I have been struck in my study and prayer over these recent years about how important it is for us to be able to rotate around to the back side of an event in the Bible to see it from God’s eyes and not just from our own point, or frame, of reference. I believe that as we practice this in studying events in the Bible we will become better at it in events in our life as well.
I believe that we, by our nature, tend to see events through our eyes, laying over them our feelings and faith and experiences. This is natural—what we would expect—but it doesn’t always give us the full picture we need to grow. Let me list a few examples, stating how we might see them from our perspective in our initial reading of them:
1) Israel at the Jordan the first time: Ten spies have come back with stories of how formidable the enemy is. You are not soldiers, you have been slaves up until recently. It is easy to relate to their fear and doubt and decision to not invade.
2) Abraham sacrificing Isaac: Possibly the most difficult, horrible event in the Bible from a parent’s eyes. How could God ask that or even put Abraham in that position?!? We think that we could never do it, and we struggle tremendously with it.
3) The cross: From the eyes of those watching Jesus die—those who had left everything to follow this man they thought was God and who now was dead—it was possibly the darkest moment of their life.
4) Death of a Christian: We miss them. It is an end. We won’t see them again on earth. We hurt and grieve.
5) Peter on the Water: The waves are big, the wind is strong. I’d be afraid too. I’d feel fear. I’d probably sink also. I am he of little faith as well.
Now, like the earth going around to the back side of the sun, let’s rotate around these five instances and see them as God might see them—and see how seeing them that way can really increase our faith and give us a whole new perspective. Remember, seeing the full picture—the physical and spiritual side of something—is to finally see actual reality and not just our cropped version of it. Only in knowing actual reality can we truly understand and evaluate something.
1) Israel at the Jordan: We get a huge clue how God sees this when He asks Moses, in Numbers 14:11, “How long will this people despise (reject in New King James) me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?” What we see, and excuse, as simple and natural fear if we look through our/their eyes is, to God, rejection of Him and unbelief because He has given them His promises to deliver the land to them and to go with them in to it. Wow! Suddenly we see this a whole different way when we realize that what we see as simply fear in face of a promise is, through His eyes, unbelief and, ultimately, a lack of trust in God which He sees as a rejection of Him.
2) Abraham sacrificing Isaac: I know how wonderful I feel when my girls express love and trust in me, so I can’t imagine the joy and pleasure God must have felt when Abraham demonstrated the love and trust and faith in God he did by being willing to immediately do this for Him. From God’s eyes what we consider one of the hardest chapters in the Bible may be one of the most beautiful!
3) The cross: The darkest moment through our eyes, were we there, was the moment God worked His greatest victory and defeated the work of darkness and brought the redemption of His precious Creation in to reality! Though we couldn’t see it, standing at the foot of the cross, it was from a spiritual framework a moment of huge victory!
4) Death of a Christian: From God’s eyes, He has brought home a precious child out of the pain and suffering of this world to His perfect world and place He has prepared for them where they can enjoy His presence without hindrance and He can fellowship with them without the obstacle of sin.
5) Peter on the Water: I wrote about this on May 28, 2009, in my post, “God Rocked My World This Morning . . .” In a nutshell, what we see, and excuse, as natural fear is actually, down deep, I believe, a reflection of what we believe about God’s character. I believe we see this event as, “Who wouldn’t be afraid? I guess I don’t have enough of this thing called faith.” I think, that to Jesus, it was a question, “Peter, who do you think I am and what do you think My character is? Do you really think that I would call you out onto the water and then turn My back and let you drown?”
So often we stop at our natural feelings, and we excuse and justify them and allow ourselves to remain in them, saying, “It’s natural.” But, from God’s eyes, I believe that He looks deeper than our feelings to the core and sees what they really reflect about what we think and believe about Him and His character and Word and trustworthiness and love. The examples I stated above are not to say that our feelings aren’t real, but to bring perspective and alternatives to them so we can begin to take them captive and see our minds transformed into the mind of Christ, that we might see and operate more in His image than in ours. As long as we remain in the place where our feelings and perspective drive us then we won’t grow or be a force for Kingdom work. But, I believe that in some way when we can begin to see, and be led by, the mind of Christ, we will start to move toward that place that Jesus was in where He did what He saw the Father do, and said what He heard the Father say.