December 2004

December 2004

communictions-freestyleThe world is experiencing an information overload as radio, television and the Internet battle for our time and attention. These devices provide a vision that dictates how we should look at the world around us. We receive these communications through our physical senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Similarly, we communicate with God spiritually with our spiritual senses. Whether physical or spiritual, these sensory views not only create the way we see the world, but the way we see God.

This worldview is our life perspective and determines how we interpret events, situations and circumstances, such as our religious and political views or the war in Iraq. It makes up the thoughts and beliefs that shape our lives, and our relationship with God.

Everyone has a worldview. The worldview of children depends on the views of their parents, teachers, the media, religion or whatever influences their sensory experience. For instance, the children of the Middle East, whose parents are sympathic to the terrorists, view the war on terrorism much differently than the children of the United States or Israel. It is evident how the terrorist views of children affect and shape the lives of Middle Eastern society. Our thoughts develop our beliefs, prejudices and feelings. These motivate our actions, habits, character and destiny. King Solomon, one of the wisest of all men, said, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he". 1

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How we see things is not necessarily how it is, rather it is just how we see it. James Sire writes in his book How to Read Slowly:

"A world view is a map of reality; and like any map, it may fit what is actually there, or it may be grossly misleading. The map is not the world itself, of course, only an image of it, more or less accurate in some places, distorted in others. Still, all of us carry around such a map in our mental makeup and we act upon it."

Worldview Importance

Our worldview is an important aspect of our spiritual, mental and emotional makeup. It effects-every aspect of our life from birth to death. Our worldview parallels with certain judgments we believe to be true, which promise fulfillment. These judgments are learned and can be distorted through unrealistic information. Only when we release these judgments [humble ourselves], can we see something from a different point of view.

We must be willing to humble ourselves and be willing to change our minds to see things God's way. This is called repentance. Then we are free to believe the Truth. It is the LORD who gives us minds that understand spiritual things, eyes to see, and ears that hear. 2 The LORD says if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. 3

My worldview in the '60s promised a utopia with the Manson Family, but in reality it would lead me to a life spent in prison. Evolutionists believe we have been changed from one degree of life form to another, but they neglect the Creator who has made us in His image and offers us His creative ability. Terrorist suicide bombers are promised sexual gratification in paradise, but their end is an unholy death. Humanists are promised the world through their own abilities, but end up dissatisfied once they gain it. Conservatives and liberals are promised based on their political agendas, but are never fulfilled. Religious people are promised heaven, but many are deceived in their unscriptural beliefs. Christians are promised an abundant life, but are often as troubled by events and tragedy as unbelievers are. It takes courage to challenge our views that promise hope, and to be willing to surrender our opinions to God.

The Carnal Believer

Roger, one of my many Christian brothers, was having a hard time living the Christian life. He spent time daily reading God's Word, but was still trying to battle sinful thoughts and actions in his own power. As a result, he lived in condemnation, spending his time trying to live obediently, but without the ability to do so. God wanted to show Roger the truth of His Word all along, but he was not flexible enough to change his position and look at it from God's point of view.

Like so many who I minister to, Roger's worldview focused on his problems, rather than the solution or the promises of God. Though I assured him of God's love, he had become so conscience of his sin, that he was depressed and living a defeated Christian life. He was trying to live his life in the ability of his flesh, rather than the grace or ability of God. Roger was showing the typical traits of a carnal believer, trusting in both grace and his own works for salvation.

The Apostle Paul said that he had to talk to the carnal Corinthian believers like they belonged to the world or as though they were infants in the Christian life. 4 Earlier, he reminded them that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, and His Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets. 5 The LORD is not keeping something hidden from us. The problem is our unwillingness to see something He has desired to show us all along.

For years, I lived my Christian life "in the flesh" or by my own strength. I had truly been born again, but I was trying to be obedient through my own ability. I felt that God's acceptance and blessing was reliant upon my ability to perform or walk in obedience. I didn't realize I had an inaccurate Biblical view. The preachers I heard told me about my sin and my separation from God, but they never empowered me to conqueror it because they were were lacking a proper Biblical view of their own. I'd leave church condemned and desiring to be obedient, without understanding how to achieve true repentance.

The Spiritual Man

As Christians, our worldview is based on absolutes, with a Biblical view of life. We believe all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true. Scripture makes us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, making us fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.' 6

The Lord began to show me that my legalistic Christian beliefs were wrong. He began to straighten me out as I grew in the grace and knowledge of the finished work of the cross. 7 Grace is God's ability working in man, making him able to do what he cannot do in his own ability. I was no different than the Saints who tried to keep the law to be righteous, never achieving it. If they could have been made righteous by the law; ; Jesus would not have had to die and rise again to give us the grace [the ability] to obey. I needed God's ability, His grace to accomplish in me what I could not do for myself. 8

As I spoke to Roger, I saw that nothing I said would pierce the blindness towards what I was trying to convey. It was almost like he was unsaved, having a veil over his face. He had been in my class for awhile and still did not see the proper reality of Christianity. It was like he had a learning disability, but at the same time, I knew that only the Holy Spirit [the Spirit of Grace] could teach him the truth. 9 I knew that the only thing Roger and I could do was pray for God to give him a spiritual worldview, based upon the power of grace.

Over the years, I've learned the importance of spending time with God, allowing Him to open my eyes. I asked Roger to pray with me, as I ask you to pray with me now:

"Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. That the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened that we may know what is the hope of Jesus' calling, what are the riches of the glory of Jesus' inheritance in us the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of Jesus' power toward us who believe, according to the working of Jesus' mighty power which You worked in Christ when You raised Jesus from the dead and seated Jesus at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above principalities and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And You put all things under His feet and gave Jesus to be head over all things to us the church, which is Jesus' body, the fullness of You Who fills all in all." 10

After the Apostle Paul prayed this for the church at Ephesus, he shared how because of God's love and mercy, even though we were dead in our sins before Christ, He raised us from the dead with Christ and seated us too, in the heavenly realm. God's purpose was to be able to point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor [grace] and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ.' 1 From the view of this God given reality, we can live as a spiritual man in the power of grace, which enables us to be obedient to the faith.

The Rower of Christ

Our view is from God's perspective in the heavenly places. He sees us dead, buried, resurrected and seated with Him in Christ in heaven, and so we need to see ourselves. Our confidence is not in ourselves, but in the works Jesus completed for us through the finished work of the cross and His resurrection. 12 We are joined now with Him in one Spirit. 13 Over two hundred times in the New Testament we are told what has been accomplished by Jesus Christ. He has brought us into the very presence of God, and we are holy and blameless as we stand before God without a single fault. 14 We are to always thank God for qualifying us to share the inheritance of His Son. 15 We are coheirs in everything God gave His Son. 16 Jesus has given us His wisdom, His righteousness, His sanctification and His redemption.17

Jesus Christ is the power and wisdom of God. 18 Wisdom is the principle thing to the Christian point of view. 19 It is through the power and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that we shape our spiritual view to free us to live victoriously. 20 Roger was finally getting the picture that as we walk in the Spirit of grace, our worldview becomes a view from heaven. From this heavenly perspective, by His mighty power at work within us, God is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. 21

I took Roger to one last view from from heaven. In the Revelation [unveiling] of John the Apostle, he heard a loud voice from heaven saying:

"Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Lord, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of the brethren [the devil] is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night, And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their life unto the death. Therefore
rejoice... " 
22

In reality, as we rejoice in the Spirit of grace, God unveils the eyes of our heart and transforms our worldview into a Christian heavenly view. Later, John wrote how we belong to God and overcome as dear children, because the Spirit Who lives in us is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 23

Have you been trying to live the Christian life in your own strength, instead of the power of Christ? If this is the case, maybe it is time to shift your Christian perspective from your works to the performance of Christ. As we align ourselves with God's view, we see ourselves reigning in righteousness, solely because of the ability and grace we receive from Christ. Truly, our heavenly Father made Jesus, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 24 As a result, the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit springs forth from our hearts and the kingdom of God rules in our lives.

Footnotes:

1. Pro 23:7; 
2. Deut. 29:4; 
3. 2 Chr 7:14; 
4. 1 Cor. 3:1; 
5. 1 Cor 2:9, 10; 
6. 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 
7. 2 Pet. 3:16; 
8. Rom. 8:3, 4; 
9. 1 Jn 2:27; 
10. Eph. 1:17-23; 
11. Eph. 2:4-7; 
12 Eph. 2:8-9;

13. 1 Cor. 6:17; 
14. Col. 1:22; 
15. Col. 1:12; 
16. Rom. 8:17; 
17. 1 Cor. 1:30; 
18. 1 Cor. 1:24; 
19. Pro. 4:7; 
20. 1 Cor. 2:4-6; 
21. Eph. 3:20; 
22. Rev. 12:10-12; 
23 1 Jn. 4:4; 
24. 2 Cor. 5:21

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