For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. – 2 Chronicles 16:9 NAS
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1Samuel 16:7 NAS
One of the defining differences between human beings and God is perspective. That may seem obvious but I suspect that when we all step into eternity we may be in for a shock as to how different God viewed our life compared to how we view it now. Granted getting God’s perspective may seem impossible at times and yet the Scriptures confront us with the fact that we can have the mind of Christ and have the ability to see life from His perspective (1 Cor. 2:14-16).
The problem for us, as we see in 1 Samuel 16: 9 is that we tend to look at outward appearances and God looks at the heart. That can be a problem and certainly was when Samuel was about to pick a king for Israel as in 1 Samuel. Samuel was a godly man; a priest that cared about what God wanted and even with his passion to serve God was reminded that even he lacked the capacity to see the way God sees. It would be a mistake to see this as an isolated incident. I believe this is a universal principle that flows from the consequence of the human condition: we are finite creations of God, we live in a fallen world and we are all affected by the collateral damage of sin. Now this does not mean that human beings are not capable of discussing or exploring matters of our heart but certainly not like God. The problem is captured by Jeremiah 17:9 –
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.
We are reminded in the New Testament of a similar statement in 1 Corinthians 13:9, 12:
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part … For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
What this tells me is that we are broken, misaligned and finite in our ability to see the same way God sees things. So what is the solution? How do we gain the greatest insight into God’s perspective of life?
First, God’s Word – the most important way we learn to see life the way God does is knowing His Word. This is how God has revealed Himself, show His purpose and will, and help us understand His perspective on everything. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness and His promises empower us to an uncommon life firmly grounded in His truth.
Second, God’s Spirit – the personal, indwelling and empowering presence of God’s Spirit is with us to teach, mentor, clarify, and guide as we keep in step with how He directs us to live out the truth of God’s Word in our life. He is indispensable to transformation and faithful obedience in this life with God.
Third, God’s people – a faith community embodies the fullness of Christ. The collective existence of this spiritual entity that becomes the visible presence of Christ when gathered together is the Body of Christ. This is where we often miss the wisdom, insight and provision of God in the collective community of believers.
In His grace, Pastor Brad