Posted by: Derek Guyer | December 5, 2011

Eyes That Can See

When was the last time you considered just how much the LORD has done all around you? Have you stopped to just see the blessings? The power? Have you stopped to watch the perfection of creation? Have you enjoyed the sunset? Have you stopped your car long enough to watch a hawk soar above you? Have you watched the squirrels working and playing? Have you watched your finger blister to protect the wound you just received from burning your hand on that pan? Have you stopped to thank God for your tired eyes that worked hard all day to keep you alert and focused to do your job?

We’re surrounded by more beauty than we’ll ever recognize. There is wonder to be found in the trees, the grass, the water we drink, our bodies, our children, and everything else around us. While scientists boast of their accomplishments and understanding of life as we know it, they’re constantly learning how little they actually know. While we are still discovering the perplexities of His creation, He upholds them all with His word alone (Heb. 1:3 & Col. 1:17).

“O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions.”

Psalm 104:24 NASB

Unfortunately, the sin that so easily entangles humankind seems to blind even those of us who call ourselves His people. We become so blind with our own desires, our own understandings, and our own will, that rarely do we see the Almighty for who He is. We’ve been far too busy making the works of His hands our idols and never seeing the One who made it all. All too often, we’re seeing Him through the lens of our own selfish desires as we sit in bounty and ask for more. This has drastically affected many things, but specifically I’m focused on how it’s affected our trust in Him.

We aren’t alone. Since the beginning of creation, men and women have been exchanging the glory of God for things (Romans 1:18-32). This exchange has corrupted our ability to see and enjoy Him. What began with Eve and then Adam, has turned into quite a mess for all of us. “We all like sheep, have gone stray and turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

As I’m sitting here reading and meditating on some changes I need to make, I was drawn to one verse in Paul’s letter to Philemon. Paul writes to Philemon with a challenging request, but his request isn’t what stood out to me. It’s the statement he makes in verse twenty-one that is so startling to me:

“Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.”

Philemon 1:21 NIV

Paul had a special trust in this servant of God. He recognized a pure heart and a sincere desire for things that were true and right. He knew it was a desire that would manifest itself in Philemon’s works of obedience. Philemon had eyes to see something different than others around him. Philemon would do what was right. Philemon would obey God and go all of the way.

Paul saw a pure heart in Philemon and knew that he would obey. There was such a hunger for truth in him that Philemon would forgive the wrongs and extend the same grace he had received in Christ.

What about you? Would Paul be able to write this same phrase to you? Or, frankly, would you be too busy to read his admonition to you? Would you be so busy working, playing, and fulfilling your own desires to see the need for a sacrifice of  your own life to honor your Heavenly Father?

I fear that in the complicated mess of our lives, we’ve lost sight of the will of the LORD. We whine of the injustice of God and the lack of His presence, all the while closing Him out through our own selfish disobedience. We’re so busy with the things our own flesh desires, that a consideration of the will of God and the needs of others isn’t even a consideration. We’re already living such disobedient, selfish, and broken lives that stopping to consider a transformation of character and lifestyle isn’t a possibility.

As I drove back from California recently with our new van, I stopped to take a break in Wyoming at a retail store to just walk around and stretch out. I slowly strolled through the store after 16 hours of driving, looking and aching for three more hours of energy to get through the night to get to the other side of the state. It was about eight o’clock at night, and I wanted to get into Cheyenne, WY before I stopped. I had just driven through some treacherous mountain passes in Utah and was pushing as fast and as far as possible. I asked the woman working at the register what Wyoming was like, since it was now dark. She said, “It’s boring.” Shocked, I said, “Really? I thought there were mountains and beautiful scenery all around here.” She responded, “No. It’s flat and boring. You’ve passed the mountains and for the rest of your drive, there is nothing to see.”

I was so discouraged. Of all of the drive, Wyoming was the part I didn’t really want to miss. I had always believed it was covered with beauty. My heart sunk within me thinking that this drive of majesty across the West was now at an end. I felt the energy and excitement of this amazing trip come out of me. I ended up driving another hour and stopping at a motel to sleep because my body was so exhausted. I laid there in the bed thinking about how disappointed I was and decided I wouldn’t lose hope. I set my alarm for early and got ready to see Wyoming at sunrise.

I rushed out the next morning determined that Wyoming wasn’t flat and that the glory of God was there for me to behold. I was right. I was surrounded by mountains on every side. There were rock formations and miles of my Fathers majesty. It was fantastic!

I sat there in awe of that poor woman’s words as I drove through the incredible views in Wyoming and kept thinking about perspective. It became clear to me as I drove in the silence of that cold morning there in the West, that we all have a different perspective on things. Unfortunately, the woman’s perspective was stopping her from seeing the incredible scenes of grandeur that were all around her. If she thought Wyoming was flat, I wanted to invite her to Indiana to help her with perspective.

To bring my point home, Christ wasn’t just coming to save us from our sins. He was coming to awaken us. He was coming to offer us perspective. In taking us away from the grasp of sin, He was offering us the freedom to enjoy the moment with God and to walk in obedience to Him. He was taking off the shackles of sinful living and allowing us to see His glory. He was allowing us to live in that glory. In fact, He was allowing that glory to live inside of us.

He asked those who would come and follow Him to lose their lives to get them back. He asked them to give up their own will to pursue Christ. He knew that a surrendered life would mean a changed heart. He knew that a changed heart could experience things that a selfish and stubborn heart could never consider. He freely offers His presence to those who would come and take of it. Will you let go? Will you leave?

The glory of God is right in front of you. Can you see it?

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