Read: Matthew 6:22-23 |
During our series on Spiritual Vision – See what God Sees, we have noted that to see what God sees, we need to avoid blindness. This week we address nearsighted spiritual vision.
Physically, nearsighted people have difficulty seeing things far away. Spiritually, believers are to focus on God’s purpose for today, but also keep God’s future promises in mind. Nearsightedness becomes a problem when believers only focus on the here-and-now. They do not see the big picture and base their decisions on their faith in what they see and experience versus what the Bible has taught them. They have difficulty seeing things that seem too far away.
In our scripture from Matthew, Jesus shares that the eye is the lamp of the body. He also shares that eyes can be healthy or unhealthy. Where we focus our eyes, influences our heart and body to follow. We have to be careful “what” we look at and “how” we look at our circumstances. By using the corrective lens of God’s word and prayer, we can gain insight that allows us to perceive what is actually beyond what we can see.
Healthy eyes filter what is seen and do not dwell on worldly things longer than necessary. Our eyes record the daily exposure to TV programs, movies, books, magazines, etc. By ensuring that we feed our eyes and mind with things that build our spiritual body, we fill our body with God’s light. We must learn to turn off the things that draw us toward unhealthy thinking. We must avoid letting our eyes dwell on things that are not wholesome and pure.
In turn, the lamp of our eyes will illuminate our feet and guide our steps (Psalm 119:105 ). In time, we will develop the ability to recognize the things we see and yet not be overwhelmed because we remember that God’s plan is still in effect. Like Joshua standing before the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6), we can see the situation looks dire but know that God has promised deliverance. We learn that in spite of what we see, we only see a reflection in a mirror (I Corinthians 13:12). The actual picture is quite different.
When Solomon allowed his eyes to fall on Delilah, a Philistine, his lust overcome his reasoning and conviction, which lead his vision to darken. He did not foresee that following what he saw would cost him dearly. Even today, our eyes can trigger lust and cause us the same problem in our lives.
When God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach repentance, Jonah elected to flee and later pout because he wanted God’s punishment to rain down on them. In his mind, “he” knew what the people needed. Today, our nearsightedness can lead us to believe that we can see enough of the picture to dictate what should happen. Our vision darkens when we make decisions without God’s input.
Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14 ) and will try to overwhelm our vision and our senses with hopelessness and frustration using a false light. The more he can distract, detour and discourage us, the easier it is for us to believe that we should follow his light instead of “The Light”.
The eye is a lamp to the body. A healthy believer is full of light. We as healthy children of “The Light” should continue to allow God to illuminate our thinking and understanding so that we can see what He sees.
1. Discover – What things do you see each day that create unhealthy thinking and acting? How can you change the situation so that you can stay full of light and healthy?
2. Develop – Andre Gide a French author wrote, ”Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has courage to lose sight of the shore.” What new areas of faith have you held on to due to nearsightedness? In your life, what areas can you walk more by faith?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Enlarge the image of Jesus on your screen or print it. Concentrate on the four dots in the middle of the picture for about 30 seconds. Look away at a blank wall. You will see a circle and as you focus, the reverse of the image you stared at will resolve into a 3D image of Jesus. Everywhere you look for nearly a minute, you will see Jesus!
B. How can you dedicate time each morning to focus on Jesus for 3 to 30 minutes so that you can see Him at work everywhere you look? Make a commitment and share with a prayer partner or friend. The quiet time and prayer will strengthen your spiritual vision.