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Spiritual Tunnel Vision

Josh Blackmer
Sunday, 05 November 2017

Tunnel vision is when you are so focused on something that you can’t see what is happening around you. It happens all the time and nobody is immune. We become so fixated on an object ourselves or an ideology that we don’t see what is really happening around us. This is a dangerous state as it may cause us to miss out on so many things but most importantly, a relationship with God.

The Pharisees, Sadducees, Lawyers and Scribes were groups that were stuck in tunnel vision. They had this law thing figured out. They knew exactly what the Messiah was supposed to do and how He was supposed to act. Anything that was different to their tunnel vision of God’s plan was not acceptable. Jesus called them out on it. “Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16:30).

On another occasion, a discussion arose about John the baptizer (Luke 7; Matt. 11). This was the commentary of how people reacted to John’s message—”When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John” (Luke 7:29-30). John and Jesus didn’t fit within their concept of God’s message. “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (Luke 7:33-34). They missed out on God’s purpose because of their tunnel vision. Jesus said in that moment, “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come” (Matt. 11:14). Jesus was plainly telling them that John was the Elijah prophesied in Malachi 4, which would make Jesus the Christ. They were not willing to accept it.

It still happens today. There are those who plainly see what is happening and are obedient to the Lord and His Father. They are blessed and accept God’s justice. There are those who reject God’s will or purpose for their lives and will not receive the justice they seek. The warning to us all is that we do not become so narrow minded that we don’t see the truth before us. Do not use so broad a brush stroke or sweeping generalities that would go beyond what is written. When God says that He has a purpose for you, it is not some mystical thing that you must go in search of—it is simply obedience to His will. We must not get so focused on what we think the plan is that we neglect to ask God what He wants. Don’t miss out on what God has planned for you because of spiritual tunnel vision.