I had a great privilege to attend Winterfest with the Youth Group last weekend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The theme they went on was called “The Veil.” The point of the entire weekend was to help our young folks (and us) find out exactly what it is that blocks them from God in their life. It was very encouraging and challenging, to say the least.
The Bible tells us this:
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4 ,NIV ).
Who is the “god of this age?” In context here, it is Satan. We often forget and underestimate that we DO have an enemy who has only one goal: To steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10, NIV). Satan wants to knock us out of the running in our goal of getting to an eternity with God. In the past, Satan was very bold and obvious in his actions (demonic possession, personal manipulation, etc.), but nowadays in 21st century America and the world, is way more subtle.
Greed, lust, pornography, materialism, evolutionary thought, murder, malice, etc., are all things that we can classify as idols. An idol is a thing that takes God out of the driver-seat in our lives and puts something else there—a relationship, a possession, a bank account, car, job, etc. So we can see that our lives are full of American Idols. Satan is really great at subtlety putting these things in front of us and veiling us to the truths of God. As a result, we buy into the lies that these things will make us happy. The end of the road that all these things lead to is this: death and Hell.
These things are just temporary fixes that require more and more each time we go to them to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Satan has, as a result, veiled, or blinded people, even most Christians, into believing these things will deliver meaning, purpose, and happiness in our lives. Too often though, we fall for it! So how do we really get rid of these “spiritual blinders”, if you will, so that we may gaze upon the very face of God?
The Apostle Paul tells us about it like this:
“We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. (14) But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. (15) Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. (16) But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (18) And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:13-18, NIV).
So this veil is something that affects where we spend eternity. For some, it is traditions in the church—the way we do things. For some it is money. For some it is being taught the wrong things. Unless we deal with them, we will never experience Christ’s transformational power in our hearts and minds. The church must get real with itself and realize that unfortunately, Satan has deceived many of us to just “be comfortable” and to always do things the way we’ve always done them. For some of us, that veil keeps us from seeing the importance of Sunday morning Bible class at 9:30. For others, it is just denial, criticism, negativity, and gossip. And still for others it is thinking that as long as we go to church, pray, and read our Bibles that is just enough. Each of us has something in our lives that MUST change—things that aren’t comfortable to talk about—things that are sin. Please understand that if we do not deal with these things, we will die. Not just physical death, but spiritual death (which in my opinion is far worse). So you need to get real and ask yourself, “What’s my veil?” and deal with it today.