|"The eyes of your understanding|
being enlightened..."(Eph. 1:18)
There's not much one can do about that except maybe laser surgery to correct it or trendy eyewear to hide the fact that you're practically blind without glasses!
I've worn eyeglasses since the age of twelve so I'm quite used to an extra set of eyes on my face. But one thing I am concerned about is my spiritual visual acuity! The ability to discern spiritually where the Lord wants me to be and stay within the bounds of His will for my life.
I'd love to say that spiritual acuity improves with age and experience! I mean, isn't that what they're talking about when someone says: Hindsight is 20/20! Not necessarily. You can repeat the same mistakes over and over again without the benefit of gaining wisdom or spiritual insight. By the looks of things going on in the world today; I don't think we can afford the luxury of dull vision!
I'll be wearing glasses possibly for the rest of my life. I have both myopia, astigmatism and growing cataracts. But I also have a plan to improve my spiritual vision. Perhaps sharing it with you today may be of some help to you!
STEP ONE - FOCUS:
When you go to an optometrist, a technician will put you through a series of tests to assess your current state of vision. More than once you will hear the instruction to focus! This is necessary to record accurately data to determine the health of your eyes! Focus helps you determine where you need to be spiritually as well!
Too often Christians think busyness is conducive to spirituality. The more I do, the more spiritual I am is this mindset. Actually, if not careful busyness can become an enemy of spirituality. It keeps us in control of our life rather than God. We plan our days doing what we want rather than what He wants! Check out this blog post from Truth + Grace!
Busyness the Enemy of Spirituality
STEP TWO - PRIORITY:
This step is actually a subset of the previous one, Focus. The inability to manage distractions, even those perceived to be good and spiritual can keep us in a place where we are neither effective nor efficient. And yes there is a difference between the two! To be effective is the ability to do things in a way that accomplishes its intended purpose. To be efficient is to do it in the best possible way with the least amount of waste and effort!
When I think of Spiritual priorities, my mind automatically goes to the bible story of Mary and Martha. You can read it here in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus at the Home of Mary and Martha Jesus summarized it well in His teaching that in every service opportunity there is always that one thing that is really needed! When we can pick our what that one thing is and then do it, we are well on our way to spiritual visual acuity.
STEP THREE - DISCERNMENT:
Depending on your faith path, spiritual discernment can mean a lot of things. I simply look at it as being able to see things the way the Lord sees them. This takes practice and above all reading,
meditating and applying God's Word! The more this becomes a way of life rather than religiosity, the easier it will be to see spiritual darkness in unsuspecting places. Helps us look beyond nominal requests and address spiritual needs. I love the way Henry Blackaby, author of the book, Experiencing God puts it: Christian discernment is to, "Watch where God is working and then joining Him," based on John 5:17, 19-20).
Spiritual discernment also has an element of simple joy embedded in it. It is the ability to recognize and appreciate the small things in life in a way so many do not. Things like a beautiful sunrise or sunset. A cool breeze on a scorching hot day. The smell of fresh baked bread, or the feeling you get lying down on fresh clean sheets after a weary day.
STEP FOUR - EXPECTATION:
Spiritual expectation is grounded in the Word of God. Who God is and His promises to His people are revealed within His Holy Writ. As we learn to interpret accurately and see by faith its trustworthiness, our expectations become more realistic and we are never disappointed. We can expect that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). That He will answer our prayers (Psalm 34:6). That He will empower us for service (Ephesians. 2:10) and at the end of our journey here on earth we will have a heavenly home, rewards, and eternal life waiting for us with Him (John 14:1-6
My physical vision may never be 20/20 in Year 2020 (although I'm told that sometimes after cataract surgery it will get better). But my Spiritual vision can only get better with this year. Because I'm learning to conserve my energy by focusing first on things that are the most important, saying "No" to worthwhile but expendable things; taking time to enjoy the simple things in life and believing wholeheartedly that God will fulfill His every promise meant for me!
See You Later and Hopefully A LOT Clearer in 2020
HAPPY NEW YEAR READERS!