Chapter Three: Gaining a New Perspective, part I
“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous (Psalm 146:8, NAS).”
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18, NAS).”
Definition of Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Definition of Surrender: cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. Synonyms: forsake, deny, stand down, resign, disclaim, relinquish, forgo, cede, abandon, concede, yield, submit, relent, renounce, abdicate, transfer
Graham Cooke said, “Obstacles are a part of life. There is often no way to avoid them. However, there is a way to change our perspective so they can be used to our advantage.” Everything we do hinges on our perspective of what’s happening to us, for us, against us and around us. It is common knowledge that, with every action, there is a reaction. How we respond to things around us is always based on what we perceive is happening, be it good or bad.
For example, when my first husband left me with a note on the coffee table, I perceived it as the worst thing that could possibly happen to me. I was raised that Christians do not divorce, no matter what. Even though he had cheated, lied, mocked, neglected, shunned, and altogether broke our covenant vows in every conceivable way, I deemed his departure as a negative. I cried, and cried and cried and cried some more. I begged him to come home and be the man he was supposed to be. I willingly forgave him and was willing to put it all behind us.
When he did not comply, I began tail-spinning into a dark, sad, lonely, angry, desperate place for the better part of seven years, to which I refer as my “seven years of rebellion”. I slept with men not my husband, cussed like a sailor, I spoke harsh words to a long-time friend, and couldn’t stop pretending I was fine. Because I couldn’t see the grace of God causing him to leave, I couldn’t properly respond. My eyes were blinded and I blamed everyone except the culprit: me.
Yes, he did horrible, despicable things but, had I initially sought the face of God, I wouldn’t have married him. Looking back, the signs were evident. I simply refused to acknowledge them. If I could have perceived God’s voice prior to marriage, the marriage would not have happened; hence I would not have experienced undue pain and suffering. It is only when we seek God’s vision in each situation of life that we are able to see as He sees so as to respond according to the Spirit instead of according to the flesh.
Once I returned to and resigned my whole life to Christ in 2000, I began a new, fresh journey with Christ as I had never known or experienced. I began to see that, even though I had made a huge mess of my life due to poor decisions, God’s promise to “turn all things for good for those who love Him” was for me personally. Instead of trying in my own strength to “pick up the pieces,” I was fully able to leave all the pieces behind me and allow Christ to make a whole new me. The old pieces were not required and certainly me having to “pick up” anything of the old was not necessary.
Understanding this, my decisions, little by little, began to morph into something new, something altogether other-worldly. My discernment sharpened and continues to do so today. Every time I need to make a decision and I don’t readily know what to do, I rest in Christ and wait. I allow Him to show me what to do when the time comes.
In the worst circumstances, in the weakest places of life, before you do anything, ask God to grant you His vision, His perspective, and His will so as to go forward in His strength. A changed perspective will change the course of your life because it will change how you respond to everything. When you surrender your fleshly, natural, limited vision to the Holy One, you’ll be amazed at how darkness will be turned to light!
When All My Strength Has Failed
Alexys V. Wolf
Philippians 3:7-11: But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, 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 so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians reads, “the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus.” Knowledge of Christ is only attainable through loss – total loss. There is nothing more valuable in this universe. One can only know Christ Jesus through death just as it was for Adam. To know, in the deepest sense of the word, is for someone to immerse completely into something or someone. Comparing it to human relationships, when a person falls deeply in love, we can say that they die to themselves or they lose themselves in the other person.
The person in love will do anything to get the object of their affection to reciprocate their love. Being in love is often referred to as painful. “Love hurts,” people say. It is painful because those who were once very independent become dependent on the other person reciprocating their love. People have been known to commit literal suicide when their love is not returned. Human love pales in comparison to the pure love of the Savior. We need to be dependent upon Him and independent of self.
God doesn’t just say, “Love Me.” He says, “I love My people so entirely that I died for you so that I can extend to you My perfect love in order for you to be able to love Me back with My love.” Giving up self is a tiny price to pay in comparison to knowing God and possessing an intimate friendship and fellowship with Him and His unshakable Kingdom.
In the first edition of What Was God Thinking? Why Adam Had To Die, I stated, “one could say that Jesus loved us so much that He committed suicide for us that we might live…I call that intentional act of death suicide.” In this, my second edition, I am amending that. Yes, He gave His life, but suicide depicts taking or removing a life exclusively leaving nothing but death.
What Christ did was give life through His death; therefore, the word “suicide” doesn’t aptly depict what He did. After all, He did rise from the dead! We are to give our lives to Christ just as Christ gave His life for us, but we are to do it in a spiritual sense. When we do, we arise from our spiritually dead, fleshly condition while remaining in the physical body. We are to consign self completely which is quite a task given the magnitude of the pull of fleshly desires. Only those completely dedicated to the life of Christ and knowledge of who He is can accomplish such a task. It is supernatural at it’s core.
The latter part of the above Scriptures in Philippians reads, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. You want to know Christ? Be conformed unto His death and supernatural life stemming from the Kingdom of God will overtake you!
We’ll pick up here next week as we continue with Love vs. In Love. If you are interested in reading more, check out my website to order my books, or go to my Facebook ministry page where I post regularly. Blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf