Several years ago, our high school daughter told us she had a very interesting English class that morning. Her teacher, in high heels and all, jumped right up on top of her desk and taught the entire lesson, standing high above the class. Of course, we had heard stories about this spunky and wonderful teacher before, but the image of her standing above 30 high schoolers was a teachable moment that not only impacted Reagan but also impacted me. The lesson was on perspective; what a brilliant way to ensure her students would remember that point of view makes a difference in how we perceive things going on around us. What caused this memory to pop in my head? Fast forward almost a decade to the hot trend of adding a point of view (POV) to your social media posts or stories; the creator wants you to recognize their POV to give the post more context.
How does our POV impact us as Christ's followers? Maybe you've never thought about this, but God has. God makes it clear in his Word that he wants us to live from a heavenly perspective.
In Colossians 3:1-4 we are reminded, "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your[a] life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory."
In 2 Corinthians 4:18, we read, "As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
And Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Through these scriptures and many more, God asks us to live each moment on earth with heaven in mind. Our every loving Father wants us to remember that our real citizenship is in Heaven - where we will spend eternity. Did you really hear the promise you just read in Colossians 3:4? You and I will get to share in ALL his glory forever. So, while we are here on earth, as ambassadors for Christ, we should continuously have our thoughts and desires on the things above. Our minds transform when we allow the Holy Spirit in our hearts and begin to see our lives and the world around us from a heavenly POV.
This is much easier said than done. The earthy ways are inviting and immediate; we are constantly tempted to live from an earthly perspective, giving into what our flesh desires. Our POV is limited to what the world declares as necessary. We are bombarded with the idea that we deserve things, more is better, and material things are what bring happiness -More money, more success, more comfort, just more, more, more. This way of thinking breeds jealousy and greediness. Jealousy and greed lead us to do crazy things, gossip, divide, and hate. This same world also wants us to live in a state of chaos, making us worried, fearful, and anxious about what is to come. In the book of Luke chapter 8, in The Parable of The Sower, Jesus shared the words, "And as for what fell [seeds] among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature." reminding us that the world's ways are not fruit bearing. Jesus again reminds us to be aware in Luke 12:15, when he says to them and to us, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
But God calls us to go deeper. God wants more for his precious children. The heavenly way isn't about instant gratification but everlasting gratification. So, even though we are asked to live in this world, God doesn't want us to live world, and he gave us his Spirit to be our helper. Scripture says in Galatians 5:16, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."
Unlike Reagan's teacher, we don't need to jump on our desks or climb mountains to get a new perspective. We might not even have to move from our comfy chair. But we do need to open our Bibles and look to our perfect teacher, Jesus, who came to earth to show us the way. He came to show us how to live life on Earth from a Heavenly perspective. Jesus tells you and me the secret of success in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." When we seek God first and foremost, we find, somehow, in the midst of it all, we have exactly what we need.
How did Jesus seek the kingdom first while he lived on the earth in human form? He loved God and loved others. He spent quiet time with his heavenly Father and prayed often. In all situations, he would seek to do God's will. Jesus also made connections. He spent time with people, he provided what they needed, he ate meals with them, and made them feel included(even the ones the world would judge and exclude). Jesus loved to help people find a heavenly POV. Instead of direct commands, he often shared stories with them to allow them to see things differently. Jesus got to know people's hearts - he laughed with them, he wept with them; he was their friend.
Let's strive to keep our POV a Jesus-centered one! Let's imitate our perfect teacher and be filled with his Spirit filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness, and faithfulness. Then, we have the privilege to be one of the disciples on this world.
Take these words of wisdom that Paul gave to Timothy as he went to share the importance of living from a heavenly perspective. "Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life," Timothy 6:17-19. Let's walk into this day looking from a new perspective. How will you and I be different while looking through a heavenly lens as we walk in this world and connect with each person God puts in our path?