It started with an early-morning drive through my neighborhood. I was minding my own business when a sudden splash burst across my windshield. I couldn't understand where it had come from. I knew it wasn't raining; I could still see the moon.
I peered into the darkness and realized some lawn sprinklers had come on. For some reason, they decided to point straight at my car as I drove past. So for the rest of my journey to work, I couldn't help but think of the Scripture that says, "For now we see through a glass, dimly; but then, face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, even as also I am known" (1 Cor. 13:12). I saw through my windshield dimly.
God used this to bring me a deep spiritual message. I had a clean windshield and great vision, and all of a sudden, a burst of recycled water changed everything. I had to push the button on my dashboard to spray some cleaner and allow the wipers to bring clarity.
The analogy God brought to mind was how often in our lives we start out with clear vision. God has given us a good plan, and we know where we're headed. And then we walk through a little storm or a little bit of agitation. Somebody throws water in our face or on our plans and in some way interrupts our great vision.
We've all experienced this because it happens so often. We start with clarity, and then something happens that blurs our vision. Our windows get dirty.
What gets stuck to the window of our spiritual vision? The real answer is "lots of things," but for the sake of space, I'll keep it to three.
Comparison: When I start comparing what I'm saying to someone else's message, when I look at the size of another ministry or the efficacy of another pastor, the words of another writer or the podcast of another show producer, and I compare my path with where I see them going, I find myself sad or glad or worse.
As I put my eyes on others and take them off the Lord, my spiritual temperature cools down. Just as my windshield does at times, my vision gets foggy because of a temperature change. I've confused God's vision with my own.
Distractions: Distractions cloud my vision because when I look away from the windshield, I'm not seeing from the perspective of that front window. I'm looking away.
When this happens with my 9-year-old grandson, I call it "Squirrel!" He looks left. He looks right. He's not really seeing a physical squirrel; he's just distracted. Something else has captured his attention.
We all do this, often when we're working hard to complete a project and another project distracts us. The enemy uses anything he can to take our eyes off Jesus and the vision God has given us.
If I am distractible, I'll be distracted. I have to pray against distractions that would turn my head and move me away from my vision of the cross.
Jealousy: This problem can severely cloud our vision. And this is not the same as comparison. It's jealousy about someone getting credit for something or receiving praise for something I did, and I don't feel loved or appreciated.
But why would that bother me if I'm serving as unto the Lord? I'm looking through my window, and all of a sudden, jealousy turns my vision a little green. I think it happens to all of us in different degrees, but it can move us away from our place of closeness to the Lord.
When I feel jealous, I pray that the Holy Spirit will forgive me, and I ask for clarity. When I ask forgiveness and ask Him to help me see with childlike purity and a positive view of the future, He grants it. I believe that's a part of the "daily bread" Jesus instructed us to pray for.
It's as simple as pushing the little button for window cleaner and using our windshield wipers. All we have to do is ask. The Lord always sends us manna from heaven; we only have to ask, and we have the food we need.
Lord, open our eyes spiritually that we might see Jesus. Help us not to see as man sees but to see through the eyes of the Spirit, not to look through the glass dimly, but then face to face.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His Charisma House book, Love Leads, shows that without love, you cannot be an effective leader. Download his Greenelines podcast at cpnshows.com.
This article was excerpted from the August issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com and share our articles on social media.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His Charisma House book, Love Leads, shows that without love, you cannot be an effective leader. Download his Greenelines podcast at cpnshows.com
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