(POINT 3: HAVE THE RIGHT VIEW OF LIFE’S SITUATIONS)
Christians and unbelievers alike experience losses, joblessness, lack, illness, temptations, trials, persecution, unfulfilled dreams or desires, failures, disappointment, financial crisis, damaged reputations, bankruptcy, loneliness, debt, hardship, misfortune, bullying, lack, death of a loved one, injustice, false accusation, pressure among others. Some are able to handle their situations very well, remaining confident and comported and even coming out victorious. Some others facing same situations were crushed under the heavy burdens of their problems and even commit suicide. Why is this so? The difference is in how each individual perceives the situation which in turn dictates their different responses and reactions. Things and situations are viewed either positively or negatively.
What is Perception?
The story of the twelve spies sent by Moses by Gods instructions to go and have a view of the Canaan Land that God had promised to give them as their inheritance (Numbers 13:1-33) best describes how people see same situation differently and how such views dictate their responses and reactions (Numbers 14:1-10). Ten of the spies viewed the land and came back with negative report saying; (32)”The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eat up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people we saw in it are men of a great stature, (33) and there we saw the giants, the sons of anak, which come of the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers. And so we were in their sight.”
However two of the spies reported the same land as thus; (7) “The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. (8) if the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.” What was responsible for the different reports given of the same land viewed was their perceptions.
The evil/negative reports of the ten spies was based on how they saw it as revealed by their human senses “our own sight” and understanding based on viewing things by their physical appearance. It was not only an evil report but also a wrong report.
The good/positive reports by remaining the two spies was not established on physical appearances but on spiritual perception of the situation based on God’s past faithfulness in delivering them from the land of Egypt and God’s promises to give them the land (Genesis 15:18; 17:8; Exodus 33:2). They knew God was present with them (Numbers 14:9). They were aware of his Invisible presence with them. This is faith in action!
These are in fact the two different types of perceptions; positive/spiritual and negative/carnal.
Also worthy of note is the effect of the negative perceptions and the positive perceptions on the reporters. Those who saw the situation positively were bold and courageous, optimistic, brave and calm and therefore said; “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. Neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not” (Numbers 13:30 and 14:9).Did the Scripture in Daniels 11:32, not say that “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits?
However, the ten with the negative report said, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” Negative perceptions of things result into negative responses. It makes one to be afraid and loose heart. It grounds one down because it drains away one’s confidence and strength. It demoralizes and demobilizes. It discourages.
Furthermore, those negative reports affected all those who heard it negatively too. They became so disturbed, afraid and disheartened and wept throughout the night (Numbers 14:1). After that, they murmured against Moses and Aaron, and wished they had died in Egypt. They rebelled against God and wanted to stone those who brought the good report (Numbers 4:1-4,10). These were the ripple effects of negative perceptions.
Finally, the ten spies who saw themselves as grasshoppers and wished they had died in Egypt had what they wished for, they all died (Numbers 114:36-37). The two who saw themselves as winners through God lived (Numbers 14:38). Perception is everything, what you see is what you get!
From all the explanations above we can see the importance of having the right perception of every situation. Your perception is responsible for all responses and reactions, character and conduct, victory and defeat, life and death. Negative perception of life situations is the root cause of suicide.
Man before the fall had the right physical and spiritual perceptions of things, life and life’s situations and right corresponding responses and reaction because his vision was perfect. He dwelled in light, was in the right position, he focused on God and was in a godly and perfect environment/surroundings. Man, in his original estate as one created in God’s image and likeness was spirit. He was perfect, no disease or disability. As a spirit being he viewed and did everything spiritually. Man connects to God and the spirit realm through the spirit. He also has a body and soul. The body is the dwelling place of the spirit. The body has some sensory organs with which he contacts and views the physical world. The soul comprises of the mind described as the center and director of human activity. It is the center of intellect/mentality, intuition, thoughts and imaginations. It is the place of emotions and feeling and also of affection. It is also the place of human will, decision making, desires and wishes. It is also the place our characters and morals are formed. The mind is conditioned by the inputs from the physical and spirit realms. When inputs from the physical and the spiritual realms controlled by God’s spirit gets to a mind in contact with the Almighty God, it responds positively because it is godly. These inputs in turn dictate how the person’s mentality, feelings, emotions and will operates. Godly inputs are positive, good, true, pure, lovely, light, wise, and holy inputs. Godly inputs keep the heart at rest, quiet, peace, joyful, healthy, hopeful and strong (Hebrews1:1-3; John 1:1-4, 14; Galatians 5: 22-23).
Man occupied and operated from an exalted position of dominion and authority as the crown of God’s creation. The Garden of Eden where he abode was a paradise, a place of light and conducive environment with the best of everything good that life could offer. It was a place of order, peace, love and harmony. Man was totally dependent on God, he fellowshipped with Him and enjoyed His presence and man had fullness of life and peace of mind. God was man’s focus.
To view things in God is the highest altitude to view all happenings around us – through the eyes of the Holy Spirit and in the light of God’s divine purpose and responds to messages from the spiritual and physical realms. He sees God in everything therefore he had the perfect high latitude perception of everything both in the physical and in the spiritual. He was able to have a high view, a far view, a full view and a clear view and the real understanding views of everything. He impacted his environment positively to the extent that the Garden of Eden was said to be a place of joy and gladness, thanksgiving and melody (Isaiah 51:3).
Pathetically, man sinned against God when he put the lust of the eyes and cares of the world above obeying Gods commandment and everything about man and life changed downward. As a result of the sin of disobedience of eating from the tree of good and evil he was commanded against, he was disconnected from the Holy God, who is Light and the source of his life and spirituality. He died spiritually and he became depraved/carnal (one governed by human nature instead of by the Spirit of God). His being dead spiritually also implies he is blind spiritually and no longer able to receive or discern anything of the spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). The eyes became evil (Matthew 6:23). Having being alienated from God, God is no longer his focus and could not see God in anything. This implies he became self-centered, only concerned with himself. He became influenced by physical/outward appearance of things which are actually not real as seen and are temporal (2 Corinthians 4:8). Being alienated from God implies among other things that he is now in the spiritual kingdom of darkness. He also lost out of life’s goodness which is found in God. Life ceased being what it was meant to be. He incurred the wrath of God and was cursed and now put on imperfection, death and decay. Creation was cursed on his behalf too. He was driven from his exalted/high place of light, comfort, peace and abundance (garden of Eden) and position of dominion and authority to the outside world already cursed, in darkness and chaos because of Satan who was cast down to it. The presence of Satan in the earth had given physical things deceptive, camouflage counterfeit and false looks. His mind now complies with the dictates of his flesh and became evil because of satanic thoughts and deeds which are negative, bad, poisonous, negative, evil, false, dangerous, hateful, sinful, and wicked inputs. All these make the heart sad, dark, panicky, hard, weak, sinful, dulled, evil, afraid, bitter, confused, foolish and wicked.
Being under the rulership of Satan and living in a harsh environment where evil and terrible happenings occur regularly, his body became diseased.
Effects of man’s fall on his perception/view of things:
Man’s fall had very serious negative effect on his perception of things in several ways;
- Man now view things as a result of his becoming spiritually blind, he sees spiritual things through their physical appearances which is wrong because spiritual things cannot be view with human senses. He now sees life’s circumstances as barriers: he now has a carnal mindset. Worst still is the fact that the human senses which he uses has become corrupted, contaminated and diseased, which implies he could not even view physical things correctly too (Matthew 6:22- 23).
- The world has been thrown into spiritual darkness making visibility of life’s situations unclear, thereby man stumbles and falls even at noon time (Isaiah 49)
- He becomes self centered with concerns for only things that pertains to him alone.
- Having been sent out to the world, he now views things from the earth level which is at a very low eye level and an incorrect viewing position of heavenly things. He now views life’s situations from the basement (frog view). The bottom view makes things look big and gigantic and out of proportion. When persecution is viewed with the human understanding it makes us fear, panic, or become resentful. Adversity makes us doubt, discouraged or rebellious, temptation makes us have wrong desires, impure motive or evil passion such as jealousy, hate or temper.) However man becomes double minded; one minute he is spiritually minded in the next he is carnally minded).
- Man lost his control over his surroundings. Being in a fallen world full of troubles and surrounded by terrible things and happenings, customs, fashion, rules, modes, manners, religion and forces all which are down dragging. He now conforms to the world (Romans 12:2).
The Good News for Christians:
We thank God for His gracious salvation through Jesus Christ that has among other things restored man to his original estate. As many that believe Him, He gave them power to become children of God (John 1: 12; Romans 8:14-17).
- They are translated from the kingdom of darkness to that of light (Colossians 1:13).
- The believer becomes a light bearer.
- They are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). The believer has the Holy Spirit which has begotten a new spiritual nature with faculties of spiritual seeing and hearing and understanding in his heart (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Their life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
- They are now seated in Christ above all principalities and powers, a citizen of heaven.
- They have become people of high of authority and powers having being made Kings and priests (Revelations 1:6).
- Jesus the captain and author of their salvation has become their focus.
Christians, we have all these things restored to us through Jesus Christ. For effective perception, it is expected of us to have a right view of life and circumstances of life’s through the eyes of faith on Christ finished works and victory over Satan, the world and the flesh. Jesus is life, and the source of life, the best way to have the right perception of life is to see life through him. Our inability to live and see things the way they are by the spirit is why we are still responding and reacting negatively to unpalatable circumstances of life. This is contrary to how our Lord Jesus wants us to react and respond. He wants us to be of Good cheer in all situations and said “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus’s victory is our victory, we have victory over Satan, the world and self in Jesus. This must be our perception in times of our tribulations. Perception is everything, the less you perceive life and challenges negatively the less you respond negatively, the happier your life will become. Since we are seated with Jesus in heavenly places above all principalities we are to see things from a high altitude level. This would give us a wide, long and understandable view and not from below the low earth level where we see, hear, and perceive everything that will have us discouraged and cast down.
Among the things I learnt personally from the story of the twelve spies sent to view the land of Canaan is the difference between negative/human perception and positive/spiritual perception and the responses and reaction based on these perceptions. Ten viewed the land with their human eyes and saw defeat and death while two viewed it in God and saw victory and life (Numbers 13: 25-33; 14:1-10). What you see is what you have. The 10 spies saw themselves as grasshoppers and carcass and that was what they got (Numbers 13:33). The two who saw themselves as winners through God lived. See yourself victorious over your life’s battles because the one with you is the Mighty man in battle and has already given you victory.
Stop seeing and judging yourself from the eyes of your flesh, because no matter how physically endowed you are, you will always never seem to measure up. King Saul’s with all God’s given physical and spiritual endowment was a perfect match for Goliath but he couldn’t face him because he was little in his own eyes (1 Samuel 9:2, 21; 10:23. He lost out of life’s battles. However, young and inexperienced David aware of God’s presence with him confronted Goliath and killed him. Your physique is not the real you, the real you is the “inner you”. You are more than what your physical body reveals. You are who the Word of God says you are; you are beautiful and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God, so why suffer from inferiority complex? Be mindful of what the word of God says about you and not what others say about you. The reason you are seeing yourself as a failure is because you are measuring yourself with other people’s successes. Focus on your strength and not on your weakness and mistakes. You are unique and special. You are not a mistake but a wonder.
There is a destiny which God would have you see, claim and complete in faith and victory. You have a glorious purposeful expected end. He has put everything in place for you concerning this. All He wants you to do is to lift up your eyes “lift up your eyes….all the land that you see will give to you” (Genesis 13:14-15). Abraham believed God and could see his destiny beyond his physical vision. What kept Joseph going despite all the challenges was his spiritual perception of a glorious future.
Child of destiny, look up, walk shoulder high and stop going about life with bowed heads in dejection and hopelessness, you have a glorious future! Lift up your eyes to the hill from where your help comes from.
Stop seeing yourself as one with one disability or the other when the bible says you are a complete human being (Colossians 2:10). Stop living in fear because of the threats and roaring’s of all the toothless powerless workers of darkness masquerading as lions; they cannot harm you because your life is hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3). Be mindful always of your position as one seated in Christ who is seated far above all principalities and powers.
Whatever it is you are passing through, do not focus on the challenge; Focusing on your problems will destroy you because of its overwhelming effect. We are admonished to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith because He in a trialing situation saw life and victory beyond the cross, the crown and glory beyond the grave. As long as Peter maintained his focus on Jesus, resting in the power of His word, he walked on the water but started sinking as he looked at the storming wind. Keep your eyes on Jesus. When you see God in everything and trusting him He will help you. Don’t ever lose consciousness of God’s presence with you. When one loses focus on God’s abiding presence the heart becomes weak and troubled; persecution assails us; and inwardly there breaks a storm of fear, panic, or resentment. Adversity makes us doubt, discouraged or rebellious, temptation makes us have wrong desires, impure motives or evil passion such as jealousy, hate or temper. The reason why God placed the eyes in front of the head is because we are to look forward always, so stop looking back at hurtful past experiences, else you will fall. God is working on your case even when it seems nothing is happening (Isaiah 43:18-19).
All the characters previously studied Joseph, Job, King David overcame their challenges because God was their focus, they operated by the spirit of God and they saw all their afflictions in the light of God’s divine purpose. This is to say that they saw God in it all as a result of that, they were not seen as the works of Satan, witches and wizards, and household enemies even when there were glaring visible activities of man’s inhumanity in their situations. David through the eyes and understanding of the spirit saw victory over Goliath even before the challenge. This was what helped David not to kill King Saul on the three occasions he had the opportunities to do so. Apostle Paul’s focused attention on Jesus was what made him see his many grievous afflictions as “light afflictions. Joseph saw God in all that happened to him and this greatly helped him to maintain his cool headedness. Joseph accepted his trial and could therefore make the best use of it. He did his job so well at Potiphar’s house that he soon became the one in charge of the whole household. He did his work so faithfully in the prison that he soon became master over other prisoners. What helped Joseph not to fall into the temptation of fornication was that he looked at it as something against God and humanity. It was what helped him not to pay back evil for evil against all his ten brothers’ heartless crimes against him that made him suffer greatly including his being sold into slavery and imprisonment. It is only when we see God above all our challenges that we can forgive and forget human instruments.
The reason why many of us still partake in the evil happening of our time is in our inability to see ourselves as the light of the world. Light has nothing to do with darkness than to disperse it. Light has no shadow. Stop seeing every challenge as the work of the enemies; this is the major cause of your stagnancy in life. Stop seeing everyone as an enemy, because doing so affects you so much. It makes you hate people which are a break of God’s greatest commandment of love.
What to do:
- Allow the Holy Spirit of God to have the absolute control of your life (Galatians 5:25).
- Read the Scripture daily.
- Stop panicking. Be still and see the salvation of the Lord (Exodus 14:13-14)
- Live in obedience for a life of obedience to Christ brings spiritual vision. “Obedience is the eye of the Spirit”
- Pray more because prayer transfigures our view of life. Through prayers we climb the “mount of God.”
- Stop living a life of sin, Sin blinds.