January 18, 2010

The State of Our Self Address

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

It’s my understanding we are rapidly approaching the President’s annual State of the Union Address. No disrespect to our Commander-in-Chief, but I think we are all aware of the state of this Union. Just turn on the television. I think I would prefer to hear a “how are we going to get out of the state” of the Union address.

Sunday morning in church service, our pastor cleverly but pointedly delivered a “State of the Church” address. As a church member, I would be wise to heed and implement the wisdom of that message. As I listened, I had a thought of my own. Well, maybe not all my own!

Okay, I will not be caught unawares by the State of the Union. I have been instructed and challenged by the State of the Church message. Now I believe it would be prudent to ponder the state of my “self.”

Whether be it my country or my church, I will not be a productive participant in furthering either cause if my “self” is not in order. Simply put, it’s time for a spiritual check-up. Just as my physical body has many parts that should all work properly for optimal performance, so should my “spiritual body” if you will allow me to take some literary license.

Between Bible Study, morning and evening services on Sunday, I was encouraged to check my heart, my mind, my hands and my feet to make sure they were properly connected and surrendered to God for His service. But that is not what I want to talk about. Today, let’s address vision.

Since our pastor mentioned vision yesterday, so I am going to borrow a few of his points and interject some of the thoughts that crossed my mind as I listened in church Sunday morning.

You know, they say the eyes are the first thing to go. Funny, no one ever says what the second thing is! Admittedly my vision needs to be checked. It’s been a few years and things are looking a bit fuzzy from time to time.

However, we have spiritual vision that needs to be checked even more frequently than our eyes. Here are three things I was impressed with and would like to share them with you.

First, we must have cleared vision. Like a car driving down the road, the journey is much safer when there are no obstacles in the path. Spiritually, this can be tricky since we don’t always “see” the obstacles. Therefore it is imperative to stay closely connected to the One who sees all.

What moves will you make to clear your line of sight this week?

Second, we need to have focused vision. It’s really hard to see something when you are trying to concentrate on a thousand things at one time. Being committed requires a singleness of mind to the object of your commitment, namely Christ.

What distractions can you clear away to allow you to focus your vision on God and what He may be calling you to do?

Last but not least, we need continued vision. Perhaps you’ve done okay in the vision department and have made a few milestones. If so, I am proud of you. But don’t rest on those laurels. The only thing that happens when we rest on laurels is that the laurels get crushed and we lose forward momentum. When our vision is clear and focused on what God wants we can accomplish many things for His kingdom. However, as every task assigned is completed, a new one awaits. Our vision should never stop scanning for what lies ahead.

What adjustments do you need to make to your eyesight to maintain an equal balance on what is near and what lies ahead?

Well, I guess I’ll come down off the soapbox now, because I have to answer the same questions I posed to you. May the Holy Spirit guide each of us as we check our vision with the Savior who has always kept us in His!


PS: Once you check the vision – don’t forget the heart, mind, hands and feet!

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