Remember your first attempt to use a microscope? If your experience was like mine, countless adjustments had to be made to find the object under the lens and then bring it into focus.
I’m so glad our eyes don’t work that way! God made them to automatically adjust for distance, intermediate, and near. Granted, as we get older glasses are often required. Some of us even need trifocals. But the miracle of physical sight is incredibly precious, even with corrective lenses.
God offers us another miraculous gift of vision—that of spiritual sight. It, too, is trifocal–to see lessons of the past, opportunities of the present, and possibilities of the future.
First we need to understand where spiritual vision (godly insight and foresight) comes from. It is a function of faith and wisdom.
Faith grows with our knowledge of God. For example, our vision of his future for us is based on such truths as: 1) He has designed a special plan for each of us. 2) He can do the impossible. And, 3) he empowers the weak. Embrace such truths and wishful thinking for your future can become a statement of conviction.
Faith also focuses on God’s promises.
Do you have a vision of a productive life, fulfilling his purpose? Focus on John 15:5. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Do you need courage to step forward toward a God-inspired goal? Focus on Joshua 1:9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Do you feel overwhelmed and incapable of completing the task God has whispered into your spirit? Focus on Psalm 121:2. “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
In addition to faith, godly wisdom contributes to spiritual vision.
Godly wisdom grows with our knowledge of God’s Word. Of course, knowledge by itself is not enough; we must apply it (Psalm 19:7).
And as we absorb his truth, God gives us the ability to see those lessons of the past, opportunities of the present and possibilities of the future.
Now before I share a few examples please understand: I am no visionary with extra-spiritual powers to see the invisible. I’ve just lived long enough, had the privilege to learn from stellar Bible teachers, and spent glorious hours getting to know God and discovering his Word for myself. As a result…
…I can see lessons from my past.
One lesson: God knows what he is doing. Consider that…
- He put me in a Christian home and in churches where my spirit and character were formed.
- As a short-term missionary in Honduras and Ecuador, he grew my reliance upon him.
- Serving at six churches with my pastor-husband stretched me emotionally and spiritually, but I also experienced much joy and fulfillment.
- Each of the four teaching positions I held represented God’s ability to engineer circumstances in stunning ways.
Oh, yes, I can see clearly that God knows what he is doing.
I also see opportunities of the present as we babysit our granddaughter. What an awesome privilege to pass on to a new generation the heritage of faith we have treasured. I can envision the value of sweet memories, sound truth, and especially the example of godly integrity in her life. (Lord, help me provide those gifts to both of our granddaughters!)
And, I see possibilities for the future, where my husband and I might serve—perhaps at a soup kitchen. (Steve loves to cook.) And a volunteer tutoring service for under-privileged children might be able to use a retired teacher. Each locale would provide possibilities for planting seeds of faith into the lives of others.
I want to live out the advice of missionary to India, William Carey (1761-1834):
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
But we’ll need tri-focal, spiritual vision for that to happen.
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What are you envisioning right now?
(Photo credit: www.prescription.lensesrx.com.)