A worldview is the way we see, perceive and understand things. The way we look at the world around us. While growing up in the '50s and '60s, my thoughts were very shallow. I did not understand the importance of having a sound worldview. There was a battle going on in my mind between my worldview, based upon modem, liberal culture, and the solid beliefs and views of my parents. I was searching for what I felt was missing in my life. I was led by what felt good physically. I didn't understand what was missing, nor was I willing to listen to those who offered counsel. I felt misunderstood, and began to medicate my pain with illegal drugs, sex and music. I was self centered, trying to fill a spiritual emptiness through external means.
My life began to spin out of control, lacking character, appropriate feelings and sound reasoning. A quality life was within reach, exemplified by my parents and siblings, but my will was bound to follow a path leading to my own destruction. I ignored a productive view of life, falling prey to those who had perfected the art of destroying their own souls. I succumbed to a path that seemed right to me, but whose end was death.1
My Eyes Were Blinded
My parents used to remind me later in life, how as a child, I would talk to my dog "Collie" and tell him all my troubles. I guess I felt he could understand me when no one else could. Though a trained dog can comfort and help guide the blind, "Collie" could do little to help me with the blindness of my heart. Now, I see that I should have been talking to my parents and God, instead of to my dog.
My mom was into "positive thinking", which she tried to instill in me. She often told me that I would end up being the black sheep of the family. To her, an idle mind was the devil's workshop. I was busy filling my mind with layer upon layer of unwholesome thoughts. I went to church and was even baptized at the age of 12, but my heart was closed to the grace and love of God. My understanding of life grew more and more ungodly and hopelessly confused as the fear of failure consumed me. This drove me further from my parents and God.2
My understanding was darkened, so I could not perceive life the way God sees it. The word for "understanding" or "imaginations" in Greek is dianoia, which is the seeing part of the mind, the way we perceive things. The gods of the world had blinded my unbelieving mind, so that I was unable to see the love of God shining brightly.3
As a child, I remember drawing a picture of the devil in the back of one of the church hymn books. I could not understand [dianoia] what God had provided for me in Jesus. I was ignorant of the fact that Jesus Christ had stripped the devil of his power over me at the cross. 4 That He came to destroy the works of the devil.5 The Lord had the power and the gift of righteousness for me, but I failed to receive it or believe in God's ability.6 I proved to be powerless in my own ability to live above the demonic forces of this world.
A Shift in Viewpoint
All of us are born with our eyes closed to spiritual things. Parents have a divine responsibility to pass on Godly principles and values to their children. I rejected my parents way of life though they had raised me in a church environment. I turned a deaf ear to them. My mind was full of darkness and far away from God because I had closed my mind and hardened my heart against Him.7 My viewpoint of life slowly slipped into very ungodly views as my thoughts and beliefs gave way to the promises of a life based on worldly beliefs.
This sinful condition began when Adam and Eve turned their hearts from their Father and Creator. After being deceived by the serpent, Eve chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil over the principles and wisdom of the tree of life. She was convinced the fruit of the tree looked fresh and delicious, and it would make her wise. So she ate it and gave some to her husband and he ate it also.8 They gave up an interdependent relationship with their Father, to a self-centered independent lifestyle, determining good and evil for themselves. As a result, they became dependent upon their own ability for sufficiency, rejecting the provision of their Father. Nevertheless, God pursued them and longed for their return to Him.
I can identify with the prodigal son, who left home with his possessions in search of an independent lifestyle. The boy failed on his own and ended up eating from the pig pen. I can relate to that. He has a change of heart and returns to the open arms of his father, who gave him the best robe, a ring and new shoes.9 I can relate to this story wholeheartedly. In like manner, our Heavenly Father has His arms wide open for all of Adam and Eve's children to return to Him. He has provided the tree of life, which is the cross of Calvary where Jesus took our punishment for sin and resurrected to give us eternal life.10
When the Lord changes our heart, and the eyes of our understanding [dianoia] are opened, we'll find ourselves thanking God who enables us to share the inheritance of His family.11 We have so very much to praise God for He has rescued us from the devil, who rules m the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.12
The Book of Life
Our Heavenly Father has the Book of Life, which belongs to the Lamb [Jesus] who was killed before the world was made.13 He knew Adam and Eve would shift to their ungodly view from His, and that mankind would need a divine shift from death to life, back into the inheritance of His family.
There are many views concerning the Book of Life, but one thing is certain, we all hope our name is written in this heavenly book in which the names of the righteous [the redeemed or saved] are written. Moses prayed that his name would be blotted out of this book rather than dooming his fellow Israelites.14 In the end times, those whose name are not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.15 But those names who appear in it will enter into the New Jerusalem.16
Is your name written in the Book of Life? The Lord desires to open your eyes so you can see His Kingdom. Jesus told Nicodemus, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God, and that we must be born twice: once of water [physically] and of the Spirit.17 During the Acts of the Apostles, the Lord opened Lydia's heart, and she accepted what the Apostle Paul was saying.18 The mystery of the Good News of Christ's death, burial and resurrection was revealed to Paul so he could share it with the world. How the Lord brings life to us, who were full of disobedience, obeying Satan, refusing to obey God, following the passions and desires of our evil nature.20 But at the cross in 32 A.D., God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the sacrifice for our sin, so that we could be made right with God.21
In May 1975, the Lord convicted me of my unbelief and opened my understanding [dianoia] to the promise of the Holy Spirit.22 I remember returning to my room in prison and looking into the mirror to find my face aglow with the Spirit. My vision of life changed at that very moment when God sparked in me, the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. I had become a new born babe with a desire to grow in God's Word into the fullness of my salvation.23 Since that day, I have grown strong in the grace [God's ability] and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. 24
King Solomon warned in the book of Proverbs, if there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish.25 I began to meditate on the Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians and to envision how God in His great love had sent Jesus to die for my sins. This led to the understanding that I died, was buried and rose with Him from the dead to sit in heavenly places.26 I was joined to the Lord in one Spirit with Him.27 This reality of being seated beside my Father became greater as I spent time in fellowship with Him.
The Heavenly Viewpoint
Over the years, this new view from the heavenlies has changed my entire perspective of life. I'm sure some of you remember as a child the Jolly Green Giant commercials. I know this must sound silly. I began to see myself as a resurrected giant in Christ, not walking through the vegetable patches, but imagining myself stomping the works of the devil under my feet.
This vision magnified the way I viewed myself, walking in the power of the resurrected Christ. Instead of allowing worldly imaginations [dianoia]- to work against me, 28 I've found the secret is to let heavenly imaginations work for me. As I meditate on God's Word, the eyes of my understanding [dianoia] see more clearly this heavenly vision. The concerns of this world grow strangely dim, as the Spirit opens the door of heaven.29
It took centuries for the maps of the world to reflect how the world as it really is. For 29 years, I was driven through life with imperfect maps, but now I am seeing more clearly. It has taken years for my mind to be renewed with this new viewpoint. I see Jesus dimly while in this physical body, but I see God's view more and more as I ask Him to give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that my heart will be flooded with light so that I can understand [dionoia] the wonderful future He has promised me. I want to realize the inheritance God has given to me.30
In short, as we grow in our relationship with Christ, our vision of heaven becomes more clear. We see ourselves divinely connected to heaven, having escaped the corruption all around us caused by our evil desires, because we are partakers of our new divine nature.31 We see ourselves no only crucified with Christ, 32 but buried with Him,33 risen with Him,34 seated with Him,35 hidden with Him,36 and reigning with Him. 37
We share in all that Christ died and rose to give. We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.38 We are His body, the body of Christ. He is the head, we are His hands and feet. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and was given to us by God. We do not belong to ourselves, for God bought us with the high price of the blood of His Son. We must honor God with our body. 39
Our purpose is to be a vessel to bring heaven to the world, through the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God comes to earth through His body. Jesus Christ, through believers, fills everything everywhere with His spiritual presence."40 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things."' The Lord desires the vision of His Kingdom to burn brightly in our hearts and be seen throughout the universe forever. Won't you welcome Christ into your heart today?
Suggested references from the New Living Translation Bible:
1 Pro.14:12, 2 Eph.4:17, 3 2 Cor.4:4, 4 Col.2:15, 5 1 Jn.3:8,
6 Rom.5:17, 7 Eph.4:18, 8 Gen.3:6, 9 Lk.15:22, 10 Rom.6:3-5,
11 Col. 1:12, 12 Co1.1:13, 13 Rev. 13:8, 14 Ex.32:32, 33,
15 Rev.20:15, 16 Rev.21:27, 17 Jn. 3:3,5, 18 Acts 16:14,
19 Eph.2:1, 20 Eph.2:2, 3, 21 2 Cor.5:21, 22 Jn.16:7-11,
23 1 Pet.2:2, 24 2 Pet.3:18, 25 Pro.29:18, 26 Eph.2:4-7,
27 1 Cor.6:17, 28 Lk.1:51, 29 Rev.4:1, 30 Eph.1:17,18,
31 2 Pet.1:4, 32 Gal.2:20, 33 Rom.6:4, 34 Rom.8:11,
35 Eph.2:6, 36 CoI.3:3, 37 Rom.5:17, 38 Eph.2:10,
39 1 Cor.6:19,20, 40 Eph.1:23, 41 1 Cor.13:9-12