Sometimes if we go by what we see on the outside, we can miss the importance of things on the inside. Things like old churches, museums, schools. Take these photos for example. What do you see?
Many of you might say: “I don’t see anything…” or “An empty room” but that is not what I see. Here in this place I see “potential”, I see “opportunity” but I also see “fellowship and people laughing again” A place where people will enjoy simple conversations over a warm drink of their choice. I see future colors and decor, I see a canvas I can paint on and display the Glory of the Lord in 3D. The reality is, the rooms are empty but what I see in them trumps the reality that they are empty because I am a Creator, my Father in Heaven’s daughter and as He is so am I. I determine what lens I want to use to judge things: whether a negative or positive. I have the ability to judge from the lesser which is “the room is empty”…but I chose to judge from the greater which is “This will be an amazing coffeehouse!”
As a free independent thinker, I chose the lens by which I look at things but this is also how I view people, always judging from the greater in them. We must view things through the eyes of the Lord and not by what is in front of us or by our present circumstances. In the Bible, we know this as discernment and its prime source of power is through loving one another in the Spirit of the Living God. In today’s world it would seem people deem and judge you based not on love or using the Spirit but on insignificant things such as color, race, religion or ideologies because they cannot use the Spirit because they don’t know Him. What does 1 John 2:3-6 say about this:
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
When you walk in the Spirit of the Living God, the love of God abides in you and you cannot judge people by what you see, but by what God sees. This is why it is so necessary to know the Word of God which is Jesus is writing. Do you remember what Jesus himself said about seeing? In Matthew 11 it reads how John sent messengers to Jesus because he began to doubt since he was in jail and didn’t understand why Jesus did not come to him and rescue him from his fate. However look especially at versus 6-9, 12, 16-18:
2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he [a]sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:
‘We played the flute for you,
And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
And you did not [b]lament.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [c]winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her [d]children.”
This whole conversation is Jesus, yes, the Prince of Peace himself exposing to the crowd the “Rock of offense” that He was because He spoke truth and was not double minded in His ways. The truth was John was offended because Jesus did not come to him in a moment John thought Jesus would. This was the same John that baptized Jesus, the same John that said he wasn’t worthy to untie the shoelaces of His Lord. Yet we see him in jail and now sending messengers asking if Jesus was the one. John was suffering the violence of the world (v12) and Jesus had to remind John through the messengers that Jesus had healed the sick, blind people saw and indeed Jesus was He. However John allowed his lens to change due to his circumstances and the evil world he lived in. He allowed himself to see Jesus through a corrupted lens because he was in a time of trial. Jesus woke him up by saying “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Then Jesus goes on to compare His present generation to one who craved attention, but He clearly saw through their hardened hearts and corrupted vision.
Beloved, do not allow your eyes to deceive you! Do not allow your trials and circumstances to fog your vision. If we walk by faith and not by sight, if we walk in love and not in fear, we WILL SEE THE GLORY OF GOD! People think that opening a coffeehouse in the middle of hard times is crazy, but God doesn’t see it that way because He is the Creator of the universe. What is impossible for Him to do? I cannot and will not live in fear and stop living because of the present crisis. As children of the Living God we must move forward and allow ourselves to see the good, from a greater perspective, not from the worlds perspective because they do not know Him as we know Him. We know we suffer violence but we have been given a command to take back what has been stolen by force. This is not through violence, no but it is through love, peace and walking in faith that we can endure and transform a generational mindset. Speak life out of your mouth, look through the lens of faith and encourage yourself to walk in love. With God all things are possible…Shalom!
Mark 10: 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”