Sight. The act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight
See. To perceive by sight; seeing – present participle meaning to continue
I had checked off "setting the vision for my family" from my spiritual to-do list. Later, when the vision came under great testing, I nearly lost complete sight of the vision along with the will to please God through its doing.
Kryptonite has the effect of weakening Superman to the point of helplessness. As Superman’s strength fails, Lex Luthor presses his advantage by putting the necklace around Superman’s neck and throwing him into a pool to drown. This ploy was successful because one of Superman’s weaknesses at that time was that he could not see through lead. Superman ignored Lex’s warning not to open the case [which was of course a temptation designed to peak his curiosity] and opened the case because he overestimated himself and underestimated his enemy.
God gives us vision – a glimpse into His future plan for us and our specific role in His plan to harvest the lost and prepare to be with Him in eternity. The vision for our lives propels us forward, urging us to purposefully experience every manifested morsel of life God gives as the steps of our vision manifest.
The first type of vision we need is simply the sight that comes from our senses. These natural senses, however, must be influenced by the sharpening of our spiritual senses which allows us to see (i.e., be alert) to the things around us in the natural world in order to realize God’s full, intended vision for our lives. Faithfully fixed on the peak of the mountain, we must then have the power of both natural and spiritual sight to identify opportunities, avoid pitfalls, and make sacrifices to achieve the mountain’s peak.
Consider Abraham, our father according to faith. In Genesis 15:1-6, God shows Abraham [Abram then] a vision of his descendants being as numerous as the stars. It is now up to Abram to believe God for the promise of the vision and obey Him to its fulfillment. Initially, Abram used his natural eyes and saw Eleazar, the young slave over his house. But his natural sight was inadequate as it was not honed and prepared by spiritual sight for seeing what God wanted him to see. Just like Superman, we have limits to our vision and can make supposition where sight is limited by things we can’t see beyond and thereby get ourselves into trouble.
How do we ensure we are seeing correctly while we pursue the vision?
First we must pray, fast, and read to sharpen our spiritual awareness.
“But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren't spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-14
Abram made a mistake following the counsel of his wife, Sarai, in presuming that his own seed absent his wife’s womb would be sufficient to bring God’s vision to pass. Notice how we perceive we can do a thing for God in our own strength, much like Superman’s assumption that based on his current strength, he could handle whatever was in the lead case. Only after opening their “lead case” did Abram and Sarai realize their weakness and the danger it caused. Though God cared for Ishmael, Ishmael’s descendants are trouble for Israel to this day.
In addition to fasting, praying, and reading, we must recognize evidence of the change in seasons – both natural and spiritual. Abram and Lot’s herdsmen were fighting over grazing rights in a pasture and this was an apparent signal that it was time for them to part. I am not saying the natural evidence supersedes the spiritual. Please judge natural events through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. At times, however, the natural senses given us by God can also clearly reveal His will. A spiritual evidence of a new season can be updated instructions from God, a shift in the tone of God’s messengers and ministry gifts, or a prophetic event foretold in Scripture. Ignoring these evidences can frustrate our pursuit of God’s vision because in doing so we find ourselves running in fur coats in the summer, shivering in bikinis during the winter, or naked in a rain storm.
Let’s try some other examples. It is well for me to know the vision for my child to prophesy; however, am I seeing that s/he is currently battling fear and gluttony? Have I noticed a shift in the Spirit calling for a new group of teachers and influencers in his/her life? More importantly, am I seeing the need to end certain groups of teachers and influencers in my life because of a shift in the Spirit? Let’s suppose that in one season of my life, prayer was sufficient for breakthrough and deliverance. If I find that breakthrough is no longer coming, could it be because I’m now in a season when I need to fast? “Seeing” knows the vision is for an appointed time. Don’t lose sight of anything God has shown you nor anything God has given you. All of it is important and a part of His destiny for you.
God gave me a vision for my household which I accepted and communicated only to see great harm come to my family. I was not “seeing” and being alert in the natural or in the spiritual. Breathing a sigh of relief, I had checked off "setting the vision for my family" from my spiritual to do list. Later, when the vision came under great testing, I nearly lost complete sight of the vision along with the will to please God through its doing. I was blind to the natural signs of a need to be more intentional in managing our finances, removing harmful associations, and maintaining my home. I was blind to the spiritual signs of decay in my relationship with God, my fellow laborers, and my family. I was blind to the degeneration of my sexual needs into vile and inordinate lust. I was blind to the natural evidence of my wife’s feeling spiritually uncovered and alone. I was blind to the need for spiritual warfare combined with Biblical instruction for myself and my eldest daughter who, though gifted, was under intense attacks that were planting doubt and fear deep into the recesses of her mind – but I couldn't see that she needed to see the demonstration of Godly love and affection from her father in her life.
But the vision God gave me was and is grand! Had I not with God’s help begun seeing more clearly, I would have perished. At one point during my journey, I opened a door not for me in the form of a business deal. It brought me disappointment and great harm for which I subconsciously blamed God, and which in turn led to mistrust and blindness. But foundational to faith is belief and trust in God being who He says He is [Hebrews 11:6] and that He intends to fulfill the promises He has made to man. To lack faith is to lack the ability to see from a distance.
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:5-10
We must remain patient especially when we feel we are floundering at the promise of God. God is truly at work in the unseen aspects of our lives.
To bring a vision to pass, God must be involved in our day-to-day seeing just as much as He is involved in birthing the vision. Don’t be over-reliant on yourself, overestimate your strength or underestimate your enemy’s. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) Failure to heed natural and spiritual signs can lead to poor preparation which in turn leads to disappointment and loss.