Sydney Holt - Mellowdale - Thursday Afternoon, July 4, 2002

Hymn 284

We all want happiness. Bumper sticker’s state happiness is – being grandparents; being part of the gang; having a good set of teeth. This is the “worlds  vision” of happiness.

God’s definition of happiness is different than the world’s definition.  I’m glad for the Lord’s definition.

My thoughts have been about our vision. Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The most precious thing we have is God-given restraint. Convention is like getting our vision checked. It’s a wonderful thing to get correction for our vision. A man was shocked one morning when he happened to shut one eye and found that he his vision was poor in the bottom half of his other eye. He had no idea that something deadly (a tumor) was working on his eye — blurring his vision. We’re thankful God can restore our vision.

Psalm 73:1-5, “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart, but as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.  They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.” Asaph had a very serious eye problem. His vision was blurred. He was envious, he saw the wicked as prospering, but finally went to the eye doctor — went to the sanctuary. Verses 16-17, "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.” He was envious of them until the Lord corrected his vision.  God cleansed him. 

Common eye problems are:

1) Astigmatism. That is one reason I wear glasses.  The shape of the eye is not perfect — the vision is warped — lines that are equal look different — some are darker than others. The writer in psalm 73 had this type of warped vision. He was looking at the wicked and saw them prospering. With corrected vision, he saw the end of it all. We need to not only love what God loves and hate what God hates. It’s easy for our vision to get wrong. A professing man worked in a restaurant and heard terrible language. He was shocked at first, but after having worked there for a while, he got used to it. I Corinthians 5:1-6, “…To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”  They were condoning something that is wrong, not hating what God hates. They took a stand against what this man was doing and he repented. 

II Corinthians 2:6, “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” Perhaps this was the same man they were now being admonished to forgive and comfort the one who had repented and turned from sin. We need to see things in their true shape – as God sees them.

2) Far-sightedness. We see other people’s faults, and not our own. Psalm 73:21-22, “Thus was my heart grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.  So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before Thee.” He saw himself as he really was. Matthew 7:3-5, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?...” Isn’t it easy to see the faults of others? We need our vision corrected. It’s hard to see our own faults. We must be honest before God and ask, then let Him show us ourselves.

3) Cataracts. They come gradually and vision becomes dimmer and dimmer. Maybe we’ve come to convention with a dim vision. Psalm 73:23-26“Nevertheless, I am continually with Thee; Thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” This is clear vision now and forever. Maybe we’re not a bit aware of how dim our vision has become.

Revelation 3, the different churches. God said to them, “I know thy works,” but there were some things that were wrong with them. Revelations 3: 14–18, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things,' saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 'I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” God told them what it was, and then gave them the remedy. If our vision is affected, we can come to the Great Physician.

Matthew 16:13-17,  “…He asked His disciples, saying, 'Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?' And they said, 'Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.' He saith unto them, 'But whom say ye that I am?'  And Simon Peter answered and said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.'” It was a God-given revelation that Peter was given.  

4) Nearsightedness. Some people you never ask how they are, because you will hear about all their illnesses. These people only see themselves and their own little world. Psalm 73:28, “But it is good for me to draw near to God. I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Thy works.” We need to be declaring God’s work in our lives. Learn to live for others.

Galatians 6:2-5, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For every man shall bear his own burden.” We all have two burdens to carry. One burden is carrying our own burden. The other is to carry anothers’ burdens. 

Genesis 49:14-15, “Isachar is a strong ass crouching down between two burdens. And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulders to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.” The load is a struggle because we only think of our own little world. We have balance in our lives when we carry our own burden, and help to carry others’ burdens, too. We can visit people in rest homes and give to them – maybe a home-cooked meal, etc. Do that without neglecting your own burden. See the needs of others. Others could be drawn to the Truth through to us.

5) Double-vision. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) 

In Psalm 12:2, “They speak vanity every one with his neighbour; with flattering lips and with a double heart, do they speak.” What you look at affects what you think about. What you think about is what you love. It’s good to leave here with a single vision. Double vision makes us confused.  If our heart’s right, our vision will be on the things of God.

For these vision problems, we come before the Great Physician.  He’ll help us see ourselves as God sees us, and to see God in all His glory.

Hymn 359