Even though accepting Christ and being born again is a dramatic, life-changing event, anyone who knows Jesus can confirm that they still need to grow in the faith. Our tongues are not always tamed and our thoughts are not all like Christ’s. Growing spiritually is an ongoing process that takes meaningful cooperation with our Lord.

If God is all powerful, why won’t He simply take all of our problems away? Firstly, He wants our cooperation and our trust, which we cannot give without having the free will to disobey. Second, we must willingly say “yes” to Jesus every step of the way, as we are dependent on Him. It is not an automatic transformation.

Take note of the passage in Mark 8:22-26 wherein Jesus prays for a blind man two times. In this story, we see a representation of our own spiritual growth:

“Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he was anything.

And he looked up and said, ‘I see men like trees, walking.’

Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, ‘Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.’”

Jesus didn’t make a mistake when He prayed the first time, and His power wasn’t so limited that He could only heal the man halfway. Sometimes, healing is a process, and we can need more than one prayer.

Having a godly mindset is likewise a process. The blind man did not at first understand what he saw, as the perception was new to him. When we are unable to see the world correctly, as God does, He takes us into deeper process.

Jesus led the man in Bethsaida out of the town and spit in his eyes. It seems uncomfortable and harsh to gain spiritual perception and leave behind our lifelong blindness. God will lead you away from your old community or your old habits, and He will introduce you to truth that seems strange to you.

Like He did with the blind man, Jesus will put His hands on us again and make us look up. He guides us to see clearly, helps us to understand, and heals us from our broken past, but we have to be willing to come along with Him.

–     Matthew Foley, Staff Writer and Instructor