Summary: The changes God wants to see in us.
This morning we’re moving on in our look at Extreme Makeovers: Life Edition. We’re looking at some of the things that God wants to see change in our lives to draw us closer to Him and to ultimately make us a better reflection of Christ in this world. We’ve looked at the fact that God wants us to have a broken heart, a heart that understands our sin and what it does to our relationship with God. We looked at Psalm 51, the cry of a sinner before His God as King David sought restoration from His sin with Bathsheba. He modeled this idea of heart break before God that is missing in the lives of so many Christians. Last week we turned our attention to our personal communication with God and what that needs to become and look like. God is asking that we have calloused knees, knees that know what it is to consistently bend before God’s throne in prayer. We looked at Matthew 6 and the way that Christ teaches us to pray. So, a new heart and an understanding of the privilege of prayer, are both huge steps towards becoming what God has planned for us to be and in seeing the kind of changes in our Christian life and testimony, in our walk with God, that allow us to enjoy a deep and meaningful relationship with our Creator.
Today we turn our attention to another area. God wants us to have crossed eyes in this life. I can remember when Ethan was an infant and his eye muscles hadn’t developed yet, his eyes would often cross when he tried to focus on something and Erin and I would laugh at the funny looks that he would get on his face. In a short amount of time, his eye muscles developed and he was able to focus with no problems. I can remember when I was little my mother would tell me that if I crossed my eyes to much, they would stay that way forever. Any of you remember being told that? Turns out, as I did research, she was right! I found this picture of a grown up who didn’t listen to her mother when she was little! It’s a shame really.
In this life, having crossed eyes is very noticeable. It’s not something that you can hide and it’s something that society has decided marks you as being different, as not being normal. The same is true for what God is calling us as Christians to. When we develop crossed eyes, we’ll be labeled as different too and anyone who looks at us or talks to us will be able to see that difference in our lives. Now, obviously I’m not talking about the literal condition of having eyes that are crossed. But God calls us as Christians to fix our gaze intently at the cross of Christ and to see everything through the filter of the work that Jesus accomplished for us on that cross. Being cross eyed is about understanding what that cross means and what it represents and what was accomplished for us upon it.
When we fix our eyes on that cross and on the redeeming work of Christ that that cross bears witness to, we will see the world differently, we’ll see it with crossed eyes. And while having literal crossed eyes makes everything seem out of focus, having crossed-eyes in this context, in a Biblical context, is the only way to see things clearly.
A few years ago there was this new craze that everyone was talking about. Someone had found a way to make pictures that looked like absolutely nothing unless they were viewed in a special way and then a very clear, very detailed three dimensional picture would appear. My sister bought a book that was full of these pictures and my family sat together and looked at these pictures for days, they were the coolest thing. There was only one problem, I couldn’t see anything. When I looked at the pictures, all I saw was the blurry two dimensional group of meaningless lines and colors. My family would marvel at the dolphins that seemed to jump out at you and the pirate ships and castles and dinosaurs and I couldn’t see it. The trick to those pictures was in how you positioned your eyes. You had to have crossed eyes to get the picture to come into focus. And when you didn’t have that, the picture was unclear and it led to frustration and eventually I lost interest and stopped trying to see the picture at all.
I think that’s a perfect picture of what we’re talking about this morning. So many people are looking at life and they just can’t seem to see the whole picture, things aren’t quite clear, but if we look at life with crossed eyes, with eyes that are focused on freedom and salvation that are bound up in the work of Christ on the cross, the picture suddenly becomes clear, it jumps out at us in stunning detail and we’re able to see meaning and purpose where there was nothing before.