Chickens are not the smartest creatures on God’s green earth. When they actually fly, they invariably land in danger. Despite an acute ability to spot food on the ground in front of them, they prefer to chase each other to the point of exhaustion when one finds a grub. Though provided with spacious, clean, inviting nest boxes, they pile up two or three deep in some cramped spot to lay eggs. And they mindlessly pursue any spot of red anywhere and on anything. Their tiny brains are remarkable only for the remarkably dumb things they do.
But for all the shortcomings, the chicken’s vision is truly amazing. Having eyes on each side of their head gives the chicken a 300° field of vision. The left eye is far-sighted to keep an eye to the sky, while the right is near-sighted to provide microscopic vision of the ground in front of them. With more cones than humans, they see a larger spectrum of color and more subtle contrasts. This makes them sensitive to the most minute movement in their environment. And even if a chicken is blind, it has a special gland in the top of its head that distinguishes daytime from nighttime. The chicken’s vision is truly remarkable. While their brains are small, their perception is enormous.
Human perception, by contrast, is more limited. Our field of vision is only 180°, assuming our peripheral vision is perfect. But peripheral vision is easily reduced by injury or trauma. Extreme stress can limit our sight to just what is in front of us; a condition we call ‘tunnel vision.’ Tunnel vision is dangerous because it removes visual context. And visual context is critical in order to understand what we see. High stress encounters by soldiers and law enforcement have documented the tragic consequences of tunnel vision. Unintentional victims have been wounded or killed, because combatants simply did not see them in the field of vision. Tunnel vision can be dangerous, and even deadly.
But tunnel vision is not only a danger for our physical eyesight. We can develop tunnel vision in our spiritual perspective, assessing our circumstance without the context faith peripherally provides. The enemy of our soul, the ancient Serpent, Satan, wants to blind us to the truths of God’s power and promises. He creates drama and trauma in our lives, then voices a new possibility. “Did God really say?” Perhaps God did not mean it? Perhaps God cannot be trusted? Perhaps we must look elsewhere for truth?
Satan is forever working to foster suspicion of God. And accusation against you. To give us tunnel vision. His relentless assaults on God’s promises wear us down, destroy hope, and fill us with despair. Satan wants us to see only the insurmountable crisis and unsolvable brokenness right in front of us. But not the promises of God which surround us.
We see this unfold in Revelation 13. Satan’s rage against God is focused on God’s people, the church. Two beasts arise, making war against the saints, conquering them through crushing power and relentless propaganda. The picture seems hopeless. But that is not the end of the story. In this book of comfort, God restores peripheral vision, revealing the rest of the story. Satan’s conquest is short lived. The true Lamb appears with those where were sealed by the living God with the Holy Spirit. Their number is not diminished. Every one sealed is saved. Not one is lost.
Despite the ravages of the enemy, the people of God stand victorious and sing victory songs before the throne. The lies of the Dragon were just that. His boasts, his threats, his accusations, his propaganda all come to nothing. The Lamb is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And the saints, who did not love their lives unto death have conquered the Dragon by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of Jesus.
Have you developed tunnel vision in your spiritual life? Has hopelessness gripped you, chipping away at your faith? In Revelation 14, God corrects our vision. He restores the periphery of faith and heals us of tunnel vision. The attacks of the enemy are powerful, but they cannot snatch one single saint from the hand of their God, nor separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Join us this Lord’s Day as we consider Revelation 14 and learn to avoid spiritual tunnel vision.
We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm at The Arkansas DreamCenter at 1116 Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube.