He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:23-25 NIV)

When we choose Christ, accept Him as our Savior, we are newly born. We are washed clean, made new, forgiven and free. We have been touched with new vision. What a beautiful and amazing thing our Father God has done for us! So, we instantly know what God has for us to do, right? We automatically get what our purpose is on this earth. Like we have been downloaded directly from the Father in heaven. Like a robot. Like some sort of software update on our cellular devices. No, I’m sorry to have to tell you this but that is not how it works. We are entirely human and have been adopted into the family of God the day we accept Him and begin living a life of salvation. But this choice to be a Christ follower requires sacrifice and discipline. It demands a lot of us that was not true for our lives before. Hopefully the day we choose Christ, we are immediately plugged into a community of believers. We cannot do this thing called life with the purpose God has given us without being part of a family of Christ followers. Without that consistent connection in a community of believers, participating in discipleship, Bible study, prayer, missional outreach, fellowship and spiritual accountability-we will not flourish as Father God intends. We have been given vision, but we are not able to see fully and completely God’s purpose for us. The story of the blind man in Mark 8 is a great lesson in vision. When Jesus rubbed the mud on his eyes, the man said he could see, but not clearly. His vision was still blurry. It took Jesus touching him a second time to receive the clear and complete vision he longed for and ultimately was intended for him.

Part of my quiet time this morning included a quote from Helen Keller. She was once asked, “Do you think there is anything more tragic than to be born blind?” Her answer was, “Yes. To be born with sight, but no vision.” It’s a tragic reminder to me that there are a whole lot of people wandering around this earth who have no real vision, no idea where they are going. And I’m not just talking about those who do not know Christ. Do you know where you are going? How’s your vision?

The Church is getting a lot of criticism for not handling any number of issues in this day and age with the grace that Father God intended. I agree, we have put too many of our church leaders on a pedestal and pointed more attention to them rather than to the God who called them to do the very thing they are doing in His Name. So, at what point did we consider - as we are spouting our opinions from our soapboxes – that the ones we are accusing are just as human as we are? When are we going to get off our soapboxes and ask those leaders who have hurt us to sit down and have a conversation? We accomplish nothing by avoiding real face to face conversation. We accomplish nothing by talking to everyone around us about our hurt, rather than making an effort to deal with the issue head on. When we behave this way, we are failing just the same as those we accuse. Our vision is clouded here, and we need to ask God to clarify it. To continue living in this manner is to do great injustice to what God intended for us the moment we chose to live for Him.

Time for self-examination then: How is your life a full and complete reflection of Christ?

A necessary and beautiful focus for each day is found here:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NIV)

Vision. Clarity. All of me, inhaling and exhaling the likeness of Christ.

Who do you have in your life right now that you trust to hold you accountable? We all need someone, a group of people around us to partner with us as we live out this life, day in and day out. For me, I have that in my husband, my parents, my brother, our ministry partners at our church, our chapter group, and some amazing women of God in my life. I tap into each and every one of these amazing people constantly. If you don’t have this in your life, then it’s time to get it. Drop your excuses for not, and just get it. I believe we have all suffered significant and genuine hurt, but we are only hurting ourselves more so by choosing to remain in it. You have a choice to step out and make a change for better. Nobody can do that for you. You have to choose it for yourself. When you choose change, and ask God to transform you from the inside out, I promise you will discover newer, clearer vision. I can testify to that in my own life.

Here is your chance. Ask God to search you and know you, and renew you today. I’m praying for you and I know God is going to do a new work in you!

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