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By a Way We Know Not

by David A. DePra

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them

in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before

them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them,

and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)

     This is one of those scriptures which is easy to read quickly, but

in doing so, miss the depth of Truth contained therein. Obviously,

God is talking about His faithfulness to lead us. But did you notice

that He is not only talking about leading us "in paths which we have

not known," but more than that, He likens us to "the blind" -- to God

leading "the blind in a way that they know not." It is one thing to lead

a normal person in a direction unfamiliar to them. That is hard. But

how much more difficult to lead a BLIND person into a strange


     Blind people cannot see where they are, or where they are going.

They do not have sight to give them a frame of reference. So they

must rely upon other senses. One of the things which they do is to

memorize familiar objects, such as walls, doors, and furniture. This

gives them points of reference to determine their way. They touch

these things and make their way around using those objects as


     If you take away these objects from a blind person, or worse, put

them into an entirely foreign place, they will have an impossible

time -- especially at first. Nothing will be familiar. They won't know

where they are, and will not know where they are going.

     To get an idea of what this would be like, we need only close

our eyes and try to make our way around our house. Even though

we are familiar with everything there, once our sight is removed,

we will feel unsure of how to move about. Imagine how this would

be if we were in a house which was totally unknown to us.

     God is here, in the above verse, talking likening us to blind

people who are on a journey through totally unfamiliar places. But

He is not talking about houses or rooms. He is talking about

spiritual places in Jesus Christ.

A Walk of Faith

     If Christianity is nothing more than doctrine, then verses like the

one above are mere poetry. But if Christianity is a new birth, and

consequently, an invasion into new territory, then verses like this

one from Isaiah start to make sense. In Christ, we ARE invading

territory which we have never seen before. We are being lead "by

a way we know not."

     What IS this territory? It is the territory of Truth. Of spiritual reality.

It is the territory of freedom. Of everything God has restored through

Christ. It is a vast and limitless territory. And it will take an eternity

to explore it. But we are given the priviledge of starting now.

     Now, there is a problem as we start out into this new territory. To

this territory we are as BLIND. Absolutely blind. We have no frame

of reference for it. We are like a blind person, in total darkness,

trying to make our way through an extremely crooked place.

     So what is God's solution for this problem? To give us sight --

and then to start us out on our journey, able to see? Nope. There is

no indication in this passage that God gives sight to the blind before

the trip begins. God clearly says, "I will lead the BLIND."

     If we really understood it, we would know that God cannot simply

GIVE us sight regarding spiritual things. That is not something that

is in the "gift" category. To "see" spiritual Truth you must take the

initial steps by blind faith. In time, the darkness will be made as

light to you.

     This reminds us of another scripture, from the NT, written by the

apostle Paul: "For NOW we see through a glass darkly, but THEN

face to face." (I Cor. 13:12) In this age, as we live in the fallen

creation, born again within mortal bodies, we cannot hope but to

see a glimpse. We are, compared to what we will be in the eternal

ages, as if we are blind.

     The walk of faith is not a walk of seeing, of feeling, of knowing, or

of figuring things out. All of those things have their place, and God

does often give them to us upon various occasions. But a walk of

faith is a walk of BELIEVING -- despite NOT seeing, feeling, or

knowing. A walk of faith is the walk of someone who is blind to

where he is, or to where he is going. But he trusts the One who is


By a Way We Know Not

     If I were totally blind, and had before me the task of walking

through a totally unfamiliar place, it would be terrifying. I would need

a guide. And if I had one to guide me, I would, in time, learn to get

around in this place. I could learn to navigate almost as well as

could be expected.

     God promises to be that guide to us. He promises to lead us

into all Truth. He promises to reveal to us the things of Jesus Christ.

But you know, the way God leads is unique. Sure, God can find

a way to speak to us and indicate to us that we ought to do such

and such. He can teach us lessons and show us the Truth in ways

which are easy to document. But often God does not lead that way

at all. Often, even the leading of God is hidden from us. Not only

are we blind to where we are, and to where we are going, but we

are blind to the One leading. We don't see Him, or have any

proof that He is even there.

     Now, that is REALLY being blind. It is one thing to not know 

where I am, but it is entirely different to not know where the One

leading is. Yet despite the fact that this is the way it is most of the

time with God, He nevertheless promises that He IS there. He

says that He will never abandon us or forsake us.

     Christians who have walked with God in faith for any length of

time know this. You can go for years without any proof that God is

with you. Maybe you don't even have any consciousness of His

presence. All you can do during this time is BELIEVE. You believe

He is there and leading you, even though you cannot see Him. And

then, after a time -- perhaps a long time -- you discover that you

have ended up right where you are supposed to be. God was

leading all the time.

     Imagine being a blind person in totally unfamiliar territory. You

are terrified. You grope in the dark. But someone has promised

you that they will not forsake you. They will take care of you. So

despite all the fear and uncertainty to your senses, you believe.

You go for a long time trying to feel your way around, never quite

certain where you are. And then one day, you discover that you

are, in fact, right where you are supposed to be. You aren't quite

certain HOW you got there, but you ARE THERE. You know that

the One who promised you was faithful.

     The "places" we "end up" are not merely our lot in life, or some

physical circumstance. No. Those are only vehicles which God

uses. The real "places" we "end up" are the spiritual places God

takes us through His use of these things.

     For instance, perhaps God will use my job, or the loss of my job,

to take me on a journey through to a new place of faith. I might be

like a blind man trying to walk through such a place -- for it is a place

I have never been before. But God says He will lead me to this

place -- even if He doesn't appear to be doing so. If I believe, and

keep believing, I will find that, in the end, I wind up exactly where I

am supposed to be.

Making Darkness Light

     God not only promises to lead the blind, but He also promises

to make the darkness ITSELF light. This is quite marvelous. How

will God do that?

     Well, God IS light. So this promise is a inference that God will

bring His presence into areas where His presence was not before.

When God does that, darkness becomes light.

     Don't think of this as in terms of a place OUTSIDE of you. No.

God is talking about YOU. He is saying, "I am going to take all of

those places in you that are darkness, and I am going to turn them

into places of light." This is a BECOMING.

     But how? Through the process of walking by faith -- a process

which will seem dark at first. You will, at first, be totally blind as to

what God is doing, indeed, as to where God is at all. But if you

move forward with God, the darkness in you will be turned into light.

     This will, of course, require abandonment to God. Imagine what it

would be like to be totally blind in a foreign place. And to top it all,

you cannot even see or sense the One who promised He would

take care of you. But in faith -- and sheer faith alone -- you abandon

yourself to Him. You fully surrender to the One who cannot see. By

faith you choose to believe and count on the fact that He is faithful.

     The result of all of this, says God, is again -- that the darkness in

you will be turned to light. But don't think of this as merely a matter

of you acquiring information, or a new teaching, or a line of doctrine.

No.  Neither think of it as you merely seeing answers to your many

questions. No. What you see is none of those things. What you

see is God Himself. He IS the Light that comes into your heart. He

IS the Light of life.

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