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Learning to see with spiritual eyes

The last two day’s blogs have explored how we inadvertently mistake stewardship for ownership when we are stewards of something for a long time. Jesus combated this tendency in his disciples by destabilizing them, moving them from place to place. In so doing, they learned to begin thinking f…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

The last two
day’s blogs
have explored how we inadvertently mistake stewardship for
ownership when we are stewards of something for a long time.
Jesus combated this tendency in his disciples by destabilizing them,
moving them from place to place. In so
doing, they learned to begin thinking first as kingdom citizens. The process took three solid years and for
most modern Jesus-followers, it needs to take longer.

A blog reader brought up a good point: while moving from
place to place may be necessary as a pedagogical tool, it has a decided
downside as a lifestyle. The downside is
that it can prevent us from developing intimate relationships. How do you grow close to people if you know
that you’re going to be moving on soon?

We Western Jesus-followers struggle so much with intimacy as it
is, a mobile lifestyle can make it much harder to commit and be vulnerable. Even staying in one place is no guarantee
that you’ll easily bond with others. For example, although our family has made some great friends, frankly, this is something we have struggled with in northern Georgia. We can count the number of invitations we’ve
gotten to locals’ homes on two hands.
Many of you who have gone thru a series of moves may be able to relate.

Jesus never gave us a model of what life in a neighborhood
over time might be like. But he did give
us a great model of a discipleship process, one that asked his followers to
leave everything for a season so they might learn to see with spiritual eyes. After getting married, Karen and I moved to Indonesia with
a couple of suitcases and a trunk. Later,
we moved to the Dominican
Republic.
Each time, we were gloriously unencumbered and free to trust God.

Now that we’re approaching our empty nest season, we sense
that God may be asking us to “lighten our load” again. But I’d make that tradeoff in a second to
increase my spiritual vision. I aspire to the kind of vision Paul describes in the first chapter of Ephesians: “your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what he is calling you to do…”

Those of us who would follow Jesus in a radical way must at
some crazy point in our lives throw caution to the wind and carve out some
extended time to leave distractions of the familiar and predictable behind in order to better learn to see the kingdom with
spiritual eyes. That’s the only way it
comes into focus.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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