Sunday, 9 October 2016

How our perception influences everything

Jesus, above all people knew how important it was to see with the eye of faith, how important it was to keep a God based perspective on things. How could He have endured the journey to the cross without seeing the freedom for the world that the cross would achieve?

The dictionary definition of perspective is `a particular attitude towards, or way of regarding something; a point of view`.  It is so easy for us to have our perspective influenced by all sorts of things.  For instance at the moment I am experiencing very dry eyes during evenings.  My eyes get sore and gritty so I put in drops, which soothe the eye but results in my vison becoming very blurred and I can’t see as clearly for a while once I have applied the drops. This results in me getting frustrated, agitated and losing my sense of peace about everything!  The other night, during a prayer meeting, I was particularly distracted by this problem and feeling a bit aggrieved when the Lord used it to show me something so simple yet so profound; ‘If our vision/God given perspective (faith) gets blurred everything starts to  look different. Our perception changes and we stop seeing clearly which results in us getting frustrated, agitated and losing our peace’.

How we feel and act about things is determined by our perspective, I know we all know this but I was amazed by how subtly our attitudes are affected by our perspective.  For instance in 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) Peter says to the church ‘You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation a peculiar people’. The dictionary definition of peculiar is `strange, unusual, weird, odd, curious’. Now, like me, you might think ‘hey Lord I want to follow you but I really am not sure I want to belong to such a `peculiar` bunch of people and I certainly don’t want to be seen as peculiar! But if we look at the meaning of peculiar further it can also mean `distinctive, individual, unique, essential and special`; ‘well Lord now that’s better, that sounds like a really great bunch of people to belong to and to be myself, yes I`m happy with that’.  Nothing has changed, we are still a peculiar people but as the New Living Translation (NLT) puts it in 1 Peter 2:9; we are `God’s very own possession` with a purpose to love Him and love each other’.

So our perception influences everything. If a group of people go to see a film or read a book they will all have seen or read the same material, but each one is likely to perceive it differently. Our lives are like this too, we make judgements on how we perceive a situation, which is natural as what else have we got in our toolkit other than our perception, based on our own experiences? But The Lord wants to change that because He wants us to see with His eyes.  There is a wonderful song by Michael Card entitled through the eye, it refers to using our natural eyes versus the eye of faith: -

‘Through the eye, they must always believe a lie
Who see with and not through the eye, with and not through the eye

You may see what angels long to see, hear the harvest`s harmony
Leave the prison of your shame, and hear the sound of your own new name

Only the eyes of the heart perceive, That the deaf and blind can hear and see that insanity`s saner than sanity, That only a slave can be truly free

Through the eye, we see our life it has come alive
and only those who will see survive, with and not through the eye’

So it’s faith that changes our perception; how we see things. But just like me trying to see things clearly through my sore blurred eyes, I get caught up in how the world looks at that moment and lose sight of how the world will look once the drops have worked and my vision clears. In the moment I get agitated and lose my peace and perspective. But Jesus, above all people knew how important it was to see with the eye of faith, how important it was to keep a God based perspective on things. How could He have endured the journey to the cross without seeing the freedom for the world that the cross would achieve?

Jesus understood the importance of asking God for His perspective on His life every day. How often do we read Jesus went off by himself to pray? He knew that without talking to His Father He would lose the true perspective of His purpose and could so easily get side-tracked, discouraged or succumbed to temptation. We are no different, I find I need to constantly ask the Holy Spirit to help me have faith and to see things how God sees them and not to be blinded by how things may appear, as it`s all too easy to be overwhelmed by daily living sometimes. Jesus lays this out very clearly in Matthew 21:21 ‘Jesus replied ‘truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, Go throw yourself into the sea and it will be done’.

Sometimes our perspective gets confused or mixed up and at these times we can see our faith as very small and the mountain as very big (and sometimes the mountains are genuinely very big). I find that it is at this point, if I can stop panicking long enough, that I have to ask the Lord to change my perspective so that I can see through the eye of faith. Thank God that the bible teaches us that faith is a gift and we can ask God for, even for the faith to see things as He sees them. He is truly wonderfully understanding of our human condition. We need faith to change the perspective of our mountain/s and He even provides as a gift the faith to do that.

So my daily challenge and prayer is; ‘Lord help me to see things through the eye of faith – to see things how You see them Lord, and to not see them how they sometimes appear’.

Author: Jan Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

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  1. Thank you for this wonderful article. It is important for us to constantly remind ourselves to seek God and to try to do things His way and not ours. If we see through the eyes of faith then we really can move mountains.

  2. Thank you so much for Blessing the body of Christ with your honest account of your struggles with your eyes in the physical. It encourages and reminds us that we are all a working Progress and God loves us just the way we are Paise God.
    How awesome to consider that by faith "the slave is FREE" (the words of the song quoted). If we penetrate on just that alone and allow the reality to penetrate deep within us, by FAITH, we are all FREE Amen.
    All the Glory to our amazing God ALWAYS.
    Love sister Tina xxx

  3. Thanks Jan. My perspective is so squwiffed at he moment. I go from overwhelmed to peace 30 times a day. This shows me why. Thank you x

  4. This is an amazing eye opener (no pun intended) to make us think and pray before we act in so many situations, because we may just be misunderstanding what we are seeing or hearing and therefore act inappropriately. It's also a reminder to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith, and to ask God to show us situations we find ourselves in through His eyes. Thank you for writing this article it's thought provoking and a blessing.

  5. Thank again for such encouraging words I pray that God will enlighten our spirit so that we will see Jesus through the eyes of faith in every situation may God peace and blessings be with you Herbert

  6. this thought provoking blog will encourage many to think more of seeing through the eyes of Jesus . Its so easy to make a quick assessment from our understanding? and ask Jesus to help us see( how he sees things )will surely set us free? ,our lord will want us to be surrendered in all things .
    This is a lovely blog and will encourage us to stop for a moment and ask our Lord Jesus to help us see things with his eyes . He will honour that . Thank you for helping us to think more about this way of abiding more in him x