Keeping Our Perspective
Keeping Our Perspective
Perspective is important. This is true because your outlook or viewpoint often determines the outcome of the matter. It does so by shaping and establishing your focus and how you use your resources.
Consider how important perspective was to Lewis and Clark. Would viewing the Rocky Mountains from a 747 have made any difference in their journey? Think of all those who once believed the earth to be flat. What impact would a picture of the earth from a satellite have on such a viewpoint? If you could see what would happen tomorrow would it affect your actions today?
All too often we lack perspective. We fail to see the big picture. We forget to take the numerous factors on a given matter into consideration. Our problem comes from being human. We don’t have infinite knowledge and understanding. We lack the ability to put everything together perfectly. The result: loose ends constantly trip us up.
We have a God-given desire to know how everything fits together but such knowledge is the gift of God (Ecc. 3:10-11). In Revelation 4 & 5 God gives us “heaven’s” (4:1) or his perspective on what will transpire after the struggles of the church recorded in chapters 2 & 3 (cf. 4:1b). We should not be surprised for the aim of Revelation is to give us God’s viewpoint on the matters which are made known in its pages (cf. 1:1).
God now begins to give his people the big picture. His purpose is to give believers assurance as they face life in a fallen world. Chapters 2 & 3 remind Christians that they face trials, tests, and tribulations in the present world (Take time to read these two chapters highlighting the various trials believers face in this world.). In a world that appears to be falling apart, how do Christians keep from falling apart? God’s answer: Keep or maintain the proper perspective on life.
Today such an answer is being questioned in the university and on the college campus. The argument: post-modernism has shut the door on such an approach. It has done so by changing the way people think about life. Post- modernists, we are told, don’t believe in one grand narrative that’s applicable for people in all times and all places. In short, “there is no absolute truth.
There is only each individual’s, or each group’s, perspective on the truth; and all perspectives are equally valid.”
Right now we face a choice: Do we believe God or man? Remember, what God said in Revelation 1:1-3,
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
God’s aim or purpose is to bless his people. Those who heed his message have the promise of his favor resting on them. Chapters 4 & 5 reveal three foundational truths of the Christian perspective on life. These truths are the glasses or grid through which believers are to view life. We are called to approach life from this viewpoint. Our daily actions and decisions are to be shaped by these three truths. Will we heed the call?
Truth number one: The Lord God Almighty reigns.
What is your perception of God? How do you think of him? Can you joyfully recite and explain the answer to Question 2 of New City Catechism: God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything; he is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness, and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth; nothing happens except through him and by his will? Are such words strange to you and difficult for you to understand? Do you ever use such terms when talking about God?
These are important matters. Your understanding of God is critical. It will shape your view of Christianity and your approach to life. If you err here it will cost you dearly. Muddled thinking about God and his ways will lead to confused Christians and a weak church.
Truth number two: the Lamb has triumphed.
How has the Lamb triumphed? The answer: by being slain (Rev. 5:6, 9, 12). John didn’t expect such an answer. He heard, “See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed” (Rev. 5:5). He looked and saw a Lamb instead of a strong, powerful warrior. The Lamb had taken a mortal blow and, yet, stands triumphant before the throne of God. “In one brilliant stroke John portrays the central theme of NT revelation – victory through sacrifice.”
Truth number three: The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are worthy of worship.
Worship is the central or defining act of the church. It’s who we are. It’s why we exist. God created us to worship him. The living creatures and the elders confess that God is worthy of worship because he’s the Creator (Rev. 4:11). Psalm 100:1-3 exhorts us with these words, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Do these three truths shape your vision of life? Do they determine your perspective on life? I pray that you will use these truths to keep your life on track.
Elder Jim Gordon