Visual distortion can be an issue for me. Physically, I have post radial keratotomy complications, which I now realize are quite common due to not well researched optometrist claims made back in the 80’s and 90’s. As frustrating as this condition is increasingly becoming, it is not these visual distortions and fluctuations that can cause me the most grief. The most critical visual malady I suffer from on occasion is when I focus on the perspective most easily seen by my circumstances, negative or otherwise, rather than God’s perspective. When I submit to God and refocus to His point of view I am enveloped in a spiritual bubble of truths and promises, often revolutionary, that I couldn’t see before or had temporarily lost sight of.
Refocusing gets easier with practice. It comes about by time spent in the Word, in prayer, in worship and seeking out those who give Godly and encouraging words and counsel and who will help identify the negative lies of the enemy to toss out and replace with truths. I know why Fanny Crosby, the blind hymn writer, wrote in “Blessed Assurance”, ‘Perfect submission, perfect delight! Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels descending bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.’
To our detriment, we often don’t see what God knows and sees. Elisha’s servant had this problem and was overcome with fear, as anyone might be, when he saw the enemy armies surrounding them. Elisha, who was seeing a spiritual realm, prayed for God to open his servant’s eyes to see the deliverance at hand. Ps. 34:7 promises, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” Have you ever spent time with someone who so bolstered your “faith” perspective that you walked away feeling squished between the Christ beside you, behind you, and ahead of you? I have and I am thankful God uses brothers and sisters in Christ to provide just the medicinal spiritual boost we need on occasion.
In Zechariah we are told of unseen angels that patrol the earth and go before the throne to inquire on our behalf. We also know, but may forget, that Christ is there to intercede for us day and night. Balaam was initially unable to see things quite from God’s perspective, yet God allowed Balaam’s donkey to see the warning angel. Balaam later repented for not realizing this invisible spiritual realm and the urgency of God’s will in the matter. Daniel may have thought his prayers were slow in being answered but eventually an angel arrived with the answer and chalked the delay up to a strange but unseen struggle in the spiritual realm. Joseph’s view of the bad that happened to him was summed up in the spiritual perspective he acquired during his years of trials, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..” (Gen. 50:20). This is the promise we have when we love God. This is why we can have a peace even when evil seems abundant in high places. God is still ultimately in charge and His plan has not changed.
In stressful situations when I have trouble with keeping my perspective on the faith filled focus I know to be true, I pray for help (Mark 9:24). Then I attempt to press on with Hebrews 12:1-2 in mind, “ Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus….” Those invisible witnesses are martyrs, loved ones who have gone before us to Heaven and angels watching our spiritual progress with great interest. Though curiously mysterious, we are being watched by an invisible crowd, we have angels to watch and attend us, and Christ is constantly interceding for us. We serve a God who not only sacrificed His Son for us, but who stands with us in all of our circumstances and uses every one of them for our good when we believe Him. I have learned to cope with fluctuating distortions in my vision and may even find a remedy soon, but I do not want to be spiritually nearsighted. Visions of rapture are too good to miss! What are your most recent visions of rapture that took a second look to “see”?