just such a great guy. And I don't know, I just got to talking at the table. We were at "In-N-Out" one night in Dallas, and I just was, like, we started talking about, they were just asking me how I was doing. I said, "Well, you know," dah, dah, dah. And I said, "You know, it's these guys," and I went on to describe 'em. Well, of course, he's from that same exact stream. I knew everybody started acting a little weird at the table and I was like, you know, "Please, Lord, no. Please, Lord, no! Please"!
You know, I think I had gone so far as to say I couldn't stand him. I mean, it was like that. It was not good. It was not good at all. I hope I didn't cuss. And I just thought, you know, I thought later, "Why can't you just leave me alone in it? Why do you do this every time"? Because see, I liked that guy so much. I thought, "Don't make me like them. Don't make me like 'em". But doesn't he do it? Doesn't he do it? Friend of mine, Pastor Dwight McKissic, said something yesterday on Twitter that I jotted down because it has everything to do with us. He said, "Everyone brings a pair of lenses to every conversation, based on their sum total of life experiences, education, exposure, and world view".
These are my grandmother's glasses. I slept with my grandmother. I had two brothers and two sisters and I was kind of the odd man out. As my grandmother lived with us, I had the joy of being raised in a three-generational home. And so we slept on a feather mattress together. If you've been in the Bible studies for years, you would remember this story perhaps that she and I shared just a double bed. It was a very soft mattress, feather mattress, and I was a very scrawny kid and I would go to bed first and I would hang on to the side of it like this and my grandmother was a very supple woman and she would get on her side and the whole thing would just cave down over her side. And then I would just roll down under her like this, and I would sleep there in the cleft of the rock. Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
And she would say, the next day, my mother would invariably say, "How did you sleep, Mama"? 'Cause this was her mama. "How did you", she says, "Well, you know, little Bethy, she just sleeps all over me". Well, no kidding! There are so many things I want to see like my grandmother saw them, but I do not want to see people of color like my grandmother saw them. It was an enormous blind, this is somebody that loved church, loved it. And of the language that she would use and the things that she would say, things that we were taught to think. We get to take off the lenses, the colored lenses, of the people that trained us up.
We get to say, "You know what? If you don't see them the way Jesus sees 'em, you know what I get to do? I get to say, 'Thank you. I love you. I'm so glad you've been in my life for a thousand reasons. I don't want your lenses. I want me some S-O-N glasses. That's what I want. I want the lens of Christ.'" 2 Corinthians 5:16 through 19 say this: "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! And all this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation".
Oh, I pray today is a day of coming home to someone. I want you to just stand to your feet. I wanna tell you a story as we do, just a brief one. It's an oddity that I have found in relationships and I bet you have too. And this is about how we see one another. I come from so much trash. You know, I have said a number of times that maybe my pattern of such destructive decisions came from my abuse as a child and the instability in my home, but I don't know who I would have been. Maybe I'd have made those same decisions without it, I don't know. But I have people in my life, I'm looking around to see if I can get some people to relate with me on this, that have seen me at the worst of times.
Anybody else in the room embarrassed themselves ever in front of people, like, you had it going on for a while and then you lost it, and they were around you when you did and so all of a sudden it was like... Well, I found a pattern. I found that if those people aren't in my life on a regular basis, when I do run into them again, they have to bring it back up. The thing I'm thinking about right now, a time of defeat in my life, was over 30 years ago. And I have some friends from that period of time that I don't even like to get with when they're in town because they cannot help but they have to. They have to. Because it's when they felt empowered and liked it when I felt weak.
What are we doing? In case they have believed God and really do believe themselves to be cleansed, "Oh, let's do remind them how dirty they were. Oh, let's do. What good sisters we would be to remind somebody. 'Oh, I remember how dirty you were.'" Instead of, "I need you to help me remember, I need your help to remember, I have a hard enough time with regret without you helping me remember how filthy I was. What I need you to do for me is help me remember I am cleansed, and I want to be one of those voices in your life that says, 'Girlfriend, you have been cleaned by the power of the cross of Christ.'"