The Causes of Spiritual Blindness

As we contemplate the state of things in the world today, it becomes clear that our root problem is spiritual blindness. It is a plague that infects our lives and spreads to the nations with incomprehensible speed. It seems apparent that many of the ills and troubles of our time are traceable to this central fact. The masses are blind, most leaders seem blind, and many Christians are blind to spiritual realities and scriptural truths. From both the Bible and personal experience, I see 10 major causes of spiritual blindness:

  1. Sin –“Those who have never seen, that need salvation.” These are blinded by original sin, so as Jesus said, “If the light that’s in you is darkness…how great is that darkness.” They are free to choose what they want, but not free to want what is right or true. In modern terms, “The Matrix is real!” Did you ever think something’s wrong…with me, the world, and you don’t know what it is? It’s sin…the matrix…it is everywhere, it’s all around you, and within you. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes.
  2. Satan –“Those that need deliverance.” Spiritual blindness is spiritual. Wow! 2Cor.4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded” them. This blindness is not only natural…it is supernatural. And, according to these Bible verses, it pollutes the mind…tainting our views and darkening one’s thoughts. It is the work of the Devil. Satan’s power is directed at men’s view of reality and is purposed to control our minds and blind us to the gospel and glory of God in Christ. We must fight the good fight of faith, and know that it’s a costly thing to seek spiritual understanding. That’s why there’s always spiritual warfare and conflict related to revelation, faith and godly vision.
  3. Syncretism –“Those who are not seeing very much, or very clearly.” These are the cultural Christians that have had a touch from Christ Jesus, but “still see men as trees walking.” A touch is not enough. Mixture and collage of belief systems means seeking the God we want rather than the God who is. This “shortsightedness” blurs everything you see. Tending towards shallow theology while being ½ hearted and culturally relevant…this deception views ultimate things in a “Que sera sera…whatever will be” way. This don’t rock the boat, politically correct ruse simply says “Whatever!” to what matters.
  4. Secularism –“Those who assume that this world –the material world –is all that there is.” It means “this worldly,” and refers to the belief that all that is real is here, now and physical. From Hellenistic Epicureans and Hebrew Sadducees, to our Modern atheists and Darwinian naturalists, these skeptical views deny the supernatural (spiritual) and the immortality of the soul. This endeavor to remove God and Judeo-Christian values and influence from the public arena is the first step on a slippery slope to “unmanageable evil.”
  5. Fear & Unbelief –“Those whose perspectives and thinking are tainted by doubt.” Insecurity and intimidation can twist perceptions until we’re convinced of illusions…haunted by what might happen. Fear is not an absence of faith…it is faith in the wrong thing. It’s clear from the scriptures that the major hindrance to Israel in the days of Moses, religious leaders at the time of Christ, with opposition to Paul’s gospel, and among modern Jews and secularists is the blinding power of unbelief. “If you would believe, you would see!”
  6. Pride & Prejudice –“Those who have seen, but have lost spiritual sensitivity and vision.” What they once had is gone, and like Samson with his shorn locks…they don’t even know what’s missing or lost. To lose spiritual sight is to lose the supernatural and spiritual distinctions of the spiritual life. This is the tragedy of Laodicea. Truly, there is much that needs to be said and seen related to this Laodicean condition that so characterizes the western church today. However, we will simply focus on the roots of this which are: indifference, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. When this is our state, the Lord says to us, “I counsel you to buy of me…and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see!”
  7. Greed –“Those who are blinded by covetousness and the desire for personal gain.” This is the “way of Balaam,” and is one of the most powerful influences in our world today. When your attention is constantly bound by thoughts of personal gain or loss, you may quickly become blind to the Lord’s presence and purposes. In Job 2:4, Satan shows both his contempt for and conviction of the nature of humanity and the character of Job. The world and Devil are utterly convinced that humans will only act selfishly! When motivated by supreme self-interest, we are bound by considerations of “What’s in it for me?!?” Ambition and avarice brings addiction to a quality of life mentality. This makes us totally predictable to the enemy, and leads us blindly into the trap of the Evil One. There is more to life than money and things…you cannot serve God and Mammon.
  8. Religion –“Those blinded by religious zeal, and performance orientation.” This was Saul of Tarsus before meeting the Living Christ on the road to Damascus. In Acts 26:9 he said, “I thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus.” What a shocking discovery, to find out that the things you thought (opinions and traditions of men),…and ethically, morally believed you ought to do to please God, be acceptable to HIM, and to have a clean conscience, were actually opposed to God. There is no greater blindness than religion. It substitutes zeal for intimate relationship, soul for Spirit, tradition for truth, works for grace, bondage for freedom, and often leads to meanness or militant inquisitions.
  9. Discouragement – “Those so hurt by people or circumstances that they lose hope and the ability to discern accurately.” This was the condition of the disciples after the cross and burial of Jesus. For them, pulverized by pain, desensitized by the shock of death, and gripped with the debilitating power of despair…Jesus and HIS promises were unrecognizable (Lk.24:16). Grieving loss, shattered dreams (ideals), chronic pain and unrealized expectations have the potential to paralyze and blind you in hopelessness and depression.
  10. Hatred –“Those with jealous envy and anger toward another.” Love is not blind…hatred is! And, it is one of the forces behind the increased violence and murders of today. 1Jn.2:11 says, “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness…he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

>We will have more on these in the days ahead…”Oh Lord, open our eyes!”

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