So many times throughout the Bible we see how God emphasizes the importance of having “eyes that see and ears that hear”. Throughout our walk with God the Lord has the ability to open our spiritual senses up to another level of sensitivity. Our pursuit of God is essential for this to happen otherwise we can fall into a lull of passivity where nothing is quickening our hearts to the reality of Who He is. Keep that spiritual fire burning in your heart at all times!
“Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread?
Created to Hear & See
God has created us to see and hear, both naturally and spiritually. God has created us to function optimally by being in tune with Him through His Spirit. Just as naturally we would have a hard time doing things if we were not able to see and hear – so how much more important it is for us to see and hear by His Spirit.
Recently I had a dream where a pastor thought it was good to have both the ears and the eyes covered of those who were going to minster to others – just as people use a mask for COVID this person was wanting to cover the entire head. In response I completely objected saying “This is ridiculous. You cannot minister and properly represent the Lord in this way – or be effective.” Not good when we should have “eyes that see and ears that hear”.
Such is the way of the religious mindset. It tries to find ways to control things and “make it safe” for themselves. It is a total shutdown of the prophetic expression in the believer’s life. Jesus wants our eyes open to see, our ears hearing and our mouth speaking forth as the oracles of God.
The Lord is always calling us to a deeper dependency upon Him. Hearing His voice and seeing His activity is key for us to walk with God in such a way. When Jesus told His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod He was referring to this as common leaven or bond that they have together. One was in the religious sphere (The Pharisees) and the other was in the political sphere (Herod). The common bond they shared was the desire for power, position, control, greed and domination. Anyone to crossed into that territory was a threat. Of course, Jesus was the ultimate threat because He had power but not for His own gain – just the Father’s pleasure.
This was another thing that was totally annoying the Pharisees – how Jesus referred to God has His Father. There was no way they could connect with that because they did not have a hair of an idea of what having a love relationship with God was. All they knew how to do was follow rules, create legalisms and do their best to look the part as “spiritual”. They were complete hypocrites.
Jesus tells His disciples to stay away from this kind of thinking – this evil leaven of religiosity and political infatuation. Living for God without knowing the Presence of God is toxic. Church without the Presence of God is toxic. It is dangerous because the auto default setting it to follow a list of procedures to please God and give the appearance of spirituality. This is where you begin to live by the natural mind instead of faith.
Having Faith that Functions
The disciples were not always on the same wavelength as Jesus. In this passage they were “reasoning among themselves” trying to figure things out on their own. They had forgotten the lesson Jesus just demonstrated to them with the loaves being multiplied. Jesus expected them to get what He was saying. He wanted them to understand that there is no limitation in the Kingdom of God. Faith is the key to function in God’s realm.
“Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
We can see what happens when the religious leaven kicks in. Jesus says, “Is your heart still hardened?” What did He mean by this except that the leaven was already at work in them – even causing faith to go into hiding. When we understand that “without faith” it is impossible to please God – this makes perfect spiritual sense. Jesus is looking for faith. He knew that this leaven of the natural mind, that is affectionately connected to the things of this earth, kills faith. Jesus calls us to perceive what is happening in the spirit realm.
Avoid the Counterfiet
God wants us to see, have perception with right interpretation. He doesn’t want us functioning out of the reasonings of the natural mind trying to figure everything out – but the spirit of revelation. He wants us understanding His power – that He has absolutely no limitation in what He can do. The religious and political mindset does not get this.
The natural mind is very attracted to things it can reason and figure out. That includes programs, pattens, formulas and things that can be packaged in such a way as to be controlled. That is where tradition comes from. But the worship of tradition kills faith and nullifies the Word of God. The patterns themselves are not evil. It is the dependency upon those patterns that leads down the wrong road.
But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Many have experienced this heavy load of religiosity. It is very heavy and filled with condemnation, guilt and shame. It is more about what you do for God than what He does in you, for you and through you. With religious pattern you can have all the right words and still have the wrong spirit. There is no replacement for the Holy Spirit.
“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”
Restoring Simplicity in His Presence
In all the religious works, even in Spirit-filled circles, it is not so high and can be very dry. Many have lost the simplicity of devotion to Christ in the Presence of God. The Presence of God is not something that can be taught as much as experienced through a deep hunger for God. If there is no real hunger then it may never be experienced. It is not a common experience but very uncommon and the most valuable thing you can have in your life.
2 Corinthians 11:3
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It is the Father’s love released and deposited into us. We are to be people motivated solely by the love of God. This leaven, religious and political, Jesus warned about destroys faith and love in the heart. It is nothing to play around with or hang out with – you RUN from it. Jesus came to give us life and give it more abundantly.
God’s love has nothing to do with performance, legalism, power, position, titles and all that is associated with the spirit of this world. His love is about your inheritance in Christ, your identity as a son and daughter of God and that you are a part of His family. He wants us to learn to walk with Him, trust Him, know Him and abide in Him – that our desires would be conformed to His desires.
God is after our dependency upon Him, not a program. Pray that God would give you eyes that see and ears that hear His voice. Value the secret place above all things. Cultivate that relationship with God through worship, prayer, His Word and seeking His face. God has limitless encounters, unimaginable plans and amazing adventure for you as you put Him first above all things.
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