Just to recap – perspective speaks to your view and mindset. About what? Everything – God, yourself, other people, relationships, finance, politics, religion, health, life and death, family, forgiveness, character – just name it. You have a perspective about everything and every aspect of life. Your perspective influences your attitude, your emotions and ultimately the decisions you make about how to respond or not respond to events and people on a daily basis. Is it any surprise then that God, your Father, places so much emphasis on you being transformed? Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth He was constantly trying to get people to start seeing things differently. To develop a perspective that was contrary to the current world philosophies of that day. Human nature is the same now as it was when Jesus walked the earth. We can therefore conclude that a critical part of your spiritual growth and maturity hinges on changing the perspectives shaped in you by the world’s culture – peers, media, school, work, family traditions, national celebrations, situational ethics, law, and yes, even church. Why the church? Isn’t that the one place where we can trust that the world’s culture would not be prevalent? But who makes up the church? People like you and me. Church leaders are human and many times allow the world’s philosophy to corrupt their perspective and it filters into their Sunday preaching. People who come to church bring with them a mindset that has been shaped by the world in which they have lived for years. This shouldn’t make you fearful though. It should put you on alert. Do not go through life passively absorbing all that is being said and done around you. No wonder then that we are commanded to be vigilant and sober (or serious, not being frivolous, taking things lightly) (1 Pet. 5:8, 1 Thess. 5:6); to be discerning (Mal. 3:18, Heb. 5:14); and to test all things (1 Thess. 5:21). This requires effort on your part. Gaining Godly perspective is a life pursuit. You are being bombarded daily to think and to act in accordance with the world’s norms. If the truth be told, the world has the upper hand because you spend more time seeing and hearing the world’s messages than you do seeing and hearing God’s messages. So how do you tip the scales in favour of God’s perspective? First, you have to place sufficient value on the need to have God’s perspective (after all how else will you gain the abundant life we are all striving for?). It’s going to require effort, discipline and patience. You are only going to make that kind of sacrifice for something you value. Second, you must fill yourself with God’s word – it’s easier than you think with today’s technology. You can be driving and listening to the word, both in spoken form or in the form of praise and worship music. There is mp3, CDs, DVDs, YouTube, YouVersion, books and the list goes on and on. As you fill up on God’s word your desires, attitudes, emotions and behaviour begin to transform. It builds discernment too. Test it. Try and watch that movie with profanity (language and sexual), the occult or where people are making jibes at God or Christians. How do you feel? If you don’t feel disgusted and turn it off then your supply of God’s Word needs topping up. The third and final action you need to take to tip the scales in favour of God’s perspective is to spend quiet time with God so the Holy Spirit within you can give you revelation and insight of God’s Word. There is nothing that can replace the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. There is no other source from which to gain full insight into the mind of God. It requires time apart from the hustle and bustle to just be quiet and listen. Once you are a believer you WILL hear the voice of God’s spirit in your mind (John 10:27). The great thing I have discovered is that the more time I spend listening and reading God’s perspective the more I can trust that the ideas I have are inspired by Him. Also, the easier it is for me to be aware of the thoughts that don’t line up with His perspective and deal with them aggressively before they can influence me to act in ways that do line up with the will of God (2 Cor. 10:5).
You know I had planned to share something entirely different with you today but I guess this was what the Lord wanted you to know today. This wasn’t even in my journal. Fresh bread out of the Father’s oven :). Love and blessings.
Next time, if the Lord allows, I will share God’s insight on trials and tribulations. Till then be transformed this and every day. Shalom.