Spiritual Blindness (Luke 18:11)
Luke 18:11, The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
The Pharisee assumed his acceptance with God was based on his own actions rather than his need of Christ righteousness. Today, we typically call these modern-day Pharisees the “self-righteous”. The self-righteous possess a pharisaical attitude. The root of their problem, as we so often find in our day, was in their pride. They are confident in their own righteousness and believe they can produce within themselves a righteousness that will be acceptable to God. All the while, they fail to realize how far short of His perfection they fall.
The Pharisees only wanted to look at the surface issues. They never sought to go deeper to the heart of the matter. They suffered from spiritual blindness; particularly in the area of depth perception. Unfortunately, in spiritual matters, seeing falsely is worse than being blind. The blind at least know they cannot see. The Pharisees were quick to condemn others and justify themselves, even though they were guilty of the same sins that they were condemning in others.
Before the seventeenth century, when people looked at a lake or a pond or a glass of water, they judged it clean if they could see through it. But in 1674 the Dutchman Leeuwenhoek filled a glass vial with water, began curiously looking at it through his newly acquired microscope lens, and saw, as he quaintly put it, "very many small animalcules." He then examined a drop of water and jotted down his findings: I now saw very plainly that these were little eels, or worms, lying all huddled up together and wriggling; just as if you saw, with the naked eye, a whole tubful of very little eels and water, with the eels a-squirming among one another: and the whole water seemed to be alive with these multifarious animalcules.
When we turn the magnifying glass of God's Word onto what is inside us, we find a house full of squirming critters and realize our own unworthiness. Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? The great problem concerning a pharisaical attitude is that they are strangers to themselves. They look at the errors of others through a microscope and see all the squirming animalcules, but they look at their own sins through the wrong end of a telescope and fail to spot the hideous sins lurking in their own soul. They live with an unpleasant unconsciousness of their own sin. Self-righteousness is a very difficult sin to get carnal people to see, and as a result, they tend to justify themselves by blaming others.
No Biblically sound, Spirit-filled Christian should ever look self-righteously upon an unbeliever, because the believer understands his own humanity and heart—his proneness to wander. Any mature Christian would recognize the error of this knowing they too possess a sin nature. God’s remedy concerning sin is to get right and be real about sin. Come to Christ and confess your sins and turn from them and He will forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
PRAYER: Father, You are a loving God and so full of mercy! Thank You for accepting me as Your child. I ask that you erase my sense that I have to follow a set of rules to impress You. Cleanse my mind of all that would cause me to sin. Create in me such a love for You and Your Word that my thoughts remain pure and full of the things of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.