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First Things @ First

Pastoral Perspectives;

Vision is critical for accomplishing certain tasks in life.

Have you ever known anyone who attempted to thread a needle without clear vision? Even with corrective lens, this small task can be a real challenge, if not potentially dangerous.

Human beings spend millions annually to be able to see more clearly. For some the adjustment will only be slight and for others the adjustment will be extreme. There are times when poor vision is the result of injury but most of the time, unclear vision more often occurs with time. As we age, many if not most tend to need some corrective lens to help them see life more clearly.

I'm thankful for those who specialize in correcting 'blurry' vision. These specialists help us see more clearly to complete tasks before us. And what is often applied to the physical is often needed for the spiritual, as well.

The word of God tells us in Proverbs 29:18--"where there is no vision (revelation) the people perish (cast off restraint)." Those who are blind or have spiritually 'blurry' vision will with time prefer to live without boundaries. Where there is no clear revelation on how to live, human beings will soon do what they want, when they want if they want without regard for God or even consequence.

The word of God reveals God's vision for living life in a way that honors God. And no believer living under grace should ever be practicing anything that would dishonor God.

So, the word of God could be compared to our corrective lens. The word of God when applied helps us see the world around us more clearly; as Jesus would. The Holy Spirit in this application is the specialized optometrist who diagnoses eye problems and issues corrective prescriptions so that a person with poor vision might see clearly; as Jesus would.

'Chuck' Swindoll has said this about vision; "Vision is the ability to see God's presence, to perceive God's power, to focus on God's plan in spite of the obstacles." Vision helps us see the obstacle as an opportunity to honor God. Vision always involves change and change can be challenging. The status quo is a difficult 'animal' to deal with especially when those who are taking care of it see no reason to do anything different. It's the mindset that says, 'If it's not broke then why mess with it.' However, spiritual stagnation can be just as detrimental to the ministry of the gospel as spiritual dysfunction. In fact, spiritual stagnation leads to spiritual dysfunction. A 'clouded' perspective hinders the follower of Christ from moving forward. And whether we like it or not, agree with it or not, the spiritual journey of discipleship is always about striving to move forward by faith. That remains the only way to please God. Hebrews 11:6

Moving forward requires trusting the Lord to provide the vision necessary to take the next step while exercising the necessary discipline to refuse to lean on our own limited understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6

What challenges that require changing the status quo in your life are you faced with currently in your journey with Jesus? Are there any? If not, it could be that the desire for comfort has subtly replaced the devotion necessary for the consecration process to continue. When that is permitted to occur in the heart, a course correction is necessary. That correction always begins with a consultation with the Holy Spirit that properly examines our vision problem and prescribes a remedy of repentance that brings the times of refreshing into our lives once again. Acts 3:19

If you're struggling to see what is clear to those around you concerning the ministry of the body of Christ, could be it's time to schedule an appointment with your spiritual optometrist. The Holy Spirit specializes in helping us see the world around us clearly. When the corrective lens of God's word is applied, His prescription helps us effectively accomplish His work. Sometimes it's the small work of threading needles of preparation and other times it is the larger work of moving mountains.

In both, vision is vital!

Be encouraged in your journey with Jesus this week!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36