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 might 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 perspective can be a blessing as we remember all the times the Lord was watching over us, even if we didn’t know it then.

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 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 once sharing the gospel with a 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 know from experience what it looks like to try and sound spiritual, so I asked a few more poignant questions so that I could understand where this guy was coming from. Most people who want to hide behind a false front 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 through the charade of holiness, this can be 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 the blindness of 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”.

A shift in perspective can be a difficult process. For my friend who tried to hide behind his christian-ese, there was a large hurdle of pride and self-righteousness he had to overcome to receive any kind of counsel. Without humility, it is nearly impossible to grow.

Growth is a product of obedience and that guidance is by way of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t accept our position of lowliness, we will struggle in allowing God to lift us higher. I have to accept the fact that I don’t have it all together if I am going to receive anything from the Lord.

James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

For God to change our perspective, He must change our position.

For some people, changing their position would be like trying to watch a sunset in Washington state through the trees and mountains, to watching a sunset in Arizona where the sky seems to never end. Changing your position gives you a view that you didn’t have before. It could be a new job, a different group of people in ministry, or hearing from a another church and how they practice their faith. We can be enriched by the change or resist the change and lose the opportunity for growth.

What is God showing you?

For the guys I know in discipleship ministry, the Lord is changing their perspective. They are learning how to be held accountable, how to have a daily devotional time, or just sticking to a program to the end. For many, the idea of completing a goal is something they’ve never done before.

For some people, a change of perspective reminds you of what the end of sin looks like. You can travel downtown and talk with those who have given their lives over to substance abuse and see where the “freedom” of the streets really leads. You can watch the relationships that were built on lust fall apart and recognize the pain associated with embracing a lifestyle that conflicts with God’s model of holiness. You might be there when an atheist or agnostic is at their end of life and witness the hopelessness of their position.

Take each moment and hold them up to God’s model in His Word…you’ll find that the only true way is the way of righteousness.

*God has a purpose for where He is taking you, trust that His purposes are good and you will grow stronger and wiser.

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