When I was a young boy back in the 1960’s, one of the popular shows on television was Daktari, a program based on the movie, Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion. I remember watching that program with my parents and sisters, and everyone getting a big laugh out of the lion that either saw things blurry, or with double vision. Needless to say, it was a pretty comical show to me, and we got a big laugh each week when the show aired.
However, what I have come to learn about life and ministry since my childhood is that being cross-eyed isn’t very funny at all. For someone to be cross-eyed means that their eyes don’t align with one another. One eye will focus on the object and the other on something else.
As strange as it may seem, the Body of Christ seems to be full of cross-eyed people.
To fully grasp what I am saying, it is important to understand that vision is what guides a church, a church service, a church event, and all of the various departments within the church. We could say that the vision is what gives us the direction we need for the church, its services, events and departments.
It is also vitally important to understand that whoever is in authority provides the vision.
Some might think, “Well, I’m the leader of my department.” Well, yes of course, but a policeman can’t enforce his own “laws,” only the laws (or vision) that has been provided to him by the city he or she represents. By the same token, even department heads and leaders should remain within the borders of the vision of their pastor. And remember, it was the pastor who appointed them to their posts in the first place.
If there is more than one vision in the local church, the pastor’s and someone else’s for example, then we will end up with a bunch of cross-eyed believers. Whose vision do we focus on? Do we focus on the vision of the pastor who was appointed by God to shepherd the flock? Or should we focus on the vision of the department head who insists on having their way in everything – or else? Or do we focus and Mr. and Mrs. Big Bucks who use their financial clout to garner support from others within the church to be certain they get their way in the direction of their church?
The answer, of course, is that we are to only focus on the vision the Lord gave the pastor. You see, when there is more than one vision in the church, you will have division in the church. The believers won’t know what to focus on, and they become cross-eyed. The purpose and plan of God is not fulfilled when there are competitive visions, and everyone is frustrated, confused, and in most cases, filled with strife because of it.
Adam and Eve’s son Cain, was a man with his own vision. Instead of following the vision the Lord had given to his parents, a vision his brother Abel knew and understood, Cain went his own way, doing his own thing. He expected that everyone, including the Lord Himself, would be pleased and accept his vision. But the Lord was not pleased. Instead of submitting to the vision (plan and will) of the Lord, he committed murder and lived the remainder of his life apart from the presence of the Lord. Do you want to live your life separated from the presence of our Father God?
In Moses’ time, there arose a man named Korah who didn’t like the vision God gave to Moses. Korah had his own vision and decided to implement it and get as many people involved with his particular vision as he could. But once again the Lord wasn’t pleased with this. So, the earth opened up and swallowed up Korah and all his followers. Straight to Hell they went and Korah’s vision went right along with him.
And what about King Saul and his cross-eyed ways? The Lord spoke through the Prophet Samuel and told him to tell Saul to go and kill all of the Amalekites, and to destroy all they possessed. Instead Saul and the people kept the king alive, and kept the best of everything the Amalekites owned. When the Lord told Samuel to confront Saul about this, he actually claimed that he had fully obeyed the Lord, and they were only keeping what they had kept to sacrifice to the Lord. God didn’t buy into Saul’s vision however, because he fully expected him to fulfill His vision. That one incident caused the Lord to reject Saul as king over His people. I don’t want the Lord rejecting me for my cross-eyed ways, do you?
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 KJV
True biblical “agreement” is not just saying, “I agree with you.” True agreement means that there is effort on your part to do something to cause the agreement or the vision to come to pass.
The way the enemy produces strife and discord in the church is when in place of true agreement we have two or more visions, which only creates division.
For example, if I as the pastor instruct someone to do something a certain way for a meeting I am having, and then they add their own “touch” to what I have asked them to do, they aren’t helping me at all. Instead, what they have done is to add their vision on top of my vision, which only creates division.
When there is more than one vision in the church, and when the church is filled with cross-eyed believers who are uncertain which vision to focus on, the church stagnates. Additionally, the church will be filled with envy, jealousy, strife, hurt and deep disappointment. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you have been trying to add your vision to the pastor’s vision, or inserting your vision in opposition to the pastor’s vision, stop it right now and repent! That is a deadly practice, as we see time and time again in the scriptures.
If you have been a cross-eyed believer, uncertain whose vision you are to follow, let’s get that straightened out right now as well. Stick with the vision of your pastor. As I stated above, only those to whom the Lord has given authority in the church, and who will be accountable to the Lord for that church, are qualified to project vision. All others are out of order, they are in the flesh, and unsubmitted to both the Lord and their pastor.
Don’t be a cross-eyed believer.