Harry Houdini was one of the greatest escape artists the world has ever seen. One of the most famous tricks he loved to perform was to escape from jail cells across the world. Houdini would travel to a city and challenge the citizens to create a cell from which he could not escape. He would always free himself in record time, whether he was in handcuffs, or the cell was triple locked, or he had to scale a wall to escape.
Of course, Houdini had a lot tricks up his sleeve. He would ask to test the lock with the key and make an impression of it using a small box of wax that he kept in his palm. He would then hide the key in his hair or the heel of his slippers. Other times, he was able to have the key passed to him from a friend after reaching his hands through the bars to shake hands with the onlookers. If all else failed, he had a special lock pick made that he could hide in his belt.
However, as one story goes, there was one cell in a town in the British Isles that stumped the great illusionist. Houdini walked into the challenge with confidence. Once the jail was closed, he took off his coat and set to work with his key and lock pick. But there was something unusual about the lock. He worked for thirty minutes with no success. An hour passed, and still he was stuck behind the bars. After two hours had passed, an exhausted Houdini collapsed against the door in defeat… and it swung open.
The citizens of the town had played a trick on Houdini by not locking the cell in the first place! The solution was there in plain sight. It had only been locked in his mind.
Sometimes, we fall into the same trap. We fail to recognize the reality of our situation because what our eyes are telling us does not represent the whole story. We fail to see the solutions in plain sight or are blind to what is really taking place. In particular, as we will discuss in this first session, we fail to see that we are in an invisible war… and that the battlefield for the struggle is located in our own hearts and minds.
Listen for fresh insights as you hear the verses being read, and then discuss the questions that follow.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ…
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal — 2 Corinthians 4:4–6, 2 Corinthians 4:16–18
What is one insight that stands out to you from this passage?