The Church of America is suffering from double vision. There are two different interpretations of reality being promoted today causing confusion, division, and an inability to move forward. Some are perceiving current issues in one way and others are challenging those perceptions with a different version of what is true and relevant. Until our corporate vision and ability to perceive by the Spirit is corrected and brought into alignment with heaven, we will have no clarity of purpose or unified strategy to confront the spiritual attacks coming against the Church and the nation.
The liberal media is doing all it can to present their version of reality. Though “fake news” is now accepted as common place, it still has a hold on the hearts and minds of many. Even some sincere Christians are buying into the progressive disdain for the president and his administration’s agenda. Yet, the very thing that should set us apart as “Spirit-filled” believers is that we see things from a different vantage point. We do not judge by outward appearances or human reasoning. We judge by the Spirit; a higher reality that filters out the flesh and rightly interprets through heaven’s eyes.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV).
If we are to have clear vision for this coming year and God’s purposes in the next election, we must examine our perceptions to see if they are being filtered properly. We must determine if our reality lines up with heaven’s agenda. Ultimately, we are not in a war of political parties or social injustices. We are in a war between hell’s deception and heaven’s rule. We are not just dealing with corrupt officials or globalist agendas. We are dealing with wicked rulers in high places that are hypnotizing the populace into a dreamland that is actually a nightmare. Until we see the demonic warlord that is lurking in the shadows, our vision will be blurry, and we will misread the signs of the times.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
When the prophets of old would be visited by heaven, one of the first questions they would be asked was, “What do you see?” (see Ezekiel 40:4, Zechariah 5:5, Jeremiah 1:11, Amos 7:8). What they saw was critical to the message they were to carry. If their perceptions were not correct, the message would fail. If their interpretations were off, their entire assignment would miss the mark. Before they could fulfill their purpose, they had to see things according to the Spirit of God. Their spiritual perception had to be examined before releasing them to their commission. Before we as the Church can fulfill our commission, we must have our spiritual eyes tested and examined.
In the New Testament, Peter was given a vision to see God’s invitation to the Gentiles (see Acts 10:10). Though he was a God-fearing Jew, his belief system limited his ability to see by the Spirit and understand heaven’s greater priorities in extending salvation to those he deemed unworthy. His first reaction was to be offended that such a partnership could ever occur. It wasn’t until he saw by the Spirit that Peter was able to embrace this “new thing” that God was doing and join in this supernatural multiplication of the Kingdom.
In like manner today, the biggest hindrance people have in seeing things by the Spirit is PERSONAL OR CORPORATE OFFENSE. Whether it’s due to our racial or cultural bias, our religious or theological framework, or our personal preference, we are all prone to offense when presented with something outside our comfort zone or boundaries of religious propriety and expectations.
Before Pentecost, it was Peter, again, who became offended when Jesus suggested that He must suffer and die in order to fulfill His Father’s will. Believing that Jesus was destined to greatness as a Jewish leader, Peter challenged Him for even considering such a thing. Imagine his surprise when Jesus not only rebuked him but exposed the demonic source of his offense: Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men (see Matthew 16:22-23). Though Peter’s intention may have been noble, his spiritual perception was totally off. His personal need for validation and misplaced expectation of Jesus’ mission, gave room for the enemy to convince him of an alternate reality. Little did he know how he was playing right into the enemy’s playbook.
This is the reality today. Many believers cannot perceive things rightly because we see through the eyes of flesh and not through the eyes of the Spirit. Why is that? For some, there are yet unresolved wounds from the past that cause them to be spiritually near-sighted and unable to see beyond their own pain. For others, there is a need for justice from unsettled issues, either personally or corporately, that blinds them to any greater plan beyond their own cause. For others, like Peter, they don’t want to consider the personal cost or sacrifice that may be needed to fulfill a much higher purpose. Like having cataracts, these offenses get in the way of our vision and must be removed before our sight can be restored.
If we want to see clearly by the Spirit, we must get rid of any personal or corporate offense. We must lay down any personal cause, concern, or bias that limits our vision and opens the door to a counterfeit truth. God’s ways are not our ways and His methods are not always conventional. He will do whatever it takes to clear our hearts and minds so that we can see a heavenly plan that goes far beyond our limited field of vision.
He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured. (Isaiah 8:14-15 NIV)
There is a call from heaven to SEE clearly and discern rightly. It will not come by scrolling through Facebook or reading the Wall Street Journal. It will not get better by looking for others who support our soap box causes or pet doctrines. Our spiritual eyesight will only clear up when we look into His Word, set our gaze on Him, and discern by the Spirit. It will sharpen by spending time in His presence and surrendering our desires for His, keeping our hearts free from any offense or need for vindication. As we examine our motives and determine to serve His purposes alone, we will find our vision expanded and our clarity increased.
May the coming of 2020 bring our corporate vision into synchronization with the purposes of heaven. May the clarity of our cause become a sharpened tool in the hands of God to proclaim the message He has given us. And may our partnership with His Spirit produce one voice, one sound, and one hope, for the glory of His name. Amen.