We continue our discussion of vision, and looking through 2 Corinthians.  That not only do we reflect what we look at, but we become what we look at.  That the more time we spend focused on God’s word and vision, we initially begin reflecting it.  But the more time we spend with God, the more we become God’s purpose.

But the world will fight hard to draw us away from what God has for us.  Paul addresses this world opposition.  He says that because we have God’s heart, we will not lose heart.  There are challenges all around us, just as the new Christians in Corinth had.  There are those who are not going to connect around us, but we are not going to distort and change the word of God to please them.  Have you ever seen someone water down or distort the Christian message to get some response from a group of people?  Paul calls this a secret and shameful way of ministry.  But by speaking a plain truth of God’s word, we present an unchanging standard each day.  We won’t just use one standard on Sunday and then another on Monday.

The root of vision is to find that which drives our decisions and standards each and every day.

So the god of this age, a culture that rejects God, blinds the unbelievers of who Jesus is.  Because it know that if people came to know Jesus, they would be lead to the truth of God the Father.  The enemy leads them into the darkness that leads to destruction.

And the enemy will come after God’s people as well.  How does he do this?  He is very cunning.  He doesn’t show up as a demon, but he comes at us as an influence.  He will hit us at our weaknesses and tempting us where he can.  He will try to get us to reflect God’s light in our day to day.  One area that he can confuse us is in the area of fear.  Especially when we make bad choices.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit tells us, “You have sinned, turn to the cross.”  The enemy will say, “You sinned, what’s the point?”

Our response to the enemy doesn’t have to be complicated.  We have to rely on God.  We listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  God will outshine the darkness with His light.  His light will shine in our hearts and provide his full knowledge of glory.

While Paul here might reference our physical wasting away by getting older, but he also is describing the day-by-day struggles against this world.  But we are being renewed each day by God.  We can overcome momentary troubles.  Because these worldly troubles are temporary, and God’s glory is eternal. Just like a team who has lost a game, or even several.  No coach would ever say, “Team, we are losers today and we are always going to be losers.  So we are just going to practice to lose, and not care any longer.”  No! While we might struggle, we keep our eyes on God’s eternal promises.

Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter;
I am the clay.

Mold me and make me
After thy will,
While I am waiting,
yielded and still.

4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. (ESV)

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)