Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.”
What is your story?
This is a question I like to ask someone I’d like to get to know better. Where did you grow up? What were some of your hopes and dreams? Where have you seen success or failure?
The perspective gained can be a topic of discussion and at times, sharing with someone allows more introspection as well. I’ve heard it said that if you really want to try and grasp a subject, learn it and then try teaching it to someone, this can be said at times regarding our history as well.
As we look back on either our successes or failures, we can see with perspective. The high’s back in the day weren’t as high as we thought at the time, and the lows weren’t the end of the world as we had feared. For those that walk with Christ, these reflections in retrospect can be a blessing as we see all the times the Lord was watching over us, even when we didn’t know it.
Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
The fear that some people endure when they recognize their fallibility or weaknesses can be a limiting reason for their ability to trust. The writer of Hebrews referenced this promise in Joshua when bringing up the love of money. We all too often look to the things of this world to bring stability, comfort, or some sense of security and yet the Lord says, “Look to Me!”
Perspective can be gained by our position.
John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
Walking according to God’s commandments is righteousness in action. When we walk righteously, we are abiding in God’s Spirit and Truth is what the Spirit reveals. The world does not have a knowledge of Truth. They may think they do, they may try and talk like they understand, but they don’t. They cannot know the things of God because they have never walked with God.
1 John 2:4 “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
I was out doing some discipleship today and I met a new guy I had never met before. He seemed nice and was way more confident in himself than I usually see in a man who had just entered a recovery program. After asking a couple questions about his reason for coming, he began to share with me a string of ideas that I affectionately refer to as “Christian-ese double talk”. This is a way for people to string together a bunch of christian sounding words that may sound impressive to the casual listener but simply doesn’t make any sense to someone who is intently trying to ascertain how to minister to them.
I have a hard time letting nonsense just go by the wayside, so I ask a few more poignant questions and don’t pretend to act like I understand. Most people who want to hide behind words, typically back themselves into a corner. A few more questions and they either check out or try and change the subject. My intent isn’t to be cruel or demoralize, its to minister to them and the charade of holiness is one of the most difficult barriers to get through.
Proverbs 25:14 “Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.”
Our perspective concerning ourselves is skewed by sin. If we are walking in righteousness, we see life from God’s perspective, if we live for the flesh, we take on blindness like the world.
Jesus was always trying to bring perspective to His disciples. The Lord would lead them upon a mountain to witness Him glorified, then He would lead them down to the valley where the demon possessed man would reveal the spiritual war being waged. They would find themselves in the middle of the Sea of Galilee where the wind and waves brought terror, then along came Jesus walking on the water and bringing everything to a calm.
Ezekiel 40:4 “And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.”
As the Lord changes your perspective, use it for His glory.
Perspective is gained through experience, walking in obedience, and trusting in God’s provision. As the Lord reveals truth, share it with others. As O. Chambers once said, “we are called to be poured out wine, not plump grapes”.
*God has a purpose for where He is taking you, trust that His purposes are good and you will be a light in this dark world.