By Joy Haney
In the summer of 1959, on one of the hottest days in August, a power failure in New York City shut off air conditioners, fans, and other electrical equipment in hundreds of apartments and offices. Particularly hard-hit were workers on the upper floors of many buildings, who were in the pitch-black offices with no elevators running.
In one of these buildings the problem was solved by a unique method. When darkness hit the guild for the Jewish Blind, the two hundred blind workers, who knew every inch of the building by touch, led the seventy helpless sighted workers down the steps and onto Broadway.
There are too many Christians that see and know too much to the extent that they cannot believe God for a miracle. They have memorized the doctor’s report and it sings in their brain. The finances have been analyzed from every direction, and there is seemingly no way that the mess can be straightened out. Everything that is seen is negative, and with the analytical brain working it is impossible to become blind to the impossibilities that surround them. They see and know too much. In their mind there is no way out.
A man named Abraham was living a normal life when one day God appeared to him and told him to get up out of his own country and leave his kindred and his father’s house. “Just leave it all behind, and I will lead you to another land which I will shew you in the future,” the Lord instructed him.
Did Abraham do such a foolish thing? Yes. “So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him” (Genesis 12:4). This is what you call blind faith – – going someplace simply because God spoke it, not knowing even where you are going. Walking in a direction that has not been mapped out on paper, just walking step by step towards a destination unknown.
The key to this kind of faith is illuminated in an instance when God spoke some strange things to Abraham. God said to Abraham, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15:5). Notice the very next phrase, “And he believed in the Lord” (Genesis 15:6). There is the clue.
He did not question the absurdity of the statement God made; he believed. Science will tell you it is impossible for a one hundred-year-old man to have a child and especially for a ninety-year-old woman to bear a child, but Abraham was blind to science, only seeing the power of God.
Blind faith! Simply believing when there are no road maps, no apparent signals and nothing to go on but a voice. How did he do it? “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8). He did not know where he was going. He was like a blind man in the fact that he could not see in the natural, but he could see in the spiritual.
“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked for a city which hath foundations, who builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:9a-10).
“Abraham, where you going today?” asked one of the neighbors.
Abraham shrugged his shoulders and pointed off into the far distance and said, “I don’t really know where I’m going. I just know I’m going.”
The neighbor tried to hide the sneering laughter and made some lame remark to cover his confusion. “Well, I hope you find where you’re going, because if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know you’re there, when you get there?”
Abraham remarked, “I know it seems strange for me to leave my house, my kindred, all my family, and everything that is dear to me, but you don’t understand. God has spoken to me, and I must obey Him. It is like a radar that is leading into paths I myself am not even aware.”
The neighbor scratched his head and tried to figure out his neighbor’s strange behavior, but for the life of him, he could not figure it out. He had just looked at it from every angle, and it just did not make sense.
The when that same neighbor revived word several years later that Abraham was going to have a child, he did double up and laugh hilariously. “You’ve got to be kidding, why Abraham is almost a hundred years old now!” he said.
The difference between the neighbor and Abraham was that one could see and the other was blind. The neighbor could see the impossibilities, but Abraham was blind to them. He could only see God. Yes, both men saw, but they saw different things. Everyone sees, but what they see is the important thing. You must be blind to the apparent things, and able to walk blindly by faith at God’s promise.
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (Romans 4:19-21).
He was so strong in his faith that he did not even give consideration to the deadness of his body or of Sarah’s womb. No consideration! This is the problem among people today. They give too much consideration to lab reports, rebellious kids, the lack of money needed to pay the bills, and any number of things. Consideration is the problem.
Consideration is “careful or sympathetic thought towards something: attentive respect, appreciative regard, a matured thought towards an idea or circumstance; placing importance or giving notice or anything we esteemed important.” Abraham did not even consider the impossibility. He considered only God.
It is time to quit considering everything that is coming against you. Throw out the mature thoughts that have ripened in your brain until they have become set in cement. Blindly face anything with the Word of God, not with the word of the doctor. Be fully persuaded, not doubting, that God is able to perform – – not only able, but that He will.
Sarah was not to be outdone by Abraham. “Through faith also, Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promise” (Hebrews 11:11).
She did not lag her feet in faith. Oh, she laughed at first, but that was just her natural reaction. When she got to thinking about God, she reversed her laughter of disbelief with the laughter of joy. She was a partner to Abraham’s “crime” or blind faith, for there were some that thought they were almost committing a crime. It is not normal to do what they did. It was unorthodox, untraditional, and crazy in some people’s eyes. It may have been crazy, but the “crazy” ones were the ones that received the promise.
Sarah herself received strength because she judged him faithful who had promised. Everyone makes a judgment call every day. We judge God to be faithful or unfaithful by how much we believe in Him. We tie His hands or loose Him by our faith. There is no question about His power; the question is, “Do we believe Him enough to allow Him to do it?”
Isaiah, the prophet, penned the words of the Lord God. “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (Isaiah 43:13). The question is, “Who will let God perform? Who is willing to walk blindly into a miracle?”
When Jesus tried to do miracles in His own country one day, the people asked, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” They could see only the son of a carpenter instead of the Son of God. They tied His hands because of their unbelief. “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:4-5).
Unbelief has kept many miracles in the incubation stage, for every impossible situation is the seed0bed for a miracle. People say they believe God can do anything, but then they talk incessantly about their ritual of pills the doctor has them on. Their conversation revolves around the gory details of the disease and those that have died with it. That is not faith, that is doubt. Faith refuses to consider the apparent. It believes only in the power of God.
When God promised the children of Israel that they would inherit the land of Canaan, they were excited about it, but there came a test of faith on their part. Moses sent twelve spies into the land to give him a report on how to take it, and ten of those spies came back full of doubt. They did not see God, they saw the giants.
Finally, after the dialogue between Caleb, Joshua, and the people came to an end, God spoke. “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” (Numbers 14:11).
God was actually saying, “What do I have to do to get them to believe? I made a huge body of water roll back and changed it from a liquid state into a solid wall. The floor of the sea was muddy, slippery, and squashy, but I made it dry. I sent them quail. I sent them manna. They saw the plagues I put upon the Egyptians. I brought them from bondage into freedom. Are they so dense to think that I, the God of the Universe, cannot handle a small country of people that appear to be giants?”
Instead of having blind faith, they became blind to the power of God. It is best portrayed in Bernard Shaw’s play, Saint Joan, in the Epilogue. Here was the scene:
It was 25 years after the burning of the Maid. The curtain rose on the bed-chamber of King Charles the Seventh of France, who, at the opening of the play, was the none-too-bright Dauphin. The spirits of those who played a part in the trial and burning at the stake of Joan were entering the Kind’s chamber. Among them was an old rector, formerly a chaplain to the Cardinal of Winchester, a little deaf and a little daft. He had gone somewhat crazy from brooding over the burning of Joan, but insisted that the sight of that burning had saved him.
“Well you see,” he said, “I did a very cruel thing once because I did not know what cruelty was like. I had not seen it, you know. That is the great thing: you must see it. And then you are redeemed and saved.”
“Were not the sufferings of our Lord Christ enough for you?” asked the Bishop of Beauvais.
“NO,” said the old rector. “Oh, no, not at all, I had seen them in pictures, and read of them in books, and been greatly moved by them, as I thought. But it was no use. It was not our Lord that redeemed me, but a young woman who I saw actually burnt to death. It was dreadful. But it saved me, I have been a different man ever since.”
Poor old priest, driven astray in his wits by the haunting memory of his youthful inability to see what cruelty is like without watching a maid burn slowly to death at the hands of her executioners, a man who had to wait for events to educate his judgments!
The Bishop of Beauvais looked at him pityingly and, with infinite pathos in his voice, cried out, ‘must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?”
Notice the phrase, “a man who had to wait for events to educate his judgments.” The death of Christ on the cross was not enough, he had to see with his own eyes the death of a follower of Christ. He had no faith or imagination to simply believe, but he was blind to the evident. Instead of having blind faith and believing, he became blind to the magnificent power of Christ.
Just as the Bishop was asking, “Must there be a Christ or a semblance of Christ die in every age for man to believe?”, God was asking Moses, “What must I do to make them believe in MY power? Can’t they just believe because of what has already happened in the past?”
You will make a judgment call today. You will do as Abraham did and simply believe, or you will refuse to believe and miss out on all the blessings that came upon Abraham. What are you blind to – – God’s power or circumstances? Walk blindly in the direction of the miraculous and it shall come to pass.
The above article, “Blind Faith,” is excerpted from chapter 4 of Joy Haney’s book Great Faith, which was published in 1992.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.