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Read: I Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) |
he great 19th-century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon told a story about a woman meeting Joseph Turner who was a famous romantic landscape painter of his time. The woman spoke to Joseph while he was painting, “Why do you put such extravagant colors into your pictures? I never see anything like them in nature.” Joseph replied, “Don’t you wish you did, Madam?” It was a sufficient answer. He saw them, even if she did not.
When God designed our ability to see, His divine blueprint for the eye included the eye socket, iris, cornea, optic nerve, eyelids and our eye lashes to work in concert together. Within a split second of seeing something, the images transform into 3D representations in our brain. We act on what “we see”.
At the most basic level, our sight triggers our actions and reactions – what “we do”. Thus, while all five senses are important many believe the ability to see is paramount. In God’s perfect will, some of us have 20/20 vision. However, statistics collected by the World Health Organization and others show that two thirds of the world’s population has visual impairment issue – farsighted, nearsighted or blind. Visual impairment is common and in some parts of the world preventable and correctable.
Spiritually, our ability to see is supernatural and vital for our growth. What “we see”, connects with what “we do” and our faith. FVisual impairment for a believer is a frequent and common occurrence. Failing to see what God sees, can paralyze and disable a believer. The impairment is preventable and correctable. In fact, if we do not see God working in our lives, the problem may be our spiritual eyesight, not God’s power!
Believers have distinct types of vision, similar to the physical vision we possess. A believer can be blind, nearsighted, or farsighted based on the situation faced. Our daily goal is to see what God sees. For the next few weeks, let us look at the meaning of the proposed different types of spiritual sight:
• Physically: The lack of sight obviously brings challenges in our modern-day world. Blindness can be congenital (at birth) or accidental.
• Spiritually: Blindness involves the inability to see God at work in our lives or the lives of others.
Symptom: Exhibits the inability to connect the dots between the out of control events in life and their spiritual obedience. The believer is likely to turn away from God and towards the darkness of sin.
• Physically: Nearsighted people have difficulty seeing things far away.
• Spiritually: Nearsighted believers tend to focus on the here-and-now and not see the big picture.
Symptom: Clear focus when it comes to identifying problems, obstacles, and difficulties in everyday life, but great difficulty in focusing on the reservoir of power and protection, which God has provided to meet those problems head-on.
• Physically: Farsighted people have difficulty seeing things near or close to them.
• Spiritually: Farsighted believers with the faith and foresight to perceive or trust in future developments before they develop based on God’s promises.
Symptom: Possess the ability to perceive God working and trusting in His plan while suffering through trials and tribulations. They can see the big picture of what God is doing.
By taking a small literary license and re-reading well-known Bible stories, we can uncover the different types of spiritual vision in the many of the accounts.
• Farsighted: In the beginning, God spoke us into existence and saw what He did was good (Genesis 1)
• Blind: Cain, for seeing and not understanding why God did not look on his offering with favor and then killing his brother while enraged with jealousy (Genesis 4:4)
• Nearsighted: Jonah was given a mission by God he found distasteful and could not see any good in it, so he chose to run away rather than obey God (Jonah 1)
• Blind: Lot’s wife as she decided to look back at Sodom and Gomorrah after being warned (Genesis 19:25-26)
• Nearsighted: Moses, when he saw the Burning Bush and God’s call for him to lead his people; he tried to talk God out of it but accepted the call (Exodus 3)
• Farsighted: David after repenting from his sin that started with seeing Bathsheba bath and eventually having her husband killed would later write that he would “look up to the hills from whence cometh his help”. From their bond, Solomon was born and he built the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 13:34)
• Nearsighted: Sampson though he was strong, he allowed the visual beauty of Delilah to derail him from God’s vision (Judges 16)
• Farsighted: Ezekiel saw a wheel in the middle of a wheel (Ezekiel 1)
• Blind: Saul – before he became Paul – was a Pharisee. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees saw Jesus as a false prophet. They were blind and could not see that Jesus was the Savior they were looking for because he did not match the image of him in their mind (Matthew 16)
• Farsighted: Saul physically lost his sight on the Damascus road before he opened his heart to see Jesus (Acts 22)
• Farsighted: Jesus began his ministry preparing to die for you and I (John 2:20)
There are many things we will never “see” until we view life from God’s perspective. In short, we need to develop the ability to see what God sees. Spiritual eyesight enables us to:
We should pray as the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your Law”. Spiritual insight is only available to those with spiritual eyesight. Focus on Him and serve Him to see what God sees.
1. Discover– What are you most often? Spiritually Blind, Nearsighted or Farsighted.
a. Can you detect a pattern of what areas you are most challenged?
2. Develop– List five ways you can change your spiritual vision to be more appropriate to the situation. For example, smile even when I am down because I can trust in God’s promises.
3. Demonstrate– Share your list with a prayer partner or mentor or close friend. Ask them to help you to be accountable and work on your spiritual vision. Share this lesson with them and tell them the impact it had on you.