Have you considered God’s Perspective lately?
I had three children in three years. My youngest child is 26, so it has been a while. I am often asked by younger sisters in Christ,
“How did you do it?”
I don’t have the level of detailed advice that they are searching for. At this vantage point in my life, I look back and the view is through “rose colored glasses.” Vintage tri-focals, for sure!
I can say with confidence, my child raising years were the best years of my life! I remember they were difficult. Those years required a lot of prayer and caffeine, but I no longer remember the skirmishes.
If someone asked me “How did you do it” 26 years ago … shortly after #3 was born and, in my battle-weary state … I would have given them a very detailed, and perhaps snarky, answer. I would have replied: have a plan stan, stay one step ahead of them, extinguish those behaviors that will push you over the edge, encourage those behaviors that feed your soul, and allow your children to live another day 😊. I cannot abide a “whiner” and I did not like it when children begged for every little item. I purposely eliminated those behaviors through consistent discipline. On the flip-side, I encouraged my children to be friends with each other and I worked hard at helping each see the similarities between them and their siblings. I encouraged them to share in each other’s triumphs. I praised them when they pulled for their brother or sister and shared with each other without my intervention. I looked for the good in the relationships they were building and I made a big deal about it! Today, my kids are still good friends.
When my children ask my opinion on a parenting issue that concerns their children, my grandchildren, I have a hard time being objective. From my perspective, as Sweet Mama, my grandchildren are perfect!
Perspective is key!
In 2019 I want to be more in tune with God’s perspective than with my own. I want to look at the world through His eyes. If we all considered first and foremost God’s thoughts and commands, I know we would behave differently. We would be -more loving, patient and giving, to name just a few. Consider the following:
Is God Pleased with Your Praise and Worship?
Consider your mindset when you enter into corporate worship on Sunday mornings. How many Sundays do you sit in the pew and think, “I like that song, that song is too high for me to sing, or oh, no … not that song again?” Does your mind fill with thoughts about the people singing next to you? Do you ask: do those people think they sing like Opera stars, do I have coffee breath, is that new guy on the worship team barefoot, are those misspelled words on the screen, and am I singing too loud? You catch my drift. Instead of thinking about worship from your perspective, what would happen if you considered God’s reaction to your praise and worship. Is God pleased with your gift of praise, or is He annoyed by your half-hearted attempt to lift up His holy name as you decide where you will go to lunch after church service?
Consider God’s perspective as you enter into worship this Sunday with your church family. Ask yourself, “Is God pleased with my praise?” I am wrecked by this thought each time I praise our Heavenly Father! God is actually listening! I do not sing into the abyss. Instead, I worship a living God. I don’t want to sound like a “whiney child” or like someone half-heartedly going through the motions. I want to be a grateful, loving daughter! With this perspective I enter into worship and the rest of my church disappears around me. I empty my thoughts of the mundane issues of life and realize that I am standing at the feet of the throne. I lift up my best voice in a sincere way and with my whole heart. With my praise, I try to reflect back the love that the Father has lavished on me (1 John 3:1). Each and every time I am brought to repentance, forgiveness and overwhelming gratitude in the span of only 2 to 3 songs. I find it amazing that I don’t end up prostrate each week overwhelmed by the extreme gift I have been given to join the choir of angels worshiping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Psalms 148:2)! I always need a tissue after worshiping. Happiness slips out of the corner of my eyes and rolls down my cheeks.
It’s all a matter of my awareness of God’s perspective.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Is God Pleased with Your Marriage?
If I consider my marriage from God’s point of view, my rating scale is completely different. From the world’s vantage point, the categories I should daily rate my husband are kindness, attractiveness, cleanliness, and a good pay check 😊! But that does not matter much to God. I believe He is interested in how we use our marriage for His glory. He looks down at how we are using our marriage to advance His kingdom.
Are people attracted to or repelled by the Gospel because of your marriage?
Do you and your spouse joyfully enter into His presence together on a regular basis?
Are you searching after His will as a unified team, or is one of you being dragged along, kicking and screaming?
Do you hold each other accountable spiritually, or do you ignore the sanctification process all together because it is too personal or, heaven forbid, uncomfortable?
If these were the topics of your prayer time and discussion around the table, I believe God would be pleased and your marriage would be strengthened! Purposefully pursuing Christ does not weaken your marriage. Instead, it strengthens your marriage! No one has ever asked me if I felt God was pleased with my marriage. I wish they had. The question would have forced me early on to decide what scale I would use to measure the success of my marriage. I believe the question would have helped me focus on the eternal values of my marriage with Jody instead of on the temporal ones. So, my friend, let me be the first to ask you, “Is God pleased with your marriage?” This is an important question worth pondering and discussing with your spouse. Keep reading, friend.
Is God Pleased with Your Family?
In the flesh, we have standards that we set for family. We want to live in a nice house, have our kids be successful in school, participate in extra-curricular activities, and take amazing family vacations. These are good things, don’t get me wrong. But when we began to convince ourselves that these are “God things,” the trouble starts. God is not interested in your child’s report card, what position he plays on the youth soccer team or the square footage of your home. The success of your family, from God’s perspective, would be more along the lines of: do your children honor their parents, are you openly walking out your faith so that your children can see how to walk by the Spirit, is your home open to those in need in your community, and are you “teaching your children about the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) .” This does not negate the good things you are doing in your home, with your family, and in raising your children. It simply trumps them!
God’s Perspective is all that matters!
If you are scratching your head and thinking, “Wow, what pleases God,” then consider the verses below. I’m sure there are many others, but these are a good start. Spend some time reading them in context (consider their meaning in the chapter that they are from so that you don’t miss anything that God is trying to show you) and prayerfully consider how God would like you to apply them to your life today! (Colossians 3:2)
As always, thank you for reading the blog each week. Stay washed in the Word and lean into God’s perspective on your life! I promise your life will not be the same!
Romans 8: 6-8
1 Thessalonians 4:1-5
Matthew 22: 37-39