Use Your Binoculars the Right Way

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Oh, magnify the LORD with me. – Psalm 34:3 (NKJV)
Except for a few last-minute items, the camper is packed for our final camping trip of the year. Although rain is in the forecast, we’re hoping it’ll hold off long enough for us to hike one of the trails we hiked last spring—the Buzzard Swamp Trail in the Allegheny National Forest.

Experiencing nature, to me, is experiencing God. I stop frequently to enjoy the scenic view, listen to the calls of wildlife or the ripple of a brook, or inhale the scent of pine and humus—and thank the Creator for His awesome work.

We’ll stuff a backpack with our lunch, water bottles, protein snacks, and raingear. We’ll take my walking stick, the camera—and the binoculars.

We don’t want to forget the binoculars, like we did on one hiking trip. Without them, we miss so much. With them, we can see things in the distance closer, clearer, and bigger—that is, if we use them the right way.

Now, who in their right mind would use binoculars the wrong way? While it does take some fiddling with the dial to adjust the view, it doesn’t take a member of Mensa to know how to use field glasses. It’s pretty obvious which part you hold up to your eyes. If you hold the wider end to your eyes, though, the view becomes smaller, more distant.

We have “binoculars” to help us to see God better, too—nearer, clearer, and bigger. But I fear sometimes we use them the wrong way and thus perceive God as distant, fuzzy, and little.

One type of spiritual binoculars is prayer. Talking to God doesn’t actually bring Him closer, just like binoculars don’t bring what you’re looking at through them physically closer. But they do help you to see distant things as though they were nearer. Remember, God is always with you (Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 139), whether or not you feel His presence. The binoculars of prayer, though, bring you closer to God. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

Another type of spiritual binoculars is Scripture. As I spend more time in God’s Word, my perception of Him becomes clearer. (John 1:1)

Another type of spiritual binoculars is nature itself. I see God in the sky, the trees, the wind, the rain, the rainbow—everything in nature reflects the Creator, who is much, much bigger than the God I can only imagine. The universe—the heavens, the earth, and all of space and what it contains—cannot contain Him. He is infinite, not limited by space or time. (1 Kings 8:27, 2 Peter 3:8)

The problem is sometimes we use the binoculars the wrong way. We hold the wider end to our eyes—and get a much smaller view.

Maybe some folks are content with a small view of God. It makes them more comfortable, feeling more in control.

But remember, the binoculars are simply a device to improve our perception—it doesn’t change what we’re viewing. No device will make God any smaller or bigger.

“I AM WHO I AM,” God told Moses when he asked God His name (Exodus 3:14).

God is who He is—unchanging, eternal, holy, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, all-wise, infinite, good, faithful, merciful, loving, just, true, majestic, and sovereign.

Wow, that’s huge.

Are you using your spiritual binoculars the right way?

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see You in all Your glory. Amen.

Rainbow over Smithport Friday, Oct. 16, 2015
Rainbow over Smithport Friday, Oct. 16, 2015

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 34

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