Imparting vision. I know God does it . . . but is there anything we can do to help someone else see?
While I know that all spiritual insight is a divine gift, I do believe that God wills also to give such revelation to us through one another. I am reformed in my persistent desire to trace every impulse and good gift back to God - while affirming the role of willingness on our part to submit and accept God's working.
However, given our human nature of self-will, our culture which has enshrined that tendency in individualism and independence, and the protestant idea of sola scriptura that has sometimes been hijacked by individualism to make each one his or her own spiritual authority, little room remains for submitting to spiritual direction.
There is a difference in accepting spiritual instruction - a more educational situation - and spiritual direction. We will readily accept teaching in a classroom setting, but to accept individualized spiritual guidance which cuts to the root of our problems is foreign. And threatening to individualism.
When people approached Jesus as a Rabbi they expected spiritual wisdom more than intellectual information - due to their tradition of spiritual mentoring. We see people coming and asking for guidance. Obviously, many turned away from the personal prescription he gave when it didn't suit them . . . but at least they expected such. Were I to speak so boldly to identify spiritual maladies and point out the remedy to people individually, the resistance would not only be to the diagnosis but to my apparent audacity. I would be "overstepping" my role religiously.
Which is one spiritual vision I have - that of people seeking mentoring and wisdom. But how do I share that? Can I do anything to impart it? How can believers move from consumers who want to be served to seekers who want to be formed?
(Okay . . . that last sentence just popped out there, an insight from my writing process).
This is one of the core problems. As Christians we are consumers who believe we are the customers in the motto the customer is always right . . . and therefore our needs ought to set the agenda. How can we make a fundamental shift? The task is a revolution against the culture and human nature.
All I know to do is talk about it . . . and let those who have ears to hear, hear it.