We Can Develop Our Faith for Our Vision!
“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man has his proper gift of God, one after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:7-9)
We Can Develop Our Faith for Our Vision!
It is good to talk to an original. Yes, that is you, if you still have a heart beat! Do you? Yes, of course you do. Happy Belated Father’s Day to all the fathers out there! Now that I have your attention, let me share some thoughts for you to ponder this week. I hope you are enjoying our subject thus far and using wisdom in your vision.
Every day, we should be thinking of things to better ourselves, having ideas to make life more interesting. We need to challenge our thought process sometimes. We need to grow in God and in His Word. We do not want to be vulnerable to the enemy! That is why I want to provoke you to think. Satan has his gang try to steal you and your thoughts so that you fall for his tactics. What is considered a norm in our world is not a norm in the Kingdom of God. But we will talk about this subject at a later time.
In our text above, Paul is not trying to denigrate marriage as some have claimed. In verse 9, it refers to a person burning with passion toward the opposite sex.
You see, the husband/wife relationship is the oldest and the most preeminent of all human relationships. It comes before the relationships between parent/child, mother/daughter, father/son, or sister/brother.
There should be no relationship that is closer, more personal, or more intimate than the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife. This intimacy involves love and knowledge. They should know each other’s likes and dislikes, their quirks and pet peeves, their strengths and weaknesses, their good and bad qualities, their gifts and talents, their prejudices and blind spots, as well as their graces and character flaws. Nothing is left in the corner in a closet. There is no baggage that shows up on a rainy day. A husband and wife should know each other better than anyone else in the world. Do you agree?
Now let’s get down to business. Do not throw any hard rocks at me, but lay them down and think first about what I am saying. Relationship does not guarantee knowledge. This intimate kind of knowledge in marriage is not automatic.
One of the greatest problems in marriage or any other human relationship involves the labels we use. We use words like “husband” and “wife,” “mother” and “daughter,” “sister” and “brother,” and “father” and “son” to describe the relational connections within a family.
These “labels” imply a knowledge or intimacy that may or may not exist. Let’s take the labels “mother” and “daughter.” Those words traditionally imply a close relationship; the mother knows her daughter and vice versa.
That is not necessarily so. The same level of intimacy could be assumed with the other relational labels. If I call you my brother or my sister, I am implying a certain level of knowing you. In using that label, there is the presumption that there is no need for me to spend any more time to get to know you.
All these labels are assigned a certain closeness and intimate knowledge. In reality, these labels may hinder true relationship building. A husband and wife may assume that they know each other simply because they have taken the label “married” (husband and wife). Yet they may do nothing more than to scratch the surface of a real relationship. The husband and wife may never search the depths of each other’s personalities to gain true knowledge of one another. They forfeit building a deep and intimate relationship.
Marriage is a lifelong journey into intimacy and friendship. Husbands and wives should never hold secrets from each other. Most of us will share with our friends things about ourselves that we never even tell our own families. After all, who knows us better than our friends? True friends are those who know everything there is to know about each other, good and bad, and yet who love and accept each other anyway. A husband and wife should be each other’s best friend. Just think about those things that I have shared with you today, because there needs to be an answer to all these questions.
Let us switch to our vision thought process. Continuing in this will help us go through life more ready rather than being blind-sided by things of this world. Today, we begin with Principle # 5. Principle # 5 is that you must develop the faith for your vision.
Sight is a function of the eyes while vision is a function of the heart. Moreover, the greatest gift that God gave humankind is not the gift of sight, but the gift of vision.
Now you probably heard of the great author and wonderful entrepreneur by the name of Helen Keller, who became blind, deaf, and mute as a result of an illness when she was only eighteen months old. She was a powerful, remarkable woman who impacted her whole generation, and still influences us today.
In her latter years, she was interviewed about her life. In a part of that conversation, while communicating in Braille, the news anchor asked, “Now Miss Keller, is there anything worse than being blind?” She paused for a moment and in her own unique way of talking, said, “What’s worse than being blind is having sight without vision.”
Wow, what a perceptive woman! This woman, who could not see physically, had more vision and achieved more accomplishments than the majority of those in her generation who had sight. Her books are still being read today and her poetry is wonderful. Helen Keller did not spend her years being angry and blaming God for her blindness and deafness.
What she did was live a full life, because she had a vision in her heart. There is a saying that goes, “Eyes that look are common, but eyes that see are rare.” Now what about your eyes? Vision is seeing things as they could be. I am convinced that most people have sight but they do not have vision.
We know that physical sight is the ability to see things as they are. Vision is the capacity to see things as they could be, and that takes faith. Are you using your faith? The Bible says, “as [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Think about this. We should never let what our eyes see determine what our hearts believe. “For we walk [live, NIV] by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV).
In other words, we are to walk according to what is in our hearts. We are to let what is in our hearts dictate how we see life. In the Old Testament, God told Abraham something that could only be seen, believed, and achieved through the eyes of vision. He told Abraham that inside him was a nation.
God told this future to Abraham and Sarah at an age where they were considered elderly. Sarah had been barren throughout their marriage until the time God spoke to Abraham and gave him a vision. God said in effect, “I see a nation in you. Everyone else is looking at your barrenness, but I see a nation of descendants as numerous as the stars, the sky, and the sand on the shore.” (Genesis 11:29-30, 12:1-3, and 17:1-19).
My friends, when we have vision, we are governed by the faith God has put in our hearts. In Hebrews 11:1, it says that, “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen [that you cannot see (NKJV)]”. Faith is the vision in the heart. Faith is seeing the future in the present.
When you have faith, you can see things you hope to have and achieve. But if you are only operating by sight, you will only see the problems and challenges all around you. You will limit yourself and see how many bills you have to pay, your work place downsizing, and other things that are threatening your security.
Sight without vision is dangerous because it has no hope. There are many people today, even in the church, who are still living by sight alone. You can hear it in their conversations. Although they have received good teaching and positive seeds have been planted, they remain focused on what they see and not what faith in the unseen can provide.
One of the main reasons we have all kinds of medical problems (muscle tension, migraines, high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, tumors) is because of our focus on the seen. This week, I am reminding you that living by sight can surely kill you! Life is full of depressing things. You need to learn to live by vision and see life with the eyes of faith.
Just remember that sight is the ability to see things as they are, and vision is the ability to see things as they can be. In closing today, I would like to take a step further and define vision this way: Vision is the ability to see things as they should be! Now let’s assume you are going through a hard time right now and you’re disheartened. You have even seemed to have lost your vision’s edge. The loss of your vision edge may be the result of your surroundings.
Sometimes, the environments we are living in are not the best for fostering vision. The people around you may be saying words that are not always encouraging. I have been tempted to be disillusioned and discouraged so many times. Although we may know and understand that the discouraging things we see and hear are only temporary, they still can cause distress and depression.
That is why we must keep our vision constantly before us. The vision in our hearts is greater than our environments. God Himself gave us the vision so we would not have to live by what we see. God designed our spirits to operate as God operates. Let me remind you of my favorite Scripture in the Bible - Genesis 1:26. In it, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”. Now the word “image” refers to our moral and spiritual character, while the phrase “in our likeness” means “to function like.” In other words, we were created to live according to the nature of God and to function as He functions in the world. That is why the Bible is very clear that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
If you try to function in any way other than in faith, you will malfunction! That is why worry is ungodly and fear short-circuits your vision. You were never meant to be afraid. Have a wonderful and blessed week. May God be with you always. Be encouraged.
Prayer: Father, in life, we have so many disappointments and roadblocks. We must always develop faith in our vision. We must remind ourselves that sight is a function of the eyes, while vision is a function of our hearts. If we can understand this concept, we will live a victorious and positive lifestyle. I pray that we will not fall into the entrapments of the enemy, causing us to lose our faith or to take a detour to destruction. I know that You are a patient God. Please forgive our ignorance. Even though You have given us blessings each day, sometimes we still like to use our sight to navigate through the times in life. We are reminded through Your Word to use our faith and not our sight to compass our way through the tunnels of unbelief. This is why, today, we believe that our changing tide has arisen in our beings, which encourages us to look at what our faith gives us to determine what our hearts believe. It is our desire to know You more and understand Your ways. Help us and remind us of our footsteps each and every day for the rest of our lives. We will not keep operating by sight with its problems which can keep us from reaching our vision. We will push forward in the image that You have been building in us from the beginning of time. We will evaluate our faith so that we can look at our vision and see things as they should be. Your Word reminds us that without faith, it is impossible to please You. We pray that Your will will always be the light that shines through the darkness of my sight. We look to Jesus, the Word. He is the Light of life. The Word is the Light of knowledge from the Holy Spirit. If we go through life without that Light, then we are operating under darkness. Satan is the prince of darkness, which means the opposite of knowledge and that is ignorance. Let us never fall into that kind of life. We need Your light to shine in every part of our lives. Thank You for Your Word. Bless Your people today as they go through this week. Love them and encourage them in their hearts of Your goodness. We pray this in Jesus’ wonderful name, Amen!
Thought: We should never let our eyes determine what our hearts believe!
Living Large to Dream