Recently I heard in my spirit, “you cannot see what you won’t submit to.” As I began to inquire unto the Lord what this meant I began to receive some understanding on how submitting in obedience may not show us the end result or even the next step but submission will eventually bring forth vision. Some might ask how one can submit to something they cannot fully see or understand. Of course, the answer is, by faith. For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good testimony. Heb 11:2. We give testimony or bear witness to God’s goodness, mercy and faithfulness when we submit to His will and allow Him to direct us even if we are blind to the result.
Submit, Go, See
In the following verses, we read about a man, blind from birth, receiving his sight because he was willing to submit to the direction of Jesus Christ.
1 Now as [Jesus] passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.
6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. [Jhn 9:1,6-7 NKJV]
The first thing the blind man had to do in order to see was to agree with Jesus and allow Him to put mud on his eyes. According to what we read, Jesus didn’t give this man direction or even explain what He was doing for He had just finished a conversation with His disciples. Jesus bent over, picked up clay and spit in it then, without the man seeing Him do this, Jesus put it on his eyes. The man didn’t struggle or ask what Jesus was doing, he simply submitted to the plan. Next the blind man had to submit to His direction and go where he was sent, once getting to the pool of Siloam there he washed his eyes and came back seeing. First, he submitted in agreement to Christ and then he went and then he saw.
The Bible records numerous times that “having eyes to see they do not see and having ears to hear they don’t hear.” This can be worded in various ways depending on the location of the verse and version of the Bible but the meaning is the same. People have an ability to see and hear but for various reasons they don’t. It could be stubbornness, pride, rebellion, fear and many other reasons but all of these will lead to a refusal to submit to God’s plans and purposes for their lives which blocks the ability to see.
Sight Follows Blindness
In the book of Acts 9:1-19, we read about a man named Saul of Tarsus who would later be named Paul. This man described himself as one who was under the authority of the Jews and allowed to bind Christians and persecute them even to death. 1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. [Act 9:1-2 NKJV]
Paul was on his way to get letters from the high priest at the synagogue that were basically a death sentence for Believers in Jesus, when he encountered the Lord on the road to Damascus. Most of us know this story. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. The voice of Jesus called him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Acts 9:4.
There is so much we can glean from these words but I want to stay focused on submission bringing vision. Saul had a suddenly come about in his life that brought him to his knees – a posture of submission. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought [him] into Damascus. [Act 9:8] After Saul was blinded by the bright light that shone on him he was led blindly to a man named Judas’ house who lived on a street called Straight. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. [Act 9:9] During this time, Saul was praying and had a vision of a man named Ananias, coming to him to lay hands on him so he could receive his sight.
Saul has had a dramatic submission that will lead to a radical change to the point of a completely new identity. This should be every believers experience, not being blinded but being radically transformed after an encounter with Jesus. When we take a moment to really look at the condition of our hearts and believe that God loved us so much He sent His Son to die for us so we could live, we should be radically converted because we don’t deserve such treatment!
Suffering Produces Power
Now Ananias is minding his own business when he suddenly gets a word from God giving him instruction to go to Saul, the persecutor of Christians and lay hands on him and heal him. 13 Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 "And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." [Act 9:13-16 NKJV]
Most messages of the Gospel today reflect a grace message that instills an idea that everything in our lives will be great if we would just accept Jesus, however, this is contrary to the words of Jesus Christ for He said in this world there would be trials. God told Ananias that Saul was going to suffer much for His name’s sake. Can you imagine if when you asked Jesus Christ to take your life, you were told there would be suffering? I think the altar calls would be much different than it is today if we truly understood the dramatic change that was required of us to go from sinner to saint!
In Philippians 3:10 Paul the converted Saul, said that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
Paul was good with knowing nothing except Christ crucified probably because everything he had lived his life for turned out to be a lie. It’s like that today, everything we think this world can provide is nothing but lies and one day when we awaken to the truth of grace we don’t want to know anything else for fear of being misled!
Certain types of power can only come from suffering. Christ’ power came in its fullness after the crucifixion. This is when He made a spectacle of Satan on the cross, and He went to Hades and took the keys to the gates of death. He now determines who enters which kingdom. The keys represent control, Jesus took control of life and death via the cross.
What Jesus Christ did through His suffering brought power to another level for Him and allowed Him to release that power to us as well as the ability to use keys to open and shut, power to bind and loose! When we truly understand where suffering can lead us then we can release the power of God that is within us.
Ok so back to Ananias and Saul who is now Paul. After the Lord told Ananias His plans for Paul he went. 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes [something] like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. [Act 9:17-18 NKJV]
Sometimes God will give us a reason for His sending us and at other times He won’t. Ananias was told why God wanted him to go to Straight street and see Saul, having this information probably gave him the courage to step out and go to a man with such an awful reputation.
Saul had a “suddenly” encounter with God while on the road to continued destruction. This was such an interruption to his routine that it caused a submission when he fell to the ground. After the scales came off of Saul’s eyes he was then able to see the call upon his life and be converted to Paul. His identity had turned around supernaturally and he began to preach the truth about Jesus.
Both of these men had to hear, submit at some level and go before they were able to see. Ananias submission gave him the honor of praying and healing the man who would later start hundreds of churches and bring entire cities to the salvation of Jesus and Saul became Paul and wrote more than half of the NT we have today!
What do you think God can do through you if you will hear, submit and go?
Heavenly Father, thank You for the ministry of the Cross of Christ, thank You Jesus for teaching me submission and for giving me vision. Today, I ask that You would unveil my heart and give me understanding of what I need to submit to in order to see the greater cause that is set before me. Today I choose to follow You at a greater level, I choose to quit running and fighting You and allow You to make me the new person You said I would be if I gave my life to You. I give You my life today and say Holy Spirit have Your way in it. In Jesus name, Amen