The Laodiceans are also blind, and Jesus counsels them to “anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Spiritual blindness is a direct result of Satan’s successful attempts to misrepresent the character of God. “Our gospel is veiled…to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age [Satan] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of God should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). The "glory of God," according to Exodus 33:18-34:7, is His name or character, and it is the basic misconceptions about the character of God that keep His children from entering into the deep relationship with him that they especially need at the end of time.
“O Righteous Father! The world has not known You” Jesus cried out, diagnosing the basic spiritual problem that has plagued mankind ever since Satan convinced Eve that God was selfishly withholding something good from her. In an era when “doctrine” is a dirty word, most Christians unconsciously believe the false doctrines that misrepresent God that developed during the "dark" ages— that he arbitrarily chooses some for salvation and consigns others to an eternity of miserable separation or even torment, that natural or personal disasters are the results of His activities, that He is angry and offended and must be mollified by sacrifices, good works, or “friends in high places” (saints), that He is watching for our sins, eager to snatch away the eternal life we have been striving for, that He is blithely unconcerned about our suffering or too distant and detached to do anything about it. At every turn spiritual blindness causes people to echo the sentiments of Adam, “I heard Your voice…and I was afraid…and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).
These misconceptions of God are combined with fatal blindness of our own spiritual condition. The media and internet have ensured that any kind of sin that is imaginable is just the changing of a channel or the click of a mouse away. The disgusting and horrifying scenes leave most people considering themselves to be good, moral people in comparison. Self-esteem psychology avoids any reference to guilt, and post-modern political correctness accepts all lifestyles as equally valid. The modern busy lifestyle and information and image overload leave no time or opportunity for quiet reflection. As a result, the still small voice of the Spirit is drowned out and we remain blind to our own spiritual poverty.
Perhaps most damaging is our blindness to the unseen spiritual reality all around us. Jesus said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20), but most of us act as if God is with us only once a week or at best once a day. God is active and at work in us and all around us; are we aware of Him enough to join Him in what He is doing? Or do we forget about Him for hours or days at a time in the business of our own life? When Jesus said "seek first the kingdom of God," and "abide in Me as the branch abides in the vine," He was talking about being continually aware of and engaged with Him. When Paul wrote, "walk in the Spirit," "pray with out ceasing," and "take every thought captive," he was not advising super-Christians to go live in a monastery. He was simply reminding us that a relationship with Jesus means that He is always with us through the Holy Spirit and He wants to be an active part of our everyday life.
At the same time most Christians are blind to Satan, the "prince of the power of the air," (Ephesians 2:2) and his demonic hosts. Evil spirits are continually trying to speak into our minds, take us by surprise, and launch vicious, coordinated campaigns against us. Unless our eyes are open to their activities, we will not be able to resist and rebuke them in the name of Jesus.
Spiritual discernment through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is the eye salve that heals spiritual blindness. We can discern the truth about God and our own sinful condition, and we can become continously aware of God's presence. But as with the gold of faith and the white garments of Christ's righteousness, it does not come automatically when we "pray the sinner's prayer" or attend church weekly. Jesus is longing to transform us, but He is waiting for us to open the door and let Him in.