SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Spiritual Myopia

Set Up:

(From an article, “All About Vision”, by Judith Lee and Gretchyn Baily, edited by Dr. Vance Thompson)

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision problem experienced by one third of the population. Nearsighted people have difficulty reading highway signs and seeing other objects at a distance, but can see for up-close tasks such as reading and sewing.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Nearsightedness runs in families and usually appears in childhood. This vision problem may stabilize at a certain point, although, sometimes it worsens with age. This is known as myopic creep.

Nearsighted people often have headaches or eyestrain, and might squint or feel fatigued when driving or playing sports. If you experience these symptoms while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, you may need a comprehensive eye examination as well as a new prescription.

Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. Depending on your vision problem, you may need to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time, or only when you need distance vision (like driving, seeing a chalkboard, or watching a movie). If you're nearsighted, your prescription is a negative number. The higher the numeral, the stronger your lenses will be.

 

Point:

Back in the summer of 1995, I had refractive surgery to correct my myopia. I have enjoyed 20/20 vision since that time. However, it wasn't until the following summer that I began to correct my spiritual myopia. I have diligently worked since then to continue to improve my spiritual sight. It is this journey that is at the heart of this lesson. Additionally, there are many who suffer from poor spiritual eyesight (many even within the body of Christ). The purpose of this lesson is for everyone to take stock of their spiritual eyesight! As without it, you will be hard pressed to find the God of heaven and redemption in His Son!

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Lesson:

Sight belongs to the common stock of spiritual imagery because of its obvious connection to light (in the scriptures, light always has a reference to truth and righteousness with God). Spiritual sight or insight is widely used as a metaphor throughout the scriptures. Sight in the scriptures is often used as a symbol of human understanding when one has grasped the teaching of God.

Ephesians 1:17-18 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him , 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened ; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”

The Apostle Paul prayed for the brethren in Ephesus to continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge of God. This sustained growth and improvement of their sight would continue to lead them to salvation through the inheritance ‘IN' Christ. It is this knowledge of His will that gives these and every Christian perfect 20/20 spiritual vision.

This is an overwhelming Gospel message, note:

Acts 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

1 Peter 1:22-25

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because

"All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.

The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever."
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

For everyone who seeks the perfect vision within the revealed will of God, it is found by humbling ourselves to the written word. However, if this knowledge of God in Christ is perfect vision, we learn immediately that poor vision and all spiritual nearsightedness occurs because the individual does not love the truth (this is vision that falls short of the desires that God has for us ‘IN' Christ). So, spiritual nearsightedness is anything short of the life that God expects all his children to live according to His word! This may sound quite ambiguous, but it is actually that simple.

The main difference between physical myopia and spiritual; is that physical may be caused by natural occurrences, whereas, spiritual is strictly self-inflicted. If growing in the knowledge of God via the word, is to have perfect spiritual vision, then the easy answer to the cause of spiritual myopia is the lack thereof.

Stagnation, apathy, misplaced loyalties, misappropriation of time, and a total lack of devotion may often be the root cause for this degenerative spiritual condition.

Since the ultimate objective is to transform ourselves into the image of the Savior, our every effort must be to know that image in order to emulate it.

James 1:18 “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

Colossians 3:9-11 “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

Delusions: This is based on seeing things that are not really there. This misguided vision is caused when a Christian does not develop a love for the truth. This causes them to practice what seems to be right, but it has no foundation in the truth.

This causes a visual skew, and allows them to believe and seek lies and un-righteousness. The Apostle Paul described this as the root for apostasy, note:

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 “and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth , that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

 

Defiled: Many of the nearsighted problems that occur in a Christian's life are experienced because of poor eye care. When the lure of the world cannot be overcome, disease and infection creep in, note:

Titus 1:15-16 “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure ; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God , but in works they deny Him , being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”

These ask for wisdom, but never study. They say they love God, but never show up to worship. They pray for mercy, but blame everyone else. They claim morality, but behave as everyone else. This is what James describes as asking amiss, and it is based on friendship with the world, note:

James 4:3-4 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss , that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God ? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

 

Restricted: As we described earlier, spiritual myopia is self inflicted. This is multiplied when we allow others to see for us, thus restricting our sight. When we associate with those who stand in the way of our clear sight, or when we allow them to influence our sight so that it only agrees with theirs, we cannot ever develop clear spiritual sight.

Virtually all Christians will admit that they cannot serve two masters. However, they will without compunction place more importance on a physical relationship and trust someone with their spiritual well being, above developing their own insight to the word of God. Although we are to note those who walk up-right ( Philippians 3:17 ); this in no way eliminates our responsibility to learn and grow in order to know ourselves what is upright, and walk accordingly, note:

Colossians 1:9-10 “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord , fully pleasing Him , being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God ;”

 

Tired Eyes: These are Christians who have never developed the discipline to learn, develop, and be energized by the truth of God's word. If these are not entertained or bedazzled by a preacher, music, or show; they quickly lose interest and fall away. They willfully forget the example of the Savior, who endured the cross as an example of the endurance needed to finish our faithful race, note:

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us , 2 looking unto Jesus , the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Spiritual Myopia is treatable! This affliction can be turned around and actually add to your ability to see well.

The first thing you must do is take personal responsibility for correcting your vision.

Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling ;”

Although we are not islands in our service to God, we will however, answer for our own development and deeds. For this cause we must take personal responsibility in our growth and development.

Second, we must follow with all humility the pure word of God (that gives perfect spiritual sight), note:

2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 John 9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

We must learn to avoid putting question marks where God puts a period. We must humble ourselves to allow the instruction of the word to change our perspective and thus our sight, note:

James 1:25 “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it , and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does .”

Finally, we must never forget why we were born into the family of God.

1 John 5:1-5 “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome . 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Since true faith comes by hearing the word of God; then perfect spiritual sight is that which comes through faith.

Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel ,”

2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

 

Can You See?