There used to be a saying, “what you see, is what you get”, and it was even a song. The sentiment behind the saying and the lyrics is basically, our eyes are not deceiving us because what we experience is real and true. I am sure life-experience has taught you that this is not a factual statement. And as for the spiritual mature, not only life-experience has been a great tutor but also experiencing life in Christ and spending time in God’s word has shown to school in the arena of life most expediently.
When we fix our gaze on situations in 2-D with the notion that we are making sound judgments, we deceive ourselves and could cause irretrievable harm to ourselves and others. Especially when we make decisions regarding our present circumstances that we think will last forever or are final and there is no hope for change. One of my favorite life verses, “18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
This verse is comforting during situations that cause me to doubt regarding my future or even present. Any time doubt creeps in, it distorts vision causing distraction and discouragement from my eternal viewpoint.
Simple examples: 1. Someone may have a a son or daughter, who is not measuring up to God’s standard. God’s standards are based on the essence of God’s Word, not on human/carnal expectations that are based on our perception of ‘personal best’. 2. Along with praying, at times, we may worry and imagine a plan to fix things or make people better; It can be something as innocent as helping them along in God’s plan for their lives. At times, we do not see past our problems, even after we have prayed. Shouldn’t we have faith in our prayers and respond toward answered prayer not toward the problem or situation. Faith is required. If we respond otherwise, then our gaze is out of focus.
A focused gaze is calibrated by eternal perspectives found in what God says through the Bible, Holy Spirit, and others God use to speak His word, but not based on what we think we see. This can be difficult when living with a spouse who is not living up to God’s potential or working with a colleague who thrives off substandard living or viewing self with negative comparisons or waiting on healing. We should ask ourselves “Is God finished?” Since, there is still life and Jesus has not returned and God is not a quitter, then the answer is “NO” … God is not finished! We leave the completion stage up to God. We do our part… pray to God, trust God, and believe in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. God has power to raise anything that we see as dead/no change. Temporal vision kills, but eternal vision brings life.
Eternal vision: Being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you shall complete/perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:13-18
Remember we cannot trust our eyes, because what we see and call finished in the natural, God turns right around and calls it unfinished… then again, He not only considers it unfinished but has finished it in future eternity. I know… I know…, its mind blowing. Even more reason to look through the lens of eternity by faith while allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and not trust our vision.
Pray with me: Heavenly Father, Lord, help me to be discerning in all that I see. Help me to look through the eyes of eternity and not with self-centered motives. Help me not make life-altering decisions that can affect others and myself negatively but help me seek you in all matters. Help me to respond to situations with faith in my prayers and your word. Make my prayers align with what you have spoken in your Word, not a wish list for comfort. I am guilty at times, oh Lord, forgive me and show me my conscious and unconscious ways that hurt others and displease you. Help me to be long-suffering as we face discomforts and disappointments in this life. Help me love more like you and show more grace like you but be discerning. Only you can help me fix my gaze according to your Word. This is my prayer, Amen.
The journey flows…