Sight For Sore Eyes | Levi Lusko

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Sight For Sore Eyes | Levi Lusko

So it happened coming out of the car wash Daisy was in the middle row Linux was in the back seat buckled into his car seat, which is always a process with a three-year-old First, there’s the season where every time you have to buckle him in Then there’s the season where he wants to buckle himself in, which is the season we’re currently in Here’s a little fun fact, he’s not very good at it, or fast at it, or thorough about it So that’s aggravating, but he will cry if we go back and do it I can do it myself And so there’s always the waiting, and there’s always the triple confirmation Did Linux finish buckling everything up? Is it done properly? I mean, I’m talking is it at his sternum? Is it tight enough? Or, oh, no, it’s tight [INAUDIBLE] It’s like you could fit nine of him in there That’s not going to work And so we successfully got the confirmation from Daisy, who is 10 and a details person So Daisy says, no, dad, he is buckled in And so we come out of the car wash, because during the car wash, everybody’s unbuckled It’s a circus in our car Everyone’s looking up the sunroof and watching the octopus attack the car, and there’s tears sometimes It’s just there’s lots of– all the things, guys And so coming out of the car wash, turning left, spot the opening, and so I gun it We take the left turn, and Daisy says, dad, dad, dad And I say, what? She goes, Lenox I go, what, Daisy? Did he unbuckle? She goes, no, he tipped over At which point, I said, he did what? So I quickly pulled over onto the side of the road and looked back, and sure enough, Lenox is tipped over He is in his car seat, I will let you know, buckled in perfectly to his car seat The problem was his car seat was not buckled into the car, and so this was the first epiphany Lenox knows how to unbuckle his car seat, which is almost like the velociraptors learning how to get out of the cages a little bit because now, it’s a new thing we have to confirm Is he buckled in? Is the car seat buckled in? And so the second epiphany, which I still don’t know the answer to– I’ll have to get to Heaven and pull out the DVRs– how many days has it been since that car seat was unbuckled and no one had just done a quick left turn? And so we sorted this out and had the conversation and the learning opportunity, and as we continued heading down the road, that’s when God began to speak to me What are the areas of my life that look like they’re put together, but that deep down, there’s not that base, there’s not that foundation, there’s not that root system? And this is what is to be on our minds as we continue now week 2 of our series of messages called, “Take Back Your Life,” a 40-day adventure and journey, interactive, that is all about us learning how to think right so that we can live right, and trying to root out dysfunction, areas of our lives that are not healthy, are not productive Relationships, habits, ways of thinking that are toxic And we’re not just going for the surface stuff, because I think it’s pretty easy in this life that’s always go, go, go– got to be there, got to do this, got to get that done– to have the quick check and say, I’m buckled in, I’m good But the question we’re asking in this series is, is the thing you’re buckled into buckled in? Because you can look good on the surface, but still deep down not have that anchor, not have that foundation, not be scalable long-term We don’t want to just have a good year or even a good decade We want to last We want to build lives out of marble We want eternal impact We want Jesus to tell us, well done, good and faithful servant, when we stand before Him So that’s what we’re really trying to do, is we take our lives back We’re trying to take back the control from things we’ve given it to that are not long-term going to make us happy And as we continue in the second week of this series, I’ll remind you that we said last week this is all about testing We’re all about this 40-day period that in the Bible, again and again, comes down to this idea of testing, and we’re being tested I don’t think it’s any mistake that if you take 20 and add it to 20, what you’re going to get to is 40 And we’re in this 2020 time of testing where just about everything that can be tested is being tested These, as they say, are the times that try men’s souls, and so we’re trying to come to a place where we’re passing this test The Bible says that God doesn’t test us to destroy us He tests us to prove the work that He’s capable of doing deep down inside of our hearts And if you have a Bible right there where you are, would you turn with me to Matthew chapter 6, and I want to give to you a message that I’m calling, “Sight for Sore Eyes.” Sight for sore eyes And this would be a perfect time to hit that Share button on Facebook or to send a YouTube link to a friend, to someone in your life who needs to be encouraged from God’s Word, whether you’re watching this live

or you’re watching it down the road later on Just think about anybody in your life you could be used to encourage, to give them a lift, hey, I’m going through this book with my church It’s a 40-day devotional I thought you’d listen to this message, maybe like it Maybe you’d want to get the book, maybe you wouldn’t I gave it to a friend this week, someone I know, and he was really touched He said, thank you so much That really means a lot I’m going to set it down next to my Bible and read it I love that I love that I can check in with him now in a couple days and have an easy frame of reference, because we’re going through the same thing, and it’s pretty neat and pretty special When I say, sight for sore eyes, of course, I’m conjuring up those images of someone you haven’t seen in a while, and now you’re in front of them again, and just that feeling of refreshment A friend of mine who I follow on Instagram, and we’ve been together here and there in life, but I follow his– it’s funny on Instagram, we know what each other are doing, even when we’re not around each other So when we do get to be around each other, like, oh, how’s that thing going that I don’t know about firsthand, but I did see you post about it last February It’s really easy to stalk people So I just saw that he was with his grandparents, but not with them in person He was with them through a window because he wanted to be there with them, but couldn’t be there next to them And so just that touching, like, I’m close, but not right there, and how sweet it will be when we can finally just hug without caring again and be around one another I think there will be a lot of sight for sore eyes type of comments we’ll be able to make about loved ones we haven’t seen because of proximity, or the difficulty of travel, or the fear of spreading a disease And so that’s what we’re talking A sight for sore eyes The idea of lenses comes up again, and again, and again in this book because there is such an import on what we see, on the things that we say, on how we respond to the things that we feel And Jesus speaks directly to this topic in Matthew chapter 6 This is a very famous passage It’s The Sermon on the Mount, which is so named because He gave this sermon while standing on a mount, as you could expect Verse 22, Matthew 6 This is God’s Word “The eye is the lamp of the body If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?” And Jesus, I pray that as we pause our lives that can be so crazy, just to listen to You, to hear from Heaven, to be refreshed, not just through singing worship songs to You, but now as we listen to words written by You, by Your Spirit This is Your Word on this page Eternal Able to help, able to heal, and we ask that You would give us eyes to see what You want us to Empower to change And I pray for salvation I pray for progress in the journey of sanctification and becoming more like You I pray for people discouraged today, You’d encourage them, and I pray that we would be inspired to live a better story And we ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen It was a while back that I landed in Texas I was on a little preaching trip, and I was picked up at the airport along with someone from our team who was traveling with me And while we were taken to eat– there’s a meal being put on by the people who had brought us in to give a talk at this church in Dallas And while we were in the restaurant, the person who was driving us around, he did a little shopping, at least that’s what I noticed, because when I got back into the car, behind me in the– not that I was snooping, but there was a bag that hadn’t been there before Urban Outfitters is what it said And I just thought to myself, apparently, he’s capitalizing on his time Did a little shopping And so we got to the church, and I had to change pretty quickly The event happened And while we were in the back room going over the program for the conference, talking about different flow, things, who’s going to speak when, and who’s introducing who, and what band is doing what, and all this was going on, I noticed that our host who had been taking care of our details, getting us around, slipped into the bathroom and came out just before the pre-service prayer And when he came out, he was wearing a different shirt He had been wearing a black T-shirt, and when he came out, he was wearing a Hawaiian-style shirt, buttoned up, collared Only this one had a print all over it It was squiggles, but the squiggles where this abstract design repeated over, and over, and over again I shouldn’t have been fixated on his shirt because I had to give a message to 5,000 people in just a few moments, but I’m thinking, apparently, this was the shirt he– maybe this was the shirt he bought earlier I don’t know I’m like, OK I see what’s happening here He’s like, bought this shirt He’s like, this is the night This is the night this shirt will see the light of day And so now we’re huddled up, and the band’s over here,

and we’re over there, and as I recall, it was Carrie Joe about to lead worship And so she’s giving this amazing little prophetic word in the pre-service prayer, and this pastor’s over here, and just before the prayer began, I looked one more time at the shirt, and I just– am I seeing things or do those little squiggly lines actually– those are naked women That’s what I thought to myself Those squiggly lines aren’t just squiggly lines Those are naked women OK Now the prayer has begun We are linked up in hands, hand-in-hand We are beseeching the throne room of Almighty God for mercy and help in time of need The pastor dropped to his knees at one point, and I can’t stop staring at the shirt I’m like, is it really that? Then I start to go, no, it’s not that This probably says more about me than the shirt It’s probably one of those psychological tests It’s probably just nothing Or you– well, you see what you want to see So then I’m, well, then I don’t want to see that So I’m like, no And then, I mean, just to be sure, I peek out of the corner of my eye It’s my turn to pray now I’m like, those are naked people I totally fumbled the prayer Now we’re getting escorted out, the front row Service has begun There’s thousands of people in a room Use your imagination We are singing, and it’s worship, and it’s powerful The Spirit is moving, and I look over, and my host has both hands in the air I think I saw a tear trickling down his cheek Then I’m like, you know what? How can I judge the guy? He is praising God Maybe they’re more just free in Texas Maybe this is just celebrating the beauty of creation And so if he’s worshipping, I’m like, who am I to judge? But that’s pretty weird Those are naked women on his shirt in the House of the Lord And so I just– but now I’m like, I have two songs till I have to preach I need to actually– what message am I even giving? So I’m opening my Bible, and I’m trying to figure things out And just before the video that’s going to play that would introduce me to go on stage, I look over, and my host has a windbreaker zipped up to his chin Just tight It’s not that it doesn’t fit him I don’t think it’s his It was somebody else’s And I look over, and I go, are you cold? And he goes, there’s naked women on my shirt And I go, I know! Here’s the crazy thing about this story Those naked women were on his shirt when he saw it on the rack and said, I choose you The naked women were on his shirt when he tried the small on and then chose to go with the medium As he walked to the cash register and set it down and said to the person, I’m purchasing this today, here’s my Visa, thank you very much, there were naked women all over that shirt And they were on the shirt when he put it on in the mirror, fixed his eyebrows, and came out for the service to start They were right there in front of him, hiding in plain sight The truth is, in our lives, we don’t see the full story We see what we want to see And because that’s true, we mistake much of the reality that we assume is there for what we want to be there, oftentimes Leadership guru, Stephen Covey, in his incredible book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, put it this way, quote, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are, or as we are conditioned to see it.” The truth is, reality is made up mostly of what we cannot see Because God, and angels, and demons, and eternity, and the true story, this is what we’re unable to see because of our fallen state, the Bible says So what we need to learn to do is see the spiritual, to see the unseen What we can see now, what we can spend now, what we can taste now, what we can handle now, these things are all passing away What we can see now will soon be gone, but what we cannot see will last forever It’s the unseen realm that is eternal And so what we need to ask is, what are my blind spots that I am blind to? What am I missing? What are the squiggly lines forming that I’m not seeing because I’m not connecting the dots because I’m just seeing what I want to see here in this shirt? We all know that we are what we eat, because everything we eat comes into us and then becomes a part of us But the truth is, we are also what we see and the way that we see it David knew this, and that’s why he said in Psalm 101, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes I hate the work of those who fall away It shall not cling to me.” I think we all need to be careful to watch what we watch

What am I taking in? What movies am I watching? What am I bringing in through my eyes that I should be shunning? And as I say that, of course, I’m talking about the wicked things, like David said, to shun the vile things, to shun the wicked things But it’s not just the bad things that can get in our way As we learned last week, it’s not just being bad that’s a problem It’s also being busy that’s a problem So perhaps, there’s things that we’re watching that aren’t wicked, they’re just worthless They’re just not helping us They’re just distractions from where we want to be In Psalm 119, David also said, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and revive me again in Your way.” God wants us to not just avoid wicked things, but also to stay away from worthless things Things that are just holding us back Because as the old saying goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul, or as Jesus put it, “The eyes are the lamp of the body.” And what that means is, what you see will impact you What you see, and what you make sense of in the reality that you’re living in, the story that you’re writing, it will impact your life and the lives of those around you Now, here, as Jesus puts it, He’s describing a person whose body is impacted Essentially, He’s saying his whole life is impacted because of his vision His spiritual vision or the lack thereof Now, there are two ways to bump into things in your room As you’re walking through your house, there’s two ways to smack into something, and one way would be for there to not be enough light And we’ve all done that I need to get up and get some water in the night, but I don’t want to turn the lights on because my eyes are all adjusted now So I think, I know my house Bang Coffee table Bang Leg of the bed That’s when we really test how much we love Jesus There’s some words that might come out of our mouths sometimes that are not that spiritual Bang Because there wasn’t enough light But the second way would be for there to be enough light, but your eyes not to work properly And that’s what Jesus is saying He’s saying there’s plenty of light, but if that light in you is dark, if your eyes aren’t working, it doesn’t matter how much light there is if the eyes aren’t receiving that light and aren’t using that light It will still end up bad for your body as well That is to say that if your eyesight is, spiritually speaking, an eyesore An eyesore If you’re spiritually an eyesore– that is to say, you’re living darkly, you’re living a dark life, you’re living a vindictive life, a petty life, an anxious life, a worried life, a life that’s full of mistrust, mistrusting, or greed, or jealousy– your vision, how you see things, is going to be changed It’s not going to just affect everything about your body It’s going to affect everything about your health It’s going to affect everything about your relationships And so when we talk about being blind and seeing, of course, we think about that salvation moment That Paul moment, who hated Christians, hated Jesus, and he was blind And then God, bam, touched him Scales fell, and he opened– I can see now I see everything differently And when we think about spiritual blindness, I think a lot of times we think about that But what we’re forgetting is that it’s not always so clean cut as, I was lost, and now I’m found I was blind, now I see There’s also the stages of seeing The stages of growth Don’t mistake what I’m saying There has to be a moment where you call, Jesus Lord There has to be a moment where you invite Him into your heart But I think there’s also degrees of blindness, and I think our emphasis on that moment, when did you get saved? When did you give your life to Christ? When were you amazing grace, blind, but now you can see, and a wretch, but you’ve been loved? We can forget about the fact that even once we’re saved, even once we’re forgiven, there’s still areas where we have blind spots There’s still areas where we’re not seeing correctly There’s still things that are right there in front of us, on the shirt, we’re just missing them And so God needs to touch the areas of our life that are, spiritually, an eyesore But fortunately, whatever for you is holding back your life from the progress that you’re meant to have, whatever that is, Jesus came so that the unhealthy envision would receive sight And those who have already received some sight would receive more sight, and those who have received a lot of sight would even receive more sight I don’t care if you’ve been walking with Jesus for 50 years and growing grace, there’s more for you to see There’s more in store for you You’re not done You’re not finished There’s more of God’s grace He wants to expose you to More of His face He wants to expose you to More of even what’s inside of you that you’re capable of More people to touch More He wants to trust to you More He wants to do through you God wants to bless you Increase you Cause His face to shine upon you I’m telling you something, as long as we’re

living in a fallen world where there’s still going to be explosions displacing hundreds of thousands of people and killing people, as long as there’s going to be diseases that ravage the world, people who are giving into their anxiety, as long as there’s going to be young girls who are not eating because they think if they can just lose some weight and be pretty like the girls they see on the TikTok For You page, that then they’ll have worth, then they’ll have meaning, then I’m telling you, there’s going to be Christians that need to rise up to share the love, and share hope, and be kind, and give grace, and make a difference in their high school this September, whether it’s online or in-person I’m telling you that God wants you to see more He wants you to see clearly He wants you to be aware that you don’t see right now as well as He wants you to see There’s areas for all of us where there’s an unhealthy aspect to our eyesight, to our vision He wants us to tap into the fullness of sight that He came for us to have And if you don’t think this is what Jesus came for, I got news for you It’s right there in his mission statement, Luke 4:18, the reason he came– this is Jesus’s purpose for coming– “Anointed to bring the gospel to the poor, to heal broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” And that vision is not just that one time event of salvation It’s that constant ongoing act by which our eyes are healed of areas where they are unhealthy Now, fortunately for me in giving a message on what it’s like to have an unhealthy eye, I feel uniquely qualified because of what happened in 2020 Yes, the irony of hurting your eye in year 2020 is not lost on me But I ended up in the hospital on the 4th of July after a fire rocket shot straight into my eyeball And it was a– there am I being wheeled in to get the MRI, because they were telling me at that moment that they were worried that the cornea had two scratches in it, and that maybe the eye had somewhat been ruptured And yes, it was not a pretty sight to look into those beautiful baby blues on that day, but it’s been a journey And the way I see it, anything you go through, God wants to teach you something through, and He always wants to give us comfort that we might receive comfort And if I’m just being completely honest with you, I needed to receive comfort What you saw there, being wheeled in to that hospital back room, was really a difficult test for me And a number of times, I felt like I was going to hyperventilate, and not just because I was wearing a mask But I always feel like I’m going to hyperventilate when I’m wearing a mask They’re supposed to be soothing to breathe into a paper bag, but breathing into a mask does not soothe me in any way, shape, or form And I did get judged when I posted one of those photos on Instagram One of the first comments was, how dare you wear that mask improperly It’s not even covering your nose I’m like, I’m sorry The next time I almost blow my eyeball out, I will really be– I didn’t even know I had a mask on or what my name was, by the way But I did walk into the hospital with my hand like this My wife was beside me I bumped into the door frame because she thought I had it But she was a great nurse through the whole thing, and the lady’s like, what’s your name? I’m like, Lusko She’s like, you’re my pastor I was like, that’s wonderful But it was hard because that is the exact hospital emergency room where we were taken back in 2012 when my daughter, Linnie, went to Heaven And I had not been in those ER rooms since that night, and it brought back a lot of hard memories and challenging moments And I was pretty sure, as I got wheeled in, that I was never going to see again out of that eye And so it was just hard, and there was a lot of fear and a lot of impact Let me tell you, when your eye is hurting, it impacts your whole body I could tell you right now, what Jesus said here is so true If your eye is unhealthy, your whole body does not feel right It impacts your whole life to not see like you’re meant to But the scary thing is, the human eye is capable of adjusting And so even right now, while I’m preaching this message, out of my left eye, things are still pretty blurry, and I’ll talk more to you about that in just a moment But I don’t notice it most of the time, because your brain adapts God’s made us pretty resilient And so I have even now, in this moment, adapted to not seeing properly And that’s the danger, is that we might not notice areas of our life, spiritually, where we’re settling for less than God has for us You might even have heard this message and go, I don’t even see a thing It’s like, maybe that’s the problem If you say you can see, Jesus says He can’t do anything for you But those who are willing to– and this is John chapter 9 Those who are willing to admit that they’re blind, He has lots more in store for you So I hope you’re not saying, this message, I don’t need, but maybe there’s someone in my life who needs it more

We got to always put the oxygen mask on us before we’re able to put them on somebody else And so I hope for all of us today, we’re going, God, help me to see Open my eyes up There’s areas where I know I’m blind I don’t even know what it is, but God, I want You to show it to me And I don’t want to be content just getting by, looking mostly out of my right eye Really, if You can touch this eye, I want You to do it I want You to bring me total healing I want total deliverance I want everything that Christ has for me What are my blind spots that I’m blind to? What is my car seat I am buckled into that is not buckled into that car? So help me Here’s five words I wrote down that I’ve been hearing my ophthalmologist toss around These are just hotcakes All right Here’s the words I’ve been living in that God’s been speaking spiritual revelation to me about The first is pressure Pressure There is pressure inside your eyeball, and your eye should be, normally, they say, between 10 and 20 as they do pressure checks And I’ve had the pressure tested in my eye, probably, 100 times since the 4th of July, and that was ever since I was in the ER that night Immediately doing pressure checks because the trauma, the impact of that mortar round that hit the eye, it caused damage And part of the damage, it caused bleeding, and that bleeding internally inside the eyeball caused there to be unhealthy amounts of pressure Now, the highest I ever got was 50, and the pressure when it reached 50, it made me physically ill When your ears are off, you get that vertigo, but when the eye is messed up, it can do the same thing I spent one 24-hour period, when the pressure was at its absolute highest, in bed, in the dark, completely disoriented and confused, and could barely get up, barely eat anything It was just sick, and I felt pale and sweaty, and it really messes when you have pressure Well, here’s the parallel We live in a world of pressure We live in a world of stress There’s so much pressure We’re being bombarded by pressure to perform, pressure to succeed, pressure in school, pressure in sports, pressure in family We have pressure when we’re posting things in life, and just in every way, we deal with pressure The pressure of health things that can all of a sudden go sideways We have and are going to deal with pressure Here’s my question for you What do you do when you feel that pressure? Do you lash out at others, feeling entitled to be mean to someone because you’re just having a bad day? Do you freak out? Do you worry and obsess over it, and just completely just let it running around, and round, and round, and round, and round in your mind until you’re almost in a downward spiral? Do you medicate? Ah, I’m feeling that pressure OK I’m going to alleviate it with this spending, or this drinking, or this mindless entertainment to take my mind off it It can be easy Or do you worship, and thrive, and evolve, and grow, and listen, and do the things you need to, to build your pressure up in here? Because like a submarine that would be crushed like a tin can by the pressure of the deep sea, the solution is to have a pressure on the inside equal or greater than the pressure on the outside You and I can’t do anything about the pressure that we face in this world 2020 or not, there is pressure that we are going to experience The solution isn’t to try and get rid of external pressure, but to rather have a greater source of inward pressure Pressure that comes from the Holy Spirit And that’s why Jesus, when you read the Gospels, will always be found, before the day begins, in a secret place Before the crazy trial began, in a secret place I was texting a friend who I had been reading through the Gospel of John with, and I said, isn’t it interesting that before the cross, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray? Because pressure was coming, He needed to get alone and pray But it says, Judas knew to go there and betray Him because Jesus often went there with His disciples So the Garden of Gethsemane was a place Jesus frequented Why? Because that was a location where He could pump up the pressure on the inside of His heart to deal with the constant pressure that He was up against So don’t try and get rid of pressure Good luck with that In this world, you will have, say it with me, pressure Type it in the chat Pressure The solution is more pressure in here, air pressure, from the Holy Spirit who will breathe His power, His pneuma, wind, power Wind, power into your heart Pressure is not the problem The lack of pressure in your heart is Number 2 I wrote this word down Trauma Trauma The actual trauma of the eye Right now where I’m sitting, the blood’s all out of the eye The pressure is healthy

I’m down from five daily drops in that eye to one Thank God, because that took an Excel spreadsheet and my wife doing nothing but chasing me down with the teal, or the purple, or the pink, or the red, or the turquoise drops Or we left the house, oh, we left the turquoise one behind OK Someone get the turquoise eye drops, and all that Because the trauma And now the visible evidence of it is all but gone, but there’s still just the lingering impact from the trauma Some of you today, being around you, none of us could tell what’s– because the blood’s gone, and the actual physical evidence of the difficulty may be no longer there, but there’s still the impact of the– what’s the word– trauma Hardship from your childhood Difficult things that you went through that no one would know The fact that when you went to school, you didn’t have lunch money, or you didn’t have clothes for back to school Oh, all your friends went back to school You’re like, back to school shopping? Yeah, right That was like back to school, what can I wear that still fits me, even though I’ve grown like a weed, but my family doesn’t have any money to wear these things? Making up stories about what’d you do on your “family vacation.” It’s like, worried about what I was going to eat because the school wasn’t providing lunches for me There’s trauma that can come from these things, these things that we face, these things that we endure, these things that we go through And again, the question is, what do we allow that trauma to accomplish in us? Because it’s going to have an after effect You can’t get hit by a train and not be different from the experience And these things in life that feel like that, the grief, the sexual assault, the hard challenge of watching your mom pack up a vehicle and choose to not live with your family anymore, you’ve gone through hard things That’s trauma There is going to be an impact for the rest of your life and mine The question is, what will that impact be? Will we become a bitter person? Will we be defined by the worst day of our life? Or will we allow God to heal the trauma and allow that scar that will remain, not festering an ugly and an unhealthy, but a healed scar as a badge, as a settled symbol of something that God victoriously, with His mighty right arm, brought you through That you are now eager and actively looking, that you might find somebody going through a similar situation, that you might swoop in to give the comfort you received You see, that is also being impacted by your trauma, but in a positive way A lot of us are trying to maybe live like, or make it like, the trauma didn’t happen, which is what leads to so many problems Masking a deep seated thing will never help it heal Pretending it’s not there, ignoring it, hoping it will go away, it will not go away It will manifest, bubbling up to the surface in some other way that you end up becoming addicted to gambling online when your family is asleep It’s going to find its way out The question is, will you let it find its way out in a settled, joy-filled, helpful way, that you’re changed by what you went through? Who wouldn’t be? But changed for the better, now positioned to watch God work in your life in massive ways Some of you think that the problem and the reason you are the way you are is the hard things that you’ve gone through I’m just going to let you know, that’s not true It’s never the thing you went through It’s always what you see in the thing that you went through How you think about the thing that you went through They tell me, when this is all over, the shape of my eye might have changed They’re not looking at that yet because we’re just getting through the trauma, getting healthy But they say that when it’s all said and done, they might test the eye and find out my prescription has changed, and how useless would it be for me to still insist on wearing old contact lenses when I have a new prescription Don’t pretend the trauma didn’t happen Just let God fit you for new lenses And I’m hoping, by the way, that if my eye has changed, it’s for the better, and not for the worse They’re going to tell me when this is all done, it’s freakishly bad, but you got eagle eye vision And I’m like, better than Lasik, get shot with an eye– no, don’t do it Don’t do it and just think, all right, here we go I got two of them No Listen, let God lean into what God is trying to do in your eye through the hard thing that you faced Because He always turns trash into triumph, and turns the suffering we face into a story of His grace, and what our good God, who is able to make all things turn around for the good, is working in your life Trauma Pressure

Third word is focus My big eye– my big eye My big eye That was when there was a lot of pressure No, my big problem right now is focus They’re telling me my eye’s not automatically focusing like it normally would It’s not– if I look out of this eye, automatically pulling in the foreground It’s all kind of blurry, but then I have to try and focus it And what the ophthalmologist explained to me, with incredible bedside manner, by the way, was just, basically, that it stunned– the moment the impact happened, it just got stunned, and just freaked out It was like, we’re just going to chill here, if it’s cool And it’s not rebooted yet, and that when we deal with all the big problems, and keep it healthy, and deal with all the trauma, eventually, he says, it should start focusing again Here’s my question What are you focusing on? What means the most to you in this life, and what’s your go-to when you lose control, when things are out of your control? If you’re like many, you end up like Snoop Dogg, with your mind on your money and your money on your mind You’re focusing on it, and you’re like, that’s a weird connection Actually, no, it’s not The reason Jesus told this Parable of the Lamp in Matthew chapter 6 is in fact because He was trying to teach on money He said, in fact, the verse right before, verse 20 and 21, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves don’t break in and steal For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Then He immediately said, the eye is the lamp of the body So what He was saying is, your body can’t be healthy if you’re staring at the wrong things, and the unhealthiest thing you can stare at would be just money And that’s where your treasure is That’s where your heart’s at, because your money is not a good god Your money can’t save you Your money can buy nice things, but guess what? It can’t help your marriage It can’t actually help your relationship with your son It can’t actually change anything about your heart And then the sneakiest thing about money, and the reason He connects it to being blind and thinking you can see, but you can’t, is because money sins, unlike other sins, you can do without knowing you’re doing them That’s creepy Which is why in Luke chapter 12, he says, watch out Everyone say, watch out Watch out for greediness in your life Now, why would you say, watch out for greediness? You would never say that about murder Watch out for murder No Most sins, you know you’re doing them while you’re doing them It’s like, oh, you’re not my wife No You know you’re committing adultery You know you’re stealing You know you’re telling a lie But you can accidentally fall into greediness Why? Because there’s a deceitfulness to it, and your eyes will trick you, and all of a sudden, you’re making unhealthy decisions You’re focusing undue attention on this or that You’re looking for this to bring you true joy You’re looking for this to define you You’re deriving your identity from some earthly accomplishment or possession, and we all do this We all think, if I had that, I’d be happy If I had what she has, I’d be happy If I could afford the things that– and what are those people that you’re looking to as the standard of happiness thinking? If I had that, I’d be happy There’s always that bigger fish, and that’s the deceitfulness of riches It can make you think there’s something that they can bring you that they actually can’t So what you spend your money on reveals values What you spend your money on, actually, gives a map of your heart Someone said, if you want to find out what’s really the most important thing to you and where your true riches are, ask the question, what do you have the easiest time spending money on? What is not hard at all? The money basically grows wings and just shoots out of your wallet That shows your passion That shows what you truly care about And it’s not to say that you shouldn’t care about travel, or shouldn’t care about buying a boat, or buying a vacation cabin, or whatever else you might have as your financial goal, and your new snowmobiles But it is to say that if when it comes to the Kingdom of God, and Heaven, and being the hands and feet of Jesus, and seeing His Church built, and seeing hungry people fed, if you aren’t just full of joy at giving resource, if the idea of giving your tithe of offerings above and beyond that to extend the reach of the Kingdom, if that to you is like pulling teeth and pain-filled, then how can you say that your heart is truly anchored in Heaven? How can you truly say that God and His Kingdom matters more than everything else to you? So it’s a test of what you truly value So as you take that test– and again, we’re in a year of testing, of 40 days of testing in 2020 20 plus 20 is 40 40 is the year of testing As we test ourselves, we locate our true God Then we can relocate assets to actually cause our heart to be shifted into the things that we want to be most important to us Focus Trauma Pressure Fourth word, dilation If I can get close enough to the camera, you would see that my left pupil is still pretty dilated Dilation is all about how much light is coming in

or how little light is coming in Trying to see the stars, we stay dark as long as we can Snipers actually save their night vision They keep a patch on, or whatever, to keep– oh, no, this eye’s adjusted I’m not letting any light in How much light is coming in? Too much or too little? They’re both a mistake at the wrong times If I want to see the stars, I need my pupils to get really dilated If I’m in a bright environment, it would be really nice, left eye, if in these lights, these lights I’m under, if you would just come down a little bit But no, it’s like, I’ve got to be dilated all the time Spiritually speaking, there’s a parallel God wants to open the eyes of our heart to let more light in We don’t need more light The light’s come Jesus is the light of the world He is right there with you in your home Right there with you in your apartment Right there with you in your car You need to open up your eyes to see what He sees To see what He’s doing To remember that He is right there with you To remember that He is always for you To remember that He loves the people that you’re annoyed by Ephesians chapter 1, Paul prayed, “That the Father of Glory, the Lord of Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of revelation, to know Him through your deepening intimacy with Him.” Here we have it, “I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light until you experience the full revelation of the hope of His calling.” And it goes on from there The question is, are you letting God dilate the pupils of your soul by spending time in His Word, by spending time with His people, by spending time in church, where you’re able to listen to God’s Word together with other people? Getting a watch party together Are you doing the things that will dilate the pupils of your soul, and let you see that there’s more than just this world? The last word is brilliance Brilliance You saw in that picture, my left eye, the white of it was not white There was nothing brilliant about it My eye was cloudy, and my vision was milky, and my eye was just not brilliant I’ve always been told I have really pretty eyes, but no one was complimenting my left eye Even Jennie was like, oh, yes, you’re still pretty to me Brilliance Intensely brighter, vivid My kids were the best, though, because they were like, yeah, we can hardly notice Trying to be natural Linux goes, though, dad, you look like Nick Fury But he said, Mick Fury You look like Mick Fury The guy with the cat that scratched his eyeball out Thanks, son Psalm 13, verse 3 We’re winding the plane down here David said, “Turn and answer me, oh Lord, my God Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.” Church, God doesn’t just want to bring sight to your eyes He wants to bring the sparkle back to your eyes He doesn’t want your eyes to be dull, glossed over He doesn’t want your eyes to be flat, and faded, and chronically tired, given over to stress and to worry He wants your eyes shining with hope, and shining with purpose, and resolve, whimsical, full of wonder, full of passion, almost mischievous, like a twinkle in your eyes He wants you to wake up with that excitement, what’s going to happen today? What does God have planned for life today? He wants life to be that adventure, where there’s a sparkle When did you lose the sparkle in your eye? And do you realize that your King Jesus wants to restore to you the joy of your salvation? So how do you get the sparkle back? You’re like, I’m asking for a friend Just curious, because it would sound really great to not be jaded, and skeptical, and cynical To not always assume the worst is going to happen and just expect for things to go wrong, because you’re living this victim story The answer, I believe, comes from embracing fully the extravagant love of God for you, and remembering the fact that He doesn’t just love you He also likes you, and He rejoiced the day that you gave your heart to Him He’s going to rejoice for some of you that, in just a minute, you’re going to open your heart up to He’s rejoiced even for some of you, you opened your heart to the grace of God, even while this worship experience was already happening, and you didn’t want to You just got saved, and you’re not even happy about it right now You’re almost furious You’re like, I do believe, but I hate that I do, and the world has nothing to offer me, that kind of joy There’s not a politician, there’s not a job– no one can offer you that true lasting sparkle in your eye, not just for an evening, but for a lifetime on into eternity

There’s not a drug, there’s not a paycheck, there’s not a European vacation, there’s not a luxury yacht that can offer you the sparkle in your eye, not just a year, not just a month, I’m talking about for a lifetime Even when you’re old, even when you’re sick, even when you’re dying, there can still be that sparkle in your eye that comes from love, from your Creator to you You’re like, why would He want to do that for me? You’re looking at your life like, even as a Christian, I don’t think my life for God is that great Levi, I feel like I’m a spiritual eyesore Well, don’t forget that He still looks at you, and every time He sees you, it’s like the first time He saw you and says, you are a sight for my sore eyes I love seeing you There’s not a thing my children could do that would ever make me stop embracing them and loving them They are, every morning that I see them, a sight for sore eyes I can’t wait for them to wake up most mornings When I see them, though, I’m always excited to see them And your Father feels that way about you, and when you stop resisting that kind of love, and stop trying to earn His love, and instead just let Him smother you with kisses, and let Him wrap His arms around you, and let Him say to you, you are a sight for sore eyes, you will begin to watch that love transform you from the inside out So church, set your sights on pleasing Him Set your eyes on Him as you run this race, and you will realize there is incredible power that comes flowing into your heart as it’s set on Him His eyes are actually scanning to and fro, looking for opportunities to bless any of His kids who are putting their eyes on Him And Father, we thank You for this time in Your Word Thank You for what You’re doing I feel Your Holy Spirit, even right now, just moving so powerfully If you’re leaning into this right now, would you just raise a hand up, saying, I’m a spiritual eyesore, but I receive the extravagant love of Jesus for me Raise your hand up You’re just saying, I needed it anew I need it brand new today I’ve been walking with Jesus for a year, 10 years, or 50, but I need that love again right now to change me Raise your hand up Raise your hand up Raise your hand up Raise your hand up I want to pray for you I want you to raise that hand up Father, bless these They don’t have to change a thing for You to love them But I thank You that as they are changed by Your love, they’re going to begin to see what the car seat is in their life that’s not buckled up They’re going to see the print on the shirt they didn’t notice before, and I thank You for it So would You dilate the pupils of their soul, Jesus? Would You bring healing to sick bodies? Would You bring Your peace to anxious minds? You can put your hands down If you’re watching right now, and you’ve never yet said, yes, to Jesus, today’s the day and now’s the time He died on the cross for you, rose from the dead on your behalf, and stands right now at the right hand of the throne of Almighty God, willing and able to save you should you so much as give Him an indication that you’re ready for it If you are, if that’s you I’m describing, I want you to pray this prayer with me Say it out loud Say it, mean it in your heart Dear God, I know I’m a sinner I can’t fix myself, but I believe You can Please, come into my heart Make me new Help me to see In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen