Isaiah 38:18: For Sheol cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. (ASV)
God’s truth confers his ability and holiness on us. Jesus told his disciples that they are clean by the word in which he spoke to them. We are not just cleansed from unrighteousness, but we are also cleansed in our motivation, and perspective. Those are the things the truth of God does for us.
It is not just important to do the right things we should do them for the right reasons. When John the Baptist introduced Jesus to some of his disciples they started following him and Jesus asked what do you seek (John 1:38-39)? They answered: where you dwell. He needed to be clear about their motivation, what they are aiming at, their intention. He does not want to make assumptions based on what he observed in their action, and to determine how he will relate to them. And he said to them: come and see. Their motivation made Jesus invite them to his presence.
Your motivation is as important as your action. Action can be deceptive, but motivation goes deeper. Man sees the action, but God sees beyond that.
The more you know God via his truth the more you change in your motivation, your passion and in who you are.
With the right motivation then you are able to pursue your goals with determination and passion. David said that God was his pursuit foof satisfaction (Psalm 63:1-3). He was not seeking God for things, he was seeking God to enjoy his presence.
With the right motivation, you can go far. David said that through God he can run through a troop and leap over a wall. God’s truth is not just information it is an encounter with the person and character of God, having it downloaded into us, so that we can be like him, move in the direction he is going and with his speed.
To be motivated right is about a heart connection with God. Saul did not share the motivation of God when he commanded him to destroy the Amalekites so he disobeyed, he claims to follow the letter of that commandment but not the spirit. He missed it in the motivation arena (1Samuel 15).
Man sees the present, but God goes into the future. The right perspective is based on the right knowledge. If you are limited in what you know then we are prone to come to the wrong conclusion.
When many people saw Jesus hanging on the cross, they had different things to say, different views about the event.
The thieves he was crucified with mocked him saying he should save them, others on the ground were divided into two groups: his friends were mourning, and his enemies were mocking, but both showed inaccurate understanding of what was really happening.
When Jesus carried his cross, and the women of Jerusalem wept after him, he said they should not weep for him but should weep for themselves (Luke 23:28). They were looking at the present, but Jesus was looking at the future. They looked at his immediate pain, but he looked at his glory afterward (Hebrews 12:1-3).
From the grand plan of the point of view of the will of God, of the grand plan of God to save the world through the death of Jesus, Easter Friday (when Jesus was crucified) should not be a day to mourn, that will reflect the wrong perspective.
Jesus did not encourage people to mourn for him, to weep for him. And we read that had the devil knows what will happen after, he would not have organised the death of Jesus (1Coirinthians 2:7-8). His wrong perspective was his undoing.
Over time Jesus sought to give the disciples the right perspective about what will happen to him, and the pain he will go through, which will be followed by a glorious resurrection after three days, but they did not believe because of their hardened heart (Mark 8:17).
So the state of our heart will determine how it interacts with the truth, whether truth will benefit us or not. The bible says that for some people, the word they heard was not mixed with faith, so it did not profit them (Hebrews 4:2). In their lives, it was a waste.
With the right perspective, you can see far and advance by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you. Paul wrote: the Lord is at work in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). And the foundation for his work is to cause us to have the right perspective.
We are limited in a spiritual sense by how far we can see. God told Abraham: as long as you can see I will give you (Genesis 13:14-15). That was at a time he parted from his nephew Lot and he was feeling he lost something because Lot had picked the land of Sodom for his dwelling place, which, in the natural, meant Abraham was being given the wrong end of the stick, the poorer place to do his animal rearing business.
But God told him I am your inheritance and your exceedingly great reward (Genesis 15:1). While Lot picked a place based on his natural sight and was limited in what he could possess, Abraham saw more. God told him: as far as your eyes can see, I will give you.
The bible says he was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10). And did he get it? He did as even when he died there was a place named after him in the after world called Abraham’s bosom, he saw beyond the veil of time (Luke 16:22). He wanted a city whose builder and maker is God.
When we share God’s perspective, we make the right decision. With a wrong perspective in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve made the wrong decision.
The book of Psalms says: open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (Psalm 119:18). It was a cry to have the right insight into God’s word.
Paul talked about rightly dividing the word of truth (2Timothy 2:15). It is not enough to have the bible in our hands we need to look at the words there with the right eyes. Perspective is everything. It determines action, relationship, and the conclusions that we come to.
In God’s truth we get to know his ways, we gain his perspective. We cannot claim to be one with God when we are not sharing his perspective, he does not want blind believers but fervent followers.
Jesus told he apostles that he no longer call them servants but friends because the servant only serves but does not share the mission of the master, but friends share perspective, point of view (John 15:15). They talk things over. He wants us to be partners with him, not just obeying but joyfully obeying, not just receiving, but also giving.
- Feb. 13. John’s Second Testimony (fellowshiproom.org)
- Someday, a hostile world may well call you to account for believing what Christ teaches….. (patheos.com)
- God Is My Light And My Salvation, Whom Should We Fear? (thepassionists.org)
- 219. Speak Out and Do Not Be Afraid (johnfcft.wordpress.com)
- Jesus’ House Discovered in Nazareth (proxyponder.com)
- Hearing the Gospel of Mark from beginning to end (andygoodliff.typepad.com)
- Correctly Understanding Jesus’ Condemnation of the Pharisees (juicyecumenism.com)