‘God desires to visit his people with revival rather than judgment.’  Wesley Duewel.  “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire?  Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”  God is saying; you are betrothed to me!  One day there will be the most glorious wedding day that there ever has been!  And yet you forget me!

This morning I preached on John 9 and the account of the man who Jesus sought out to heal and then to save.  You might want to read the story before continuing.  http://www.youversion.com/bible/nkjv/john/9/1

This passage shows us that Jesus is the Light of the World.  But also that we are called to be the light of the world now!  Check out Matt 5:14 if you’re not sure about that.  Now that He has ascended, we are here to be the light of the world.  Also, even more astonishingly, we are called to be sons of God just as He is the son of God.  He had to work the works of the Father, as it says in John 9:4.  And while it is day, while there is the opportunity, we need to do that too.  So many encounters in the gospels are one-off – he wasn’t passing that way again.  The heart of the Father is to bring light, and to bring healing, and to bring salvation.  To open blind eyes.

What stops us from opening blind eyes?  Jesus was holy.  We have to be holy too.  We have to remember that every sin we commit helped nail him to the Cross.  Do you think the Father didn’t grieve when Jesus was dying on that cross?  Sure, he delights in us every time we run to Him, every time we cry out.  But he also weeps when we turn from him, when we tolerate and even cherish sin in our lives.  ‘Sin is not just bad.  It neutralizes our good intentions’.  Don’t allow it house-room.  If you have God’s will spoken over your life, but you have sin in your life, the sin will win.  Sin NEVER does it what it says on the tin.  It is always a disappointment, always a scam.  The devil delights to see the sons and daughters of God tangled up in sin.

We are called to work the works of the Father just like Jesus.  Notice if you read how the man who had his eyes opened was not even a Christian, had not even met Jesus yet, but he was defending him, and witnessing to the Pharisees: “Do you want to be his disciples too?  How come you don’t know him, when he opened my eyes!”

New Christians have a childlike, a simple faith.  That’s why we need to spend lots of time around them!  We are called to be a mission church, and we should be geared up to relate to sinners.  Read this account of Wigglesworth, the Bradford plumber, an uneducated and at one point inarticulate man, who healed another man born blind:

This man stayed behind in Wigglesworth’s healing service in Switzerland in the 1920’s.  He refused to leave until he could see: “because of the Word preached in the afternoon, he was not going home until he could see.  If ever I have seen joy, it is when I have a lot of people who will not be satisfied until they get all that they have come for.  With great joy, I anointed him and laid hands on his eyes.  Immediately, God restored his vision.  It was very strange how the man reacted.  There were some electric lights.  First he counted them; then he counted us.  Oh, the ecstatic pleasure that this man experienced every moment because of his sight!  It made us all feel like weeping and dancing and shouting.  Then he pulled out his watch and said that for years he had been feeling the raised figures on the watch in order to tell the time.  But now, he could look at it and tell us the time.  Then looking as if he had just awakened from some deep sleep, or some long, strange dream, he realised that he had never seen the faces of his mother and father.  He went to the door and rushed out.  That night, he was the first person to arrive at the meeting.  All the people knew him as the blind man and I had to give him a long time to talk about his new sight.”  p.146Wigglesworth, The Complete Story.

When Jesus comes as the Son of God, extraordinary things happen.  We should expect this all the time.  He will answer our prayers.  But we have to pray them!  There is a real urgency in this gospel account; Jesus wanted to get on and do the works of the Father.  So do we.  We cannot hold back.  We need to lose our English reserve.  Perhaps you are thinking: “I want to be of use for the Lord.  But I have too many problems.”  God starts with our problems.  Time and again when you read accounts of revival, the breakthrough comes when people are able to admit their problems.  When they turn their outward prayers that have been focused on the need in the world, on the need in their hearts and say: “Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?”  That’s where he started with this man born blind.  “our problems do not impede his movement, they invite his movement.”  Invite God, without doubting, to move in your life and he will move.  He has promised it.

Every human respond to Jesus, whether they consciously choose to or not.  It is never too soon, if you are blind, to be given sight!  It’s never too soon, if you are sick, to be made well.  It’s also never too soon to be forgiven; you don’t know what you’re missing!  You cannot possibly yield your heart to Jesus too soon.  Remember, Jesus comes to bring revival or judgment.  He comes to seek and save the lost; but just as a bright light casts a darker shadow, so those who are in darkness are now in a deeper darkness if they have not turned to him.  John 3:19 “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Let’s just read the end of the account again: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and when he found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  He replied, Who is he, sir?  Tell, me, that I may believe in Him.”  Jesus said to him, “You have seen him; it is he who is speaking to you.”  He said, “I believe, Lord.”  And he prostrated himself before him.”

Before, the man had  only heard the voice of Jesus as he was putting the mud on his eyes and sending him to wash.  When Jesus sought him out, he worshipped Him and saw Him as Lord.  The man moves in the space of a few hours, through the miraculous power of God, from seeing Jesus merely as a man, to a prophet, to ‘sent from God’, and finally to Lord.  Have you made that progression.  Are your eyes fully opened to Jesus as God?

I wonder if you feel that you have only heard faintly of Jesus, and what he might be like?  It does not compare with ‘seeing’ him.  Job was an upright man, who walked with integrity if ever a man did.  But when God came down and Job saw him, he changed his tune:   Job 42:6-7: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You, therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  This is where we begin before Him, and this is where revival starts and judgment is averted.