Itís midnight. The red preacher-phone rings.

Pastor Al, the late-night parson, answers again...

"How's Your Vision?"
Posted: February 5, 2007

     How's your vision? I don't mean your physical vision or whether or not you need glasses, I'm talking about your spiritual vision.

     Some people have no spiritual vision at all. They are, in effect, spiritually blind. And no wonder, after all, for the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan, the god of this world, has blinded those who have not trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

     What's more, "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (Ephesians 4:18)," it is impossible for the unsaved person to have real spiritual insight.

     They do not have spiritual insight because they do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and the Holy Spirit does not indwell them. Consequently it is impossible for them to see and understand spiritual truths, spiritual truths which are only seen and understood by the Holy Spirit.

     "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:10-14)"

     It is only when the Holy Spirit moves upon the your heart, bringing understanding of the Gospel and conviction over your lost sinful condition that the scales fall away and your eyes are opened. Light breaks through the darkness and for the first time you begin to see yourself as God sees you. You also catch a glimpse of Jesus Christ on the cross, pouring out His precious Blood for your sin. You see Him buried and resurrected, victorious over sin and death, according to the Scriptures. Your eyes are opened and you see your own need of salvation.

     Hopefully you will keep your eyes open and fixed on Jesus, trusting Him as your Saviour. Unfortunately, all too many having clearly seen the truth close their eyes and "draw back unto perdition (Hebrews 10:39)" without being saved. Whether by refusal or delay they put off salvation until it is everlastingly too late and they wind up in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. And, "Where there is no vision, the people perish...(Proverbs 29:18)."

     A lot of saved people are spiritually blind as well. But, unlike the unsaved person who has been blinded by the god of this world, they are blind and lack vision because they are running around with their eyes closed.

     Generally, however, saved people do not lose their vision and become spiritually blind overnight. Instead of "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith... (Hebrews 12:2)" we begin to look at the things of the world. As we look more and more to the world we begin to stop reading our Bibles, stop praying, and stop going to church. We lose our burden for souls and our desire to serve God. Gradually, as we close our eyes to the things of God our spiritual vision becomes more and more clouded and obscured until we lose our vision entirely.

     As our spiritual vision dims we lose sight of souls that are lost and dying without Christ. We begin to lose our burden to "win the lost at any cost." And, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

     Bored, we ho-hum our way through yet another missionary slide show. Oblivious to the missionary's burden and impervious to the vision that God has given him we grouse about the money going to missions which could be better used around the church here at home. And, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

    As the pastor tries to share his vision for a growing, Christ-centered, Bible-based, soul winning, family-oriented church, we complain about his "new-fangled ideas." "Why doesn't he just get back to the old paths and the old ways?" we gripe. And, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

    When the pastor encourages people to get a vision for the work and get involved by serving God in and through the local church by helping with church ministries and activities, as well as the cleaning and maintenance of the building and grounds we complain that he's lazy. "He barely does anything all week, not like ME!" And, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

     The more we drift out of God's will the more spiritually myopic we become. Our spiritual vision becomes more and more distorted until we completely shut our eyes to God's truth. Then, spiritually blind, stumbling and groping our way through life we begin to resent and find fault with those around us who want to serve God.

     Just as the unsaved person needs God "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins... (Acts 26:18)" , we need to cry out with the Psalmist, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:18)"

     We need to get back into the Word of God and "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15)"

     We need to get back on our knees in prayer and seek God's face. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)"

     We need to get the sin out of our lives. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)"

     We need to get back into church whenever possible and stop "...forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)"

     We need to get the things of the world out of our hearts "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)."

     We need to get excited about serving God again and say with the Prophet, "...But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. (Jeremiah 20:9)"

     We need to get a renewed vision for serving God because "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

-Pastor Al

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