One of the many benefits of communion with God is that he shares his perspective with us. When I refer to communion I do not mean the sacrament of communion, although that can be part of it. Communion means living in a connected way with our heavenly father, whether it is in prayer, fasting, or in scripture, worship, or just sitting and listening in his presence. Miriam-Webster defines communion as “an act or instance of sharing”, and “intimate fellowship or rapport”. God desires that kind of intimate relationship with his children, and Jesus prepared the way for us to enjoy unfettered access to the creator of the universe, and all of his love, mercy, wisdom, and grace. The writer of Hebrews urges us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. (HE 4:16 NKJV)
Be thou my vision, o Lord of my heart
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art
Be thou my best thought in the day and the night
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light
We understand that just because we say “YES” to Jesus and embark on a life-long journey with him, it does not mean that suddenly all of our troubles disappear forever. It does not mean that we will never have days or seasons of disappointment or confusion (or pandemics), or that he promises sunshine and rainbows every day. And we know that we are not instantly conformed to his image, there is a process and a journey for all of us to take by which we learn and grow and are shaped and molded and refined. We ARE promised, however, that when we have trouble in this life that we can take heart because he has OVERCOME the world (John 16:33). Referring back to Hebrews 4:16, we are urged to go find grace to help IN TIME OF NEED. There will be times of need. There will be times where you might feel discouraged or lost or confused or just plain overwhelmed. You might need direction or resources or healing, or you might be experiencing true loss and trauma. In those times it is imperative to stay in communion with God and allow him to give you the spiritual nourishment that you need. Part of that nourishment is his perspective. I am painting with broad strokes with this word perspective. I mean God’s viewpoint, how HE SEES. It encompasses his view of your circumstances, being able to see from his vantage point and look down on your life from above. It can also mean his view of you personally, speaking in terms of identity. It can mean purpose and destiny and calling. It is often simply how much he loves you and what he sees in you. Whatever you are experiencing, he can offer perspective.
We need to know what GOD SEES, because HE is the truth and he tells the truth. Your circumstances, and your enemy Satan, will often paint an entirely different picture. Do not let circumstances shape your perspective, get it from your heavenly father. A word of caution here: We are vulnerable in times of emotional upheaval to making disastrous choices because it is often in those times that we become disconnected from that throne of grace, not by God’s choice but ours. The war for your life starts and ends in the area of your communion with God. When faced with disappointment, or failure, pain, etc, when the storms of life hit – we often seek to numb the pain and we seek answers. If we are not getting answers from God then we are going to draw all the wrong conclusions based on what WE SEE. And it is oh so easy to develop ungodly belief systems that ultimately bring distance between us and our loving heavenly father. We end up believing lies about his character or about our own, and either fear, mistrust, or shame keep us out of his presence and can open us up to further pain and suffering.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee, Lord
Be thou my great father, and I thy true son
Be thou in me dwelling, and i with thee one
Take the time to develop intimate communion with God and know his character and his heart, so that you can run to him in time of need and receive the love and mercy and grace that he longs to provide. God offers his perspective, which is always the truth, about whatever is troubling our hearts. Let me give you a personal example. It was February 2019, I was a year removed from divorce, walking with God through healing, but struggling with shame and failure, struggling in the transitions with living arrangements and finances, and feeling like life was off the rails. I learned over the years to trust God with those moments. When the heart is hurting take it to him and share your thoughts and feelings, give him your lament. I laid it all at his feet and said God look at this mess that I’ve made, look at the steaming pile of crap that my life has become (I mean when you feel it, you feel it). I just could not shake it, failure is what I saw, and it hung over me like a cloud. But God met me there and gave me an analogy that I could relate to. He said “Son, the game is not over it is merely halftime. I have taken you off the field and brought you into the locker room to get bandaged-up, healed-up and coached-up, and we are making some much-needed adjustments. Halftime feels like a long time but it really isn’t, and soon the third quarter will begin and you will have a new playbook to use in the second half. And I am going to let you in on a little secret – you are going to win, and it won’t even be close.” And just like that – In one sitting, God COMPLETELY reframed this entire season for me. Shame is a prison, but the truth sets us free!
Friends, are you spending time in communion with your loving father God? Has your perspective become his perspective? If you are not sure, ask yourself whether the story you tell yourself about your life and circumstances is full of redemption and hope. If not, then you don’t have the fullness of your father’s perspective. Let him speak to you through scripture and through tender, personal moments. Let him open your eyes to see the truth beyond the circumstances that surround you. Like the prophet Elisha who prayed that the eyes of his fearful servant be opened when they were surrounded by the enemy, “And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2Ki 6:17 NASB) Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies to have God’s perspective of the promised land. All twelve spies saw the same thing, a land flowing with milk and honey and inhabited by giants! But Joshua and Caleb had God’s vision when they said “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.” (Num 13:30) Are you seeing yourself and your circumstances with God’s eyes? Do you know where you are in your journey and what is really going on from God’s perspective? As for me – I am walking down the tunnel from the locker room to the playing field. The second half of this game is about to kick off, I can sense a great cloud of witnesses in the stadium and the atmosphere is electric. Nobody does halftime adjustments better than Jesus, and I cannot wait to take the field.
High king of Heaven, thou Heaven’s bright sun
O grant me its joys after victory’s won
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be thou my vision, O ruler of all.
Blessings to each of you during this Holiday Season,
“Be Thou My Vision” (Old Irish: Rop tú mo baile or Rob tú mo bhoile) is a traditional Christian hymn of Irish origin. The words are based on a Middle Irish poem often attributed to the sixth-century Irish Christian poet St. Dallán Forgaill, although it is probably later than that. The best-known English version, with some minor variations, was translated by Eleanor Hull and published in 1912. Since 1919 it has been commonly sung to an Irish folk tune, noted as “Slane” in church hymnals and is one of the most popular hymns in the United Kingdom.