“HOW I SEE IT IS NOT HOW IT IS, IT IS ONLY HOW I SEE IT.”
— Jim Richards
Accepting this reality has done as much to remove conflict and discouragement from my life as anything I have ever come to know. Circumstances have a way of blinding us to the truth and reality.
When Hagar and Ishmael were sent away from Abraham they wandered into the desert and gave up hope because of their circumstance. Hagar sent Ishmael under a bush while she went away and complained to God. She was so preoccupied with her circumstances that she was blinded to reality. She was completely convinced that they would die in the desert. She was sure there were no resources for their deliverance. But the Bible says, “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.” Genesis 21:9.
God did not create a well that did not exist; He opened their eyes to see the provision that had been there all along. Hagar had been blinded by her own perspective. Too many times we think we are sunk. We think it is all over. However, the truth is: fear had blinded us to the way of deliverance. One thing we can be sure of, God never leaves or forsakes us. With every temptation he makes a way of escape!
Jesus was asleep in the boat, but the disciples were overcome with fear. All of their attention was on the waves and wind. Jesus identified the problem: it was what they considered, i.e. focused on. How could they have given up hope with Jesus in the boat?
We know that when people make judgments or when they choose to see things a certain way, the mind only notices those things that verify their judgment. Conversely, it ignores those things that would indicate anything different. In other words, we see things how we think they are rather than how they really are.
One day while teaching, someone asked Jesus, “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:26 says, “What is written in the Law?” he replied, “How do you read it?” The answer would have been very simple except for the fact that all people read the Bible, then look at life and judge from their own personal perspective.
You must remember that you are never dealing with the situation as it is, your are dealing with it the way that you see it. The way each of us sees anything is a combination of our culture, our self-perception, our prejudices and our life experiences. We all look at the world through a veil of perception that distorts reality.
When we are saved we make a commitment to Jesus as Lord. As our Lord we now accept His version of reality. We surrender our view and opinion and accept His. This paradigm shift puts us in touch with the way God sees it. We are no longer restricted to the way we see it. This is why we are told to renew our mind.
It is impossible to live the abundant life while maintaining our carnal view of the world. The carnal mind sees things the way we have always seen them. It judges opportunity based on our past failures and successes instead of the capacity of God. It limits our hopes for the future to our failures of the past.
The only way to break away from the limitations of the circumstance and the limitations of the past is to see things from God’s point of view. In Mark chapter six Jesus was faced with the challenge of feeding thousands of people with just a few fish and some bread. It was a situation that looked impossible. As a man tempted in all ways just as we are, he had to overcome the feelings of limitation. He did what we should always do.
In Mark 6:41 the Bible says, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.” In the original language it says that He “looked into heaven and recovered sight.” Jesus refused to be bound by the circumstances. Although it looked impossible, He regained his confidence by seeing it from God’s perspective.
Too often, when faced with difficulty, our first response is to begin our negative self-talk. We start telling ourselves how difficult it will be. We convince ourselves we are doomed before we ever give God a chance in our life. “All things are possible to those who believe!” Mark 9:23. This must be our reality.
If I can see things from God’s perspective, I will see how possible they are. If I can see it, I can believe it. But, like Jesus, I must look into heaven; I must turn my heart to God in prayer. I must give Him the opportunity to restore my sight, i.e. Perspective!
Here are some important things to remember:
- Until it looks possible, I am not seeing it from God’s perspective.
- Only God can help me recover sight.
- My perception will become my reality.
- My perception limits me to my ability.
- God’s perception expands me to his ability.