Spiritual Vision: Beholding Jesus to See Everything Differently
‘Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don't have troubles like other people; they're not plagued with problems like everyone else. They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. "What does God know?" they ask. "Does the Most High even know what's happening?" Look at these wicked people- enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.’ (Psalm 73:1-14, NLT)
Not by sight. You are probably thinking to yourself, “Megan, what the heck are you talking about girl?” Sight is a necessity, something that enhances our perception and view of the world around us. With sight, we can see new things, recognize the old and learn vastly. Sight is a gift but sight can also cause us to look at others with jealousy, view people in hatred, or see situations with an unclean mind. Just like there is danger in our tongue and the way we speak of others, there is a danger in our sight.
But there is a gift that has been given to us, a filter that influences every part of who we are, how we see, think, speak, hear: spiritual vision. Spiritual vision is a gift that is produced in our hearts when we spend time in the presence of our God, desiring Him above everything and submitting all we are to Him. This spiritual vision is infiltrated with the wisdom and thinking of God, and constantly reminds us of His promises in all that we face.
In Psalm 73, we read a plea from Asaph for God to help His people defend His cause and remember His promises. We can see in this passage of writing that Asaph is devastated and feels forgotten, and yet he is thankful for the assurance He has in God. He is envious of all who surround HIm who do not know the Lord, thinking they truly have everything. He is frustrated with witnessing all the people around Him doing all the wrong things and experiencing what looks like joy and blessing. Asaph is starting to question why He is trying so hard and why He has dedicated himself to living a pure life for God.
The reason that Asaph is so frustrated is because He is looking at everything through His own perception that is tainted with hatred and confusion instead of spiritual vision that would inform Him of the truth that God is in control of everything. Asaph has an amazing closeness with the God of the universe, that is so much more compared to the gold, health, and perfection the people around him may have. Through God, Asaph has everything; through God, you have everything.
The reason that God gives us spiritual vision is not so we can have a happy, joyful life all of the time because that is not reality. The reason we have been given this ability to see the world through Jesus’ eyes is because He wants us to see things in the context of a heart devoted and close to Him. Spiritual vision helps us remain stable even when it feels like we're being wrecked. It helps you help others, as you may see more than them in a situation.
Spiritual vision informs us and gives us a heart that draws close to God’s heart as we make decisions, and deal with challenging situations. It influences our thought life and leads us into depending on God and not the situations that arise. It produces true wisdom, consistency, and continually grows character and stability in your life. If you have a willing heart and devote yourself to beholding the Father, your spiritual vision will become more focused and Christ-centered
In this new year, I’m encouraging you to pursue this spiritual vision you have available to you in the Lord and making it a habit of seeing the world through this lens. My prayer over 2020 for myself and all others is clear and strong spiritual vision that directs us all with relentless conviction.
After Asaph finishes venting about the things people are doing in their impure lives and His disappointment, his spiritual vision begins to correct him and reveal so much of the unseen around him.
Starting in verse 16, Asaph says, “So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant, they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant- I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” (verses 16-28)
Now see that spiritual vision kick in!
God has revealed to Asaph that what he has in Him is all that matters. That he is not asleep and a dreamer like others that surround Him, but He is awake living in the purpose of the almighty God.
This year, you are awake. You are not sleeping but alive in the presence of a God who desires to build you up and bring you new vision and perspective.
These words that Asaph speaks over himself are so powerful and are such a beautiful reminder that what we have in God is everything. There is such wisdom in knowing that and even recognizing it. When we are in tune with the Spirit more than anything else, we develop a powerful and God-filtered understanding of all that surrounds us. We are able to be His hands and feet to others and ourselves.
This year, let’s sacrifice more than we ever thought we would for the desires of God's heart. Be bold in what God has called us to and view life in a way that only God can teach us to.
Spiritual vision is one of the most precious gifts given to us, and I am praying this year that you use it and inform your mind and soul with it.
It is not worth seeing this world, God, and our lives in any other way.