I have a new website! You will be redirected to my brand new blog. Cory Nickols: Having Eyes To See

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Having Eyes To See

For many years of my life, I did not see anyone hurting because I was so hurt. I thought I was the only one going through rough times and honestly, I did not care about the problems or challenges of other people. Was I a Christian? Yes, but a very carnal, self absorbed one at best. In college, God became the center of my life and He began to heal me from the inside out. Shortly after this took place, I was asked to volunteer as a youth leader on a rafting/ camping trip with a Christian ministry. I accepted the invitation and it dramatically changed the way I look at life. For the first time, I saw other hurting people and it was like God took the veil off my eyes to see. I remember this young kid maybe 10 or 11 years old. He was the tough guy on the trip, but was maybe pushing 70 lbs…really intimidating. He was the loud one in the bunch and many of the other kids made fun to the point a fight broke out amongst them. I broke it up and went on a walk with this young kid. He began to open up to me about his life at home…no dad, his mom was a drug addict and her live-in boy friend was high on drugs trying to beat her. He told me he had to kick his mom’s significant other out of the house and fend for his younger sister. He was crying while sharing with me. My heart broke for this young boy and I so wanted to make a difference in his life. I cannot remember everything I shared with him, but I showed him the love that God was showing me. I listened a lot and was just there for him!

How would the world look if we had eyes to see the way God sees? Would we react differently to situations that cause us to want to run in the opposite direction or say something we regret later? I am reminded of the woman caught in adultery.

John 8:3-11
As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

The religious leaders saw a woman who had fallen short of the law. They wanted to condemn her and see she got her just punishment. Jesus saw a woman in need of His love, acceptance and forgiveness. As she turned to Him for help, He would empower her to change. It was His act of love and mercy that drew her to God. She knew she had messed up and was well aware of her own sinful condition. God sees so differently than we do and we need to ask God to help us see from His perspective. Otherwise, we are blind guides leading people down a wrong path instead of into the Savior’s arms.

When I lived in Atlanta, I was involved with a youth group at the church I attended. One night, I took two other youth leaders out to dinner and while we were standing in line to order, a woman looked at me and very rudely said, “Are you done ordering? There are a lot of people in line behind you!” I was definitely taken by surprise with her response.  However, I started to mature in my Christian walk to know that I do not react by the way that I feel, so I got quiet and was trying to listen to what God wanted me to say to her. I looked straight at her and spoke what the Lord put on my heart and she said back to me, “what you said was of God!” She then started asking me all sorts of questions about my relationship with God and while I was talking, an older gentleman had been listening to our conversation while standing behind us and he asked if he and the lady I was talking with could sit down with me and my friends. I said of course. They both began to share the difficult situations going on in their lives. At the end of our conversation, which lasted 2.5 hours, they asked if I would disciple them. I graciously said yes, and I started my first bible study at my house for the two of them and some friends in my cul-de-sac. This was the beginning of my ministry.

Just think if I had given this woman a piece of my mind. I would not have had the opportunity to minister to her and bring healing into her life. The same is true of the gentleman I spoke with. Jesus used me as His ambassador because my heart and spiritual eyes were open to His leading. What if Jesus would have responded the way the religious leaders wanted Him to? Do you think the woman would have received Jesus as her Savior and Lord? Too many of us respond out of the flesh and never see God move in a powerful way because we cannot discern His voice and be led by Him. Jesus, when put into a difficult spot, crouched down in the sand and waited on God to give Him direction. Then He got up and spoke what the Father wanted Him to say.

The next time you find yourself dealing with difficult people ask God to help you see from His vantage point and give you the wisdom to speak a word of encouragement or to respond properly. You never know, it just might save somebody’s life. Hurting people hurt people. It is easy to fall into this cycle, but it takes a mature person being led by the Spirit of God to respond correctly. Will you allow God to lead and guide you to be a healing vessel to people in your world? Maybe you have not had eyes to see for years like I did, but God is whispering to you today to open your spiritual eyes and accomplish the good works He has in store for you. Will you have eyes to see?

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