Posted: 1/10/20 at 1:30pm. Column by Ed Jordan.
January is a time to give thought to what we hope to accomplish in the new year, so to aid in your thinking about that subject, I would like to have you consider looking at your life with 20/20 vision.
If you are a Christian, the plans that you make for the new year should be plans that relate to what God desires to do in and through your life.
As I hope is obvious, the title of this column has double meaning: I am talking about 20/20 spiritual vision. Most of us understand that 20/20 vision basically means perfect eyesight—with both far sight and near sight in balance.
Many of us can see what is near clearly, but what is far away is fuzzy, or vice versa. That’s when we use corrective lenses to bring both near and far into proper focus—back to 20/20.
We can use this same principle regarding 20/20 spiritual vision as well. For 20/20 vision in the coming year, we need three things. One, we need a clear vision of aspects of our lives that are near to us, perhaps present in our lives right now.
We can evaluate our present lives, kind of like reading a map at the shopping mall. There is usually an arrow that says, “You are here.” It is important to know where we are right now, before we try to navigate to where we would like to go.
In Luke 2, we find Joseph and Mary taking the baby Jesus into the Temple to be dedicated to God. A righteous and devout man named Simeon was led by the Holy Spirit to enter the temple at the same time.
When Simeon saw Jesus, he took him in his arms, praised God, and said in Luke 2:29-32 (NLT): “Sovereign Lord, now let Your servant die in peace, as You have promised. I have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the glory of Your people Israel!” Simeon could clearly see what was near to him: he saw who Jesus really was.
Secondly, we need far-seeing vision as well. With spiritual far-sight, Simeon clearly saw what God was going to do through Jesus: he was going to reveal God to the non-Jewish ethnic groups and reveal the goodness and glory of God to the Jews.
Jesus came to be light to all peoples, that we may see the way forward to join God’s people through Jesus, the Messiah.
We each need to do the same thing today. We must see near: we have to begin by understanding who we are and where we are.
We also must see far: we need to let Jesus reveal to us what he wants to accomplish in our lives in the long term. We need both to have 20/20 spiritual eyesight.
But there is one more thing greatly needed to see clearly and follow God fully. Several months ago I went to the eye doctor, thinking I would need new glasses because it was becoming more difficult to read. But the doctor said that my sight was 20/20 with my corrective lenses. What I really needed was more light!
You see, no matter how good your vision is, it is only as good as the amount of light shining on what you are looking at. God’s Spirit was upon Simeon, so he recognized Jesus as the Messiah, he saw that Jesus would provide salvation for all, and he also saw Jesus as the light to reveal God to anyone who would look.
Pray and ask God’s Spirit to reveal to you what God in Jesus is doing in your life right now, in the present aspects of your life.
How is God at work in you now?
What does God want you to accomplish in the future?
Pray and ask God’s Spirit to illuminate the things that God wants to do in and through your life this year.
May God’s spirit illuminate how God is at work in your life right now in the nearsighted view, and illuminate how he wants to work through you in the farsighted months ahead.
“Spirit of God, shine your light into our hearts that we can clearly see you at work now, and shine your light on the path you want us to walk into the future. Amen!”