December 6, 2019
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OK, it's time for a simple experiment - which is the only kind I'm capable of. Don't try this if you're driving please. But if you're where you can do this safely, pick up some object that's close by: your pen, your comb, a cup - whatever. Hold it about a foot from your eyes. Now, move that object slowly toward your eyes - you're not driving, right? OK. But keep staring right straight at the object. Now bring it all the way up to your face. If you keep staring at the object, I'll bet something strange has happened to your eyes. You are suddenly cross-eyed and everything looks weird!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Cross-Eyed."
What in the world was the point of that dumb exercise? Well, there actually was a point; one that may explain some of the stress, the anxiety and the conflict you're feeling right now. When you look at something too closely for too long, your perspective gets very distorted. In a sense, you get cross-eyed!
Our word for today from the Word of God shows us how this distorted perspective can affect your choices and cause us to make some pretty costly mistakes. In Numbers 13, beginning with verse 30, our word for today from the Word of God, the 12 Jewish scouts have just returned from checking out the land that God has promised to His people. Two of them, Caleb and Joshua, are saying "Go for it!" The other ten are saying, "Run for it!"
Here's what it says: "Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.' But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are.' They said, 'The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size...We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.'"
Well, as a result of this perspective, God's people turned away from the beautiful land God had promised. He said He'd give it into their hands, and they spent 40 years in the wilderness instead. Why? Those ten scouts had stared at those big walls around Jericho and those big Canaanites, and pretty soon that's all they could see. Caleb was looking beyond those walls, beyond those giants and seeing the great and mighty God they had. But those who never saw the Promised Land were the ones who got spiritually cross-eyed from staring at the size of their problem instead of focusing on the size of their God, which might be a mistake you've been making right now.
When you focus on your obstacles, when you focus on what you're afraid of, what you're worried about, your vision starts to get blurry. When you focus on yourself and what your resources can accomplish, you start to feel like, well small "like grasshoppers" they said. You start seeing your whole life through the lens of this problem, and pretty soon everything looks distorted. And you start making decisions that are now based on a totally distorted view of reality.
When you've been looking too long and too closely at a situation, you need to do things that will help you back off and get the big picture again. Get some sleep, spend some time praising God for all He is and all He's done, get away for some extended time with the Lord, spend some time with a child in your life. They can help you restore your perspective. And get the views of some people who are totally outside your situation.
Remember, when you look at one thing too long and you look at it too closely, your vision gets distorted! So don't hold it so close, and spend some time looking at something else!