Blinded Minds (Part IV Cont’d, Follow the Leader Series)

I stood at the edge of the tool shed roof looking down at the ground with my heart pounding as my small hand gripped the handle of Grandma’s umbrella. I pictured myself floating gently to the ground, and shooting my pretend gun at pretend enemies and doing it over and over until suppertime . . . or until I got caught.

The thrill of my adventure lasted about as long as it took for the “whomph” sound to announce that Grandma’s umbrella had inverted itself and there’d be no floating going on in my trip down. Gravity reintroduced me to the ground a lot quicker than I envisioned, and I was also introduced to a changeless principle worth remembering. No matter how good an idea may sound, success requires more than sincerity and commitment. The successful fulfillment of every “what” that we imagine demands a corresponding and reliable “how”.

A Missing Principle ~
That simple cause-effect principle, by the way, seems to be missing from a lot of speeches we’re hearing these days promising all kinds of extravagant benefits for nothing. There’s a lot of emphasis on “what” and almost no mention of “how”. The absence of an answer to the “How” question isn’t surprising, though, since that part of the process hasn’t been discussed in university lecture halls for decades..

But I digress. Let’s get back to the subject. In last week’s post, we introduced a unique kind of vision disorder, a form of blindness that can’t be diagnosed with an eye chart or high tech optical equipment. Though this blindness often has physiological implications, it is basically a spiritual problem. The Apostle Paul mentioned it in reacting to questions and accusations regarding his ministry. Why was he so often persecuted for preaching a message filled with such hope and good news. His answer included this:

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV)

A Satanic Strategy ~
The “god of this age,” is another term for the devil, himself. He is the one guilty of creating and perpetuating this blindness, and he uses it to disrupt the ability of his victims to recognize truth and accurately interpret information. In doing that, he is also able to distort attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. Last week we looked at some of the characteristics of the disorder, but it’s also helpful to look beyond what the devil wants to do and explore some of the tools he uses to inflict us with it.

Paul indicated that the “how” part of the devil’s strategy is to put a veil over the minds of his prospective victims. That veil primarily filters out anything that validates God’s existence and His involvement in the real world but it does more than that. It also distorts and disrupts any other information vital to sound moral and ethical judgment. Since we’re encouraged not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices, let’s consider just a few of the tools he uses to put filters on our minds:

    • Pride is a major veil. Pride that blinds us isn’t what we feel when we see our kids perform well. It’s that arrogant self-exaltation that filled Lucifer’s heart when he decided he would take God’s place and declares “I know better than God, and I don’t need Him to tell me what’s good or evil.”
      • Lust is another prominent veil clouding the minds of untold millions. It’s a familiar term that is usually mentioned in a sexual context, but it encompasses much more than that. Lust is simply an inordinate craving, and it can relate to an obsessive desire for things other than sexual gratification. Here are some other ways lust shows up:
      • A quest for power and control–an intense desire to direct or manipulate the lives of others.
      • Greed–a desire for wealth and privilege that views the world in monetary terms and evaluates moral and ethical issues in terms of wealth and possessions.
      • A flawed view of self that results in a deep need for personal acceptance and approval–basing personal worth on the attitudes and reactions of others and adjusting their belief systems as necessary to accommodate them.
      • For many, lust can manifest itself in the context of food. For them, food is more than sustenance. Because it can be symbolic of cultural identity, ethnic connection, and even political and ideological acceptance, food and dietary issues can be a major sought-after mechanism to promote an agenda or as a means of manipulating and stigmatizing others.
    • Envy is more than a marketing strategy. It can be a mental veil that creates depression, anger, animosity, and prejudicial hatred. Envy can provide a basis for almost every form of antisocial and criminal act. It plagues the mind, robs the peace, and poisons the relationships of untold millions. It is foundational to the class warfare wreaking havoc in so many of our cities right now.
    • Some form of fear probably blinds everyone’s mind at one time or another. Fear is a reasonable and beneficial capacity, but it can be used to paralyze our minds and incarcerate us in an emotional prison. Fear is a thief that will rob its victims of some of life’s greatest treasures. Fear of losing, for instance, can rob us of the thrill of winning. Fear of the battle causes many to surrender without a fight and costs them any hope of experiencing the joy of victory.
    • Hate and/or a desire for revenge because of a perceived personal wrong can obliterate a mind’s ability to listen to truth or even care about potential consequences. Even when it isn’t extreme, it can be contagious and used to spread it’s toxic venom randomly to others. We’re seeing it’s awful potential for destruction play out in our country as its flames are fanned in social media every day.

A Paradoxical Reaction ~
The arch enemy of God works tirelessly to obscure truth and to make those basic principles God designed for our welfare unrecognizable. In spite of the fact that sin’s promises of utopian bliss always prove to be empty lies, the spiritually blind return to them again and again. In regard to that sad phenomenon, Jesus said this:

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:19-20 (NKJV)

Since the blind wouldn’t come to the Light, a loving and gracious God sent the Light to them. As He testified of Himself on more than one occasion.

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46 (NKJV)

The Task is Clear ~
When we see moral degradation and violence running rampant in the land and the lies promoting it being published as truth, it’s tempting to just retreat into our enclaves and curse the darkness. That will accomplish nothing, and it’s not our task. Our job is to introduce them to the only One who can bring sight to blind eyes. We begin by heeding Paul’s admonition to keep our own vision clear and our own minds continually renewed and clean.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

The followers of Jesus are the spiritual first responders sent against the plague of encroaching darkness. We may not be able to totally stop its destructive impact, but together we can slow the spread.


“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly to this article through Twitter.

    • “The devil’s strategy puts a veil over our minds that primarily filters out anything that validates God’s existence and His involvement in the real world – and distorts and disrupts any other information vital to sound moral and ethical judgment.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)

    • “‘Pride is that arrogant self-exaltation that filled Lucifer’s heart when he decided he would take God’s place and declares ‘I know better than God, and I don’t need Him to tell me what’s good or evil.’” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)  

    • “Providing a basis for almost every form of antisocial & criminal acts, envy can plague minds, rob our peace, & poison relationships of untold millions. It is foundational to class warfare wreaking havoc in so many of our cities right now.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)  

    • “We’re seeing hate’s awful potential for destruction play out in our country as its flames are fanned in social media every day. The arch enemy of God works tirelessly to make basic principles God designed for our welfare unrecognizable.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)  

    • “The followers of Jesus are the spiritual first responders sent against the plague of encroaching darkness. We may not be able to totally stop its destructive impact, but together we can slow the spread.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)  


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About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
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6 Responses to Blinded Minds (Part IV Cont’d, Follow the Leader Series)

  1. Such timely and important teachings here my friend. I thank you that you not only show us the problem, but you offer readers the solution. My take-away today; we must Stand Up for Christ! #StandUpForChrist. Well said author! On a personal note; I have to ask your forgiveness for snorting my coffee when I read your umbrella analogy. “An umbrella does not a canopy make.” Of course, some of the canopies I jumped under didn’t exactly give you a soft landing. We learned PLFs for a reason. 🙂 Thank you for your homespun humor and wit sir.

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    • You’re a regular “hoot” yourself, J.D. I really enjoyed your “Banding” article–what a neat object lesson that turned out to be. I guess now I can declare that I’ve been “saved, sanctified, branded and banded”. That ought to get some attention. And by the way, I’m also going to try not to miss you on PJNET on Thursday night now that life is settling down a bit for us. God bless you, my friend, your steadfast faithfulness in these turbulent times is inspiring and I know your insights are bearing fruit.

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  2. Shirley Cunningham says:

    Thank you Ron! We appreciate your blogs and the time it takes to put them together. They are very motivating!

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    • God bless you for your encouraging note, Shirley. We’ve never had a time when the prayers and open expressions of faith by God’s people were more vital than they are right now. Thank you for your faithful stand for Jesus Christ in these challenging days.

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  3. Your words never fail to inspire me, Ron, and this is no exception. We must stand strong for the Light and be the Light shining in these dark times. Know I will certainly continue to pray for this nation of ours, so ravaged by those who seek to destroy it, that God’s will WILL be done on earth as it is in heaven.
    Blessings!

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    • If there is a key to turning this current plague around and preventing others, Martha, it’s the prayers of faithful followers of Jesus like you. Every revival that has blessed the Church and prospered everyone else has found its roots in prayer. It sounds simplistic, and maybe it is, but the profound wisdom and power of it has been displayed again and again. We won’t be delivered by charismatic preachers, clever advertising, or a social media campaign. If we fail to pray passionately and persistently, we won’t be delivered at all. God bless you for sending your heart along with your words–again.

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