As a child, I will never forget the moment I was in class and realized how much of a struggle it was to see the chalkboard. I was seven years old. I could see things close to me, but I couldn’t see anything far away. I remember telling my mom what happened. She was concerned for more than one reason. 

One, she was hoping I didn’t have major vision issues, and two, “How much was this going to cost?” Again, I don’t come from a wealthy family. I’m sure this was a curveball that they didn’t see coming. So, needless to say, she nor I was happy with the situation. To make a long story short, I got glasses. Then, later on, when I was 10 years old, I started wearing contacts. I’m 40, so I’ve been wearing contacts and glasses for a long time.

I always get new contacts at the beginning of the year. I’ve been getting reminders from my contact lens provider that the prescription that I had on file had expired. I won’t be able to purchase any more contacts until I get an eye exam. The amount of emails I’ve been getting to remind me of this is excessive, but as someone who works in marketing, I get it.  The real reason why I am annoyed with the emails is that my prescription hasn’t changed in over twenty years. I’ve got 20/20 vision as long as I wear my contacts. On top of that, I wear the same prescription for both eyes, which is fantastic and saves me a ton of money.

Needless to say, going through the whole song and dance of going through the exam just to get my contacts has always felt like a waste of time. Then I had to remind myself that feelings aren’t facts. At any point during the prior year, even though I may not realize it, my prescription could have changed. I may be living my life like it’s golden, thinking I have 20/20 vision, but the results may come back differently when I take the eye exam. It got me thinking about some conversations that I’ve had with friends and, believe it or not, random strangers. Just a side note, I don’t know what it is, but people just feel comfortable telling me their whole life story. It’s all good because I love to help people. I’m that person who takes an Uber, and by the time I leave the car, you would think the driver and I were best friends. I kid you not…

So anyway, I started thinking the majority of us will live our lives thinking we have 20/20 vision because we never take the time to schedule an exam with God. Think about it. How many of us, myself included, get stuck in a routine? We unintentionally go through life on autopilot, thinking we’re aligned with God but failing to realize that our vision in how we view God has started to change somewhere along our journey. My question is, “Do you need a new prescription for how you view God?

Some of you may be quick to say, “No, Tosha. Life’s good. No complaints.” Even if you feel that this is the case, I want you to take time out to schedule a quick spiritual eye exam with God. As we get older, our vision will, without a doubt, start to change. However, if you do your due diligence, you will be able to notice these changes. Regardless of how subtle the change may be, you can mitigate the damages and continue living the extraordinary life God has planned for you. 

When you take your spiritual eye exam with God, I want you to do so by thinking about the following components:

1. What is your spiritual acuity? In other words, how sharp is your vision? How clearly can you see God working in your life?

A.. If you can’t see God, this means you lack Christ’s attributes. Examples of His attributes are love, joy, peace, patience; the list goes on. In case you’re interested in learning more about Christ’s attributes, check out the Hustle in Faith four-part series called “What is an extraordinary life?”  If you don’t have Christ’s attributes, you’re going to find yourself feeling constantly stressed, worried, fearful, and wandering this world without direction. 

Speaking from experience, it took me losing everything as a wake-up call that my priorities were out of line. You can learn more about that in Ep. 184, I kept trying to do everything in my own power. I was expecting God to bless my endeavors even though I didn’t include Him in designing my plans. If your life is a hot mess, it’s because God is out of focus.

B. If you’re able to see God clearly, then that’s obviously because you have the attributes of Christ. You have a calm demeanor and can handle the blessings God has seen fit to give you. The world can be falling apart all around you, but you are not worried about the future. If you stay in faith, God will cause all things to work together for your good. Faith in God is the main ingredient you have to have in working with God (Hebrews 11).

This is going to sound crazy, and I mean no disrespect when I say this, but starting in 2020, my life has been taking off like a rocket. I’m sure many of you know why there’s irony in my statement; 2020 was the start of the pandemic. There was a lot of chaos, but none of the craziness truly affected me. It was like God me in this little bubble. I was focused on doing my thing. I was focused on God, helping people, and leveraging the resources He brought in my path.

God brought me out-of-this-world opportunities that placed me in a position to purchase my dream home. One voiceover gig gave me enough money for a downpayment on my condo. Y’all, I never majored or went to school to become a voice-over actress, nor belong to any VO organizations. You guys know I love to teach, so this company came across my tutorials on YouTube and asked if I could create tutorials for them. Do you see what I mean? Many would consider this as luck. I know better. That was ALL God.

This podcast has been such a blessing. It’s allowed me the opportunity to encourage others, share my testimony, make connections with folks I otherwise never would have met, and take on projects for my consulting company Starengu. It never ceases to amaze me how much impact we can have on people. By the way, I read every message and review, and they are very much appreciated. I can look back on my life, especially these past 6 years, and see where God is leading me. 

2. Once we determine how clearly we can see God, God will shine a light in our eyes to help us understand how well we are progressing through life. What will God see when He shines the light in your eyes via His word? What is it that God brought to the surface that you need to remove?  I hate to say this, but I’m on the struggle bus when it comes to patience and consistency. I’m patient with others, but when it comes to achieving my goals, I want that done like yesterday. 

But many times, God’s like, “Yeah, not yet. You gotta stay in the stove for a little longer Tosha because you’re not done yet. ” Now, I’m well aware that God’s timing is perfect and He only gives perfect gifts (Ecc. 3: 1, James 1:17, Ps 18:30, Gal 4:4), but when I felt that things weren’t moving fast enough, I thought, “Maybe, I’m the exception to His rule. Perhaps this applies to everyone else but me. Let me help God out.”

Oftentimes, my idea of “helping” consists of me leaving the path that God put me on in search of another lane that I thought would place me closer to achieving my goal. I made the mistake of switching lanes without asking God for guidance. The sad thing is my actions in trying to “help” God actually set me back. My impatience caused me to be inconsistent in my faith in God. I failed to realize just because I didn’t see anything happening didn’t mean that God had forgotten about me.  I  later realized–when it was too late, of course— I changed lanes right before God was going to bless me.

I unintentionally caused the delay in receiving my blessings. Oftentimes, I became impatient because I was comparing myself to people. Now, I know comparing myself to others was already wrong, but I made it even worst by unfairly comparing myself to someone else’s highlight reel.  Just because someone has a lot of material things, wealth, prestige, etc., does not mean that it came from God. 

Anyone can accumulate the things I just mentioned because God said it would rain on the just and unjust (Matt 5:45). Needless to say, it may be difficult to discern whether something is a blessing from God or whether we, as Christians, allowed Satan to steal our blessings so Satan could give them to his followers.  If you don’t have faith, patience, and courage, you’re constantly worrying, complaining, and not giving back to others; it is because you lack Christ’s attributes. You can’t truly enjoy life apart from Christ.  The only way to enjoy your blessing is to have Christ’s attributes, love, joy, peace, etc.

Satan’s primary goal is to destroy us. His goal is to convince Christians to forfeit God’s blessings by not being diligent in their quest to obtain Christ’s attributes. Possessing Christ’s attributes is the only way we can experience the plans God has in store for us (Jer 29: 11). When we lack Christ’s attributes; we’re prone to worry, fear, and other negative traits that will weaken our faith. Having weak faith places Christians in a vulnerable position.

When Satan sees us in a weakened state, Satan tries to destroy us, so he can take our gifts and give them to his followers. This explains why we see people who appear to have it all only to find out they are absolutely miserable.

Our eyes can play tricks on us. However, once God shines the light in our eyes through His word, we can determine what adjustments we need to make to have 20/20 vision.

3. This brings us to the next part of the exam when the doctor places a phoropter, which is a device that contains different lenses. The doctor will have you stare at a distant object while changing lenses. The doctor will ask you, “Better 1, better 2, or the same,” to help determine which lenses will help you see the object.

From a spiritual perspective, think of the phoropter as your opportunity to choose how you want to see God. Do you want 20/20 vision which is having a close relationship with God, or are you content with blurry vision meaning you only run to Him when there’s a problem?

Many people will claim to want 20/20 vision but have no desire to put in the work it takes to have that relationship with God. It means taking the initiative to spend time daily in God’s word, so you can gain wisdom (James 1:5). The wisdom God shares with you will provide you with the people, resources, and finances you need to get to the next level. 

I’m huge on self-education, but I’m a girl who loves a good shortcut! Speaking from personal experience, there have been so many times in my life when I lacked knowledge in a particular topic or the time to execute a task, kid you not all of a sudden, I ended up meeting someone who could provide me with the assistance I needed. Again, this is not a coincidence. This is because I wisely spent my time with God so I could pick up on the signs that He was trying to show me. 

My ability to identify the signs satisfied my need and freed up my time to focus even more on my strengths. None of this would have happened if I didn’t seek Him first. If you put Him first, He will ensure that everything else will be taken care of because He’s a loving Father. The only way He can help and protect you from life’s landmines is by staying connected to His word.

If you fail to stay connected, God will start looking blurry. The degree of blurriness depends on how well you nurtured your relationship with God. We’re not robots. If you don’t see your circumstances changing, you will be tempted to grow weary. Hence, why God is constantly encouraging us to keep going (2 Thes 3:13, Rom 12:2).

You know, these past two years have been great overall, but they have been challenging as well. I’m not going to get into it here, but check out episode 207. CliffNotes version I had to sue some people who failed to disclose defects in my condo. There were so many days that I just wanted to give up. I’m looking for God, and either I saw an outline of Him or I just couldn’t see Him at all. I couldn’t help but think, “God, where are You?” I can’t see You.” 

Upon further inspection, I realized during those moments; I had lost faith. I had not been diligent in reading my Bible and was allowing my negative circumstances to affect my ability in how I viewed God. Now luckily, He blessed me with a fantastic godly mom who so graciously always took the time to yell at I mean guide me through the process of what I was experiencing so I could confidently choose to view God with lenses that helped me see Him with 20/20 vision.

This brings me to the final part of the exam; once you tell the eye doctor which lenses work best for you, the doctor will give you instructions that will help in your quest to maintain good eyesight, as well as a prescription to get your new contacts or glasses. 

Once the doctor gives you your prescription, it’s up to you to take the next step.

Are you going to do what it takes to get 20/20 vision by filling your prescription, or will you ignore everything the doctor says and continue to live life with blurry vision?