Find Me

Find new posts at!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Vision Thing (3): The Import of the Visible

When people long for vision as I've defined it in these posts, it is not because they are physically blind. This is obvious, but it bears repeating. People are generally capable of seeing what is around them, but they often cannot grasp the meaning, value, and significance of what they are seeing. In large part, that is what vision is.

Some think and teach that any person can attain vision if they simply look more closely, more intently, more methodically, more deliberately at the world around them, if they don't just see but look at the world that passes before their eyes continually. There is a good deal of truth to this. I remember in a seminary class being assigned to list 75 factual (and thus easily demonstrable) observations about one verse in the Bible. It sounds impossible (and actually, I think it was), but it was amazing how much detail one can see if one takes the time to look at it. And from detail may spring insight.

But insight is not guaranteed. When it comes to seeing God's vision, close observation of the world he made and silently orders and directs may be a strong preparation for vision, and if God blesses someone with vision it may come through their close observation of the world—but only if God blesses them, only if he intervenes supernaturally. A person may spend a lifetime observing nature far more carefully than the average person does and yet never see God's nature reflected in it. A person may spend a lifetime scrutinizing the Bible far more than the average person does and yet never see the glory of God reflected in the face of the Christ revealed on every page. A church may spend thousands of dollars and man-hours gathering data about their community or target demographic and yet never see the ripened grain and the lost sheep and why it matters so much to God to bring them in or what bringing them in actually means.

Vision is truly seeing what is in front of your physical eyes, but true vision doesn't come merely by looking harder. It comes from a spiritual revelation that by default every person lacks, that only God bestows, that opens the eyes to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment