Change Your View - Look Up!
Some time ago, when our children were younger and still at home, Shirley and I decided to have our entire family “take a break” from TV. Shirley put a note on front of the television that read, “The view gets better when you look up.” One day a pre-teen nephew was visiting and read the sign that could not be missed and looked up with a curious and puzzled expression, seeing nothing but a ceiling. It was humorous, yet a great teaching moment.
As Christians, we are encouraged, admonished and warned by God to “Set your mind (affection) on things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)
Paul also speaks of the miraculous change in his life and how he viewed life after his conversion. He said, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ”. (Philippians 3:8)
How about you? Are you willing and desirous to look up to Jesus and enjoy the view He has for you?
Hiding Place © Anna Gavrilova | Dreamstime.com
Can you imagine your local supermarket manager coming to you and saying that you can have free groceries the rest of your life…you’d scoff that up in a minute!
But when Jesus tells us that He is the bread of life and anyone who comes to Him will not go thirsty or hungry, far too many are hesitant. Well, I understand that for many the tentativeness is because you can see the manager and the store is right down the street; but you can’t see God, and His Kingdom is a celestial mystery.
But what if I told you that the certainty of what Jesus says is more real than your grocer. You won’t ever know, though, if you keep viewing Jesus from a distance. You have to be a part of His family to get to know the family secrets, so to speak.
God is calling you, wooing you, desiring your fellowship. He is not some wrathful God waiting for you to make an error and then send you to a dungeon…no, no and no again! God is calling you, desiring you to come into fellowship with Him. He wants you back. Adam lost you to Him, but Jesus has made the way back into His family. Love is God’s middle name!
Just look at this in John 6:35-37, 40 (NASB) “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I have said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…For this is the will of My father, that everyone who beholds the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.’”
Did we hear that? God will not cast us out…no matter what we have done. What a reprieve. All He asks is for your repentance of your sins, a desire to let God be your God, and obedience to His will. Give up the low-level, never-work-out stupid ways of the world, the flesh and the devil. In its place, you have access to His wisdom, power, mercy, love, glory, etc., here on earth AND His kingdom in heaven FOREVER…what a bargain that is!
Why is it that we stall on this? Why do we drag our feet in responding to Him? Why do we go off on side trails of religion and religious beliefs which, for the most part, have come from some human’s interpretation of who God is and what He wants? Christianity is not a religion; it’s a way of life. It is a relationship with God not a religion about Him.
The answer–we get off track because of the “Adam Nature”. It is not the nature that God originally made; it is the one we inherited after the fall and disobedience of Adam and Eve. What we use to think, want and feel is the “broken” version of what God made. It does not automatically seek and desire God. As a matter of fact, God has said our mind is enmity to Him. That means it is hostile, hateful, and full of ill will towards Him and His ways.
That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow. But once we put away our pride and admit that we are not a “god” to ourselves and others; once we run to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness and for salvation to enter into our hearts…then, and only then, can we start on the path of change and freedom God intended.
Many people are frustrated in trying to serve God because they always fail. That is because they are trying to obey perfect spiritual precepts with an imperfect vessel. Try building a new house with a broken hammer, or a screw driver without a head, or a saw without teeth. You will work your fingers to the bone and will not be able to follow the blueprint. Not because you are incapable, it is because you are trying to do something with tools that will NEVER work. The same thing happens to you if you try to serve God with a broken nature and not His own.
The only way you can obey God is to have God dwell in you. You must crucify, kill, reject, and run far from the broken nature and all its desires and let the Spirit of God come through. Even when you do give your heart to the Lord in salvation and start walking with Him, you will stumble. Not because God did anything wrong, but because upon occasion you let the Adam nature rule instead of the God nature.
Our awesome God knows all this and has tremendous mercy upon us. He doesn’t want that anyone should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He sees us for the handicapped children we are, but His desire is that we not remain in that condition. His love will chase you to the end of the earth. You can block your ears and cover your eyes, but He will send people, places and things your way that scream of His love for you. Even all of His creation loudly proclaims that there is a God (Romans 1:20).
“If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
God will not give up; He has done too much to let you sit in your own foolishness. He wants you and He loves you. He wants you to come home. Don’t wait to “get cleaned up” before you do…you can’t…not without Him and the sacrifice Jesus made for you. Jesus took the “death penalty” for your crimes against God. He did it knowingly and willingly. He knew you weren’t holy and you could not do anything to pay God back. So He did it for you. All you have to do is cash in your ticket with belief in Jesus and a willingness to let Him change your life.
Don’t delay any longer. If your heart is really convicted and you want to call out to God, then say the following prayer in earnest and sincerity:
“Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know I deserve hell. I know that You died for me and the penalty I owe. Right now, the best that I know how, I trust you as my Savior. Please save my soul and forgive me of my sins. Now, help me live for You. Thank You for saving me. Amen.”
If you have prayed that prayer, don’t look for fireworks to go off, all your bills be paid or a beautiful woman or handsome man to sweep you off your feet. Don’t expect to have your kids become angels or that you will win the lottery in four different states!
Rather, you best get prepared and tighten your seat belt—you are in for the most difficult, trial and trouble-filled, exciting, awesomeness of your life. You will NOT be trouble free, but HOW you get through them will change in a way you can never even imagine. You may not get rich, but you will have everything you need. You may not gain health, but you will be more alive than ever before. You may not empty yourself of all pride, jealousy, greed, anger, etc., but you will start on a journey that will teach how to get those impediments out of your way and not remain the ruling factors.
One millisecond in the presence of God will make it all worth it. He is a grand, breath-taking, awesome, splendid, tremendous, remarkable, amazing, impressive, imposing, magnificent, superb, wonderful, incredible and miraculous God. Money back guaranteed!
You can run, but you’ll only get tired! He’s gonna get you! Thank you, Jesus.
© Carolyn Marshall, www.livinglifephoto.com
John said of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" God sent His only begotten Son as a lamb to be sacrificed on our behalf. Jesus poured out Himself to death that we may live. As we likewise (pour out) our lives unto Jesus, He in turn gives us "new life" everlasting. Jesus said, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me, and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scriptures said, 'from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:37-38