“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Gaining God’s 20/20 Vision, by Randall D. Kittle

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” — Proverbs 29:18

Welcome to the year 2020. I believe God has many great and wonderful things in store for His Church this year. Yet, I also believe there will be a plethora of “prophetic words” about this year being a year of great revelation … a year for the Church to attain God’s “perfect vision.” Being in the rather unique position of being a minister and having been an eye doctor for twenty years, allow me to shed some light on what I believe God would have us understand about God’s 20/20 “vision” for the year 2020.

When most people hear that they have 20/20 vision, they believe it means they have “perfect” vision. If you happen to be one of them, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but this isn’t what 20/20 vision means. When a doctor tells you that you have “20/20 vision,” he is referring only to the clarity or sharpness of your vision at a distance of 20 feet. It doesn’t say anything about your peripheral vision, eye teaming, depth perception, focusing ability, or color vision. If you can see the letters on the “20” line of a Snellen chart clear enough to read them correctly, then you’re considered to have “normal” visual acuity. Since most young patients can see 20/15, and some patients have been measured to see as well as 20/8 (2.25 times better than 20/20) we can hardly refer to 20/20 as perfect vision.

Gaining “Normal” Vision
John Bevere tells us that
“Normal vision for the Church is seeing things the way God sees them.” Since we know that “the Lord does not see as man sees” (1 Samuel 16:7), the only way to see like He does is to be more fully conformed into His image by having our gaze continually fixed upon Him. For the Church to have God’s vision we must “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). If we fix our eyes upon anything less than the Lord, we will miss the mark.

During the 2004 Olympics in Athens, a U.S. athlete named Matt Emmons had a commanding lead going into the last round of one of the rifle-shooting contests. He had already won one gold medal in an earlier rifle-shooting event and seemed a lock to also win this one. Ahead by three points with one shot yet to go, all Matt needed was to get near the bull’s-eye to guarantee a second gold medal. Trying to stay calm, he raised his rifle, focused the crosshairs of his scope on the center of the target, and slowly squeezed the trigger. A smile came across his face as he saw the target tear in the “8-point-zone” … assuring his victory.

But something was wrong — he hit the target, but no score appeared for him on the scoreboard. He gestured to the officials telling them there was some sort of error with his target. He knew that on rare occasions the scores fail to register with this type of target. He felt relieved as he saw the officials huddled … until they announced to the crowd that Matt Emmons had “cross-fired”; shot the target, not in his lane, but his opponent’s next to him.  He had hit the target he was aiming at … but it was the wrong target! That wrong focus gave him a zero score on his last shot, which dropped him to eighth place and cost him the gold medal.

This story graphically depicts the importance of fixing our eyes on the right target, and for the Church that target is Jesus Christ. How do we fix our eyes on Jesus? That takes place as we see Him revealed in His Word and when we spend time in prayer and in worship — giving Him our burdens, thanking Him for His mercy and grace, and asking Him to lead us.

First John 3:2 promises that
“we shall be like Him” … but then it goes on to tell us that this occurs “because we shall see Him as He is.” The most important thing for us to do this year (and every year) is to “see” Jesus — to fix our eyes on Him. So, let me encourage you to press into the presence of God like never before. Know Him, love Him, and follow His lead. Let Him guide you step by step on the path He has for you. As you fix your gaze upon Him, you will be conformed more and more into His image and gain His perspective … His vision! Are you willing to pray: “Help me, Lord, to fix my gaze upon You as revealed in your Word and taught to me by your Spirit. I want to see You so clearly that I can begin to see things the way You see them”?

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