Lessons from Blind Bartimaeus can be applied to modern times |
Today, there are voices everywhere crying follow me here or follow me there. And book publishers today have made it possible for literally every person to write a book, many of which give us additional information on a given topic.
But the people I admire the most and would listen to first are people who have had a terrible experience in life but have managed to manipulate their experience to come out on top.
I want to quickly add, as a Christian, the first thing I look for is if many of them have found Christ or found their answers through Christ. Former drug addicts, who are now pastors with radio and television programs that cover the whole country. There are many levels of people who have been through breakups, bankruptcies, heartbreaks and losses of all kinds that are now leading millions of people through these difficult times in life.
Readers probably still think of the name of someone who had words of encouragement and direction when you were going through a tough time. We’ve probably all watched or listened to a show and heard someone say something that has helped us.
My best source of help always comes from the pages of the Bible because when you think about it, many characters in the Bible, just like today, went through a tough time in life, met God, found their answer and it has not only changed their lives, but has the ability to change ours. Some people even know above Bible stories, we find principles in the Bible. A principle is something almost like a law of nature. When applied, it works when and where someone applies it.
I once heard of a man who became very rich simply by reading a chapter of Proverbs every day. And guess what? He was not a Christian. He learned to glean principles and applications from this one book of the Bible, apply them to business and life, and find great success. They work.
Let me take you to the story of a blind man found in Mark 10 from verse 46. His name was Bartimeus. We don’t know how long he was blind, but we assume it was his whole life. Like most residents of Israel at that time, word got around that there was someone named Jesus who could pray for people and all kinds of illnesses were instantly cured including leprosy, deafness and even blindness.
This story begins with Bartimeus sitting by the side of the road, begging. He had no resources to get to this Jesus, but we can be sure he prayed for a day to meet Jesus and see if this miracle man could help him with his personal problem. Then one day, without notice, Bartimeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was just around the corner coming towards him. The story goes on that Bartimeus cries so hard that people tried to silence him, but he cried all the harder, determined to get Jesus’ attention.
Jesus stopped, asking him what he wanted. When he told his sight, Jesus didn’t even have to lay hands on him or touch him. Bartimeus was healed. Unknowingly, Bartimeus has stumbled across a few principles that get God’s attention and often His response every time.
The first biblical principle he conveys is this. Many times you need an answer for something, you pray and then you have to be totally ready for when, where and how Jesus opens doors for you. The principle is called “your visiting day”. When God comes, it’s not on our terms, but on His terms. It’s in His way and it’s not always at the right time.
A move of God continues, but church X cannot participate because it is in the middle of a program. Church Y cannot participate because they have other things on their schedule. Unless we stay in the presence of God and understand how God works, we can miss our very visitation day, the time we have been praying for for years. But Bartimaeus was ready and jumped through his door of opportunity.
But Bartimeus also unknowingly applied a second principle. He was blind and knew he had to scream and scream and scream before all the rest of the crowd. And even when those around him tried to silence him, he cried all the more. The second principle is that even when God opens the door of opportunity, we must attract His attention. Bartimeus cried more than anything else.
In today’s culture there has been a cry for revival for many years and I truly and wholeheartedly believe that our visitation day is now. We are all busy. We are all overloaded with life’s distractions. Then it took a blind man for Jesus to stop and perform a miracle.
Who will be Hawkins County Blind? I believe the next steps will be through repentance, fasting, and prayer to get Jesus’ attention at the most important moment of the visitation.
I believe an August crusade is part of what we have been praying for, part of our opportunity and I want to put my schedule aside and do the most important thing, the most important thing. I know there are many more Bartimeus in the county today ready to join us for the next thing God is about to do.
Who will join me?