“For a changing time, I need a changing people”

“For a changing time, I need a changing people.”

This was a message I received while worshiping the Lord recently.

Change in Hebrew means to overturn; turnaround; turn back and overthrow.

In Greek, it means to repent and to change the inner man.

That same day on my way to work, I saw an ad on a truck that struck my attention. It read: Imagine what the right light in the right place can do.

Sun burst in New York City. Photo: J. Santiago

Sun burst in New York City. Photo: J. Santiago

LUKE 11:34-36

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

As Christians, we are light carriers and should walk as light givers to enlighten others spiritually and imbue them with saving knowledge. But, if we ourselves are not lit with the light of Christ then what good are we to others?

How do we become a ‘changing people for a changing time?’ What do we have to overturn or overthrow within ourselves to operate with the light of Christ that dwells within us?

Know your ways and motives; but also review daily your sense of heart perspective and how you see things, how you see people, and how you see or judge situations. Because what you see affects your mind, heart, will, thoughts and actions.

Perspective is a powerful thing – it can be constructive or destructive.  It can influence what we know as truth, or it can distort what we perceive as truth. Our misperceptions are often the cause of schisms in the body.

In the natural: Our vision begins when light rays are reflected off an object and enters the eyes through the cornea, the transparent outer covering of the eye. The cornea bends or deflects the rays that pass through the pupil. The iris, or colored portion of the eye that surrounds the pupil, opens and closes making the pupil bigger or smaller to regulate the amount of light passing through the eyes..

In the spiritual and like manner, our viewpoints of one another or situations we perceive with our natural eye, provide or feed that information into our soul and belief structures causing us to regulate the amount of truth we take in (which can be the light of truth) or we can take in misconceptions of truth (which is false light and where strongholds are built).

Now, If we act out on a misconception seeing through the eyes of flesh versus’ God’s eyes, we overstep our boundaries and can hurt the body. Why? Because you went on with your thoughts, your flesh and did not wait to first hand it over to God for his input before addressing the situation to see what He says about the matter.

And, thus we become what we behold. For example, if you believe or judge someone in a negative way then negativity has entered your light. We take in and become what we see to be true (even if sometimes it’s not). For years, you can be a Christian and be full of low self-esteem and believe that reality. But, that’s is not who we are called to be.

Therefore, when your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light.

Do not allow the eyes of flesh to distort God’s truth about a matter or God’s work in matter. Who are we to judge?

Mathew 5:16: Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

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Unchartered Waters: The Reality of Faith

Our unchartered water experiences underscore the presence and reality of our faith.

First let’s read Mathew 14:22-32 when Jesus walks on the water and Peter’s faith is tested:

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

In these verses, Peter, in a quick moment is like a young boy in the country jumping from rock to rock to rock over a rolling river in an effort to get to the other side.  Here, Peter dives in boldly from a faith position onto an unchartered path, but takes his last leap onto doubt. What happened?

We become what we behold.

Peter, being summoned by Jesus to ‘come’ is drawn by his faith in response to the one he loves. And, in doing so, the miraculous happened—Peter walks on water!

But, he also loses focus.  The scriptures read: “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid. Since when do we see wind? What was it in the wind that frightened Peter so?

I believe Peter arrived at a place within himself where he recognized the enormity of his faith leap into unchartered waters.  He experienced the miraculous and endless possibility that he could have with Jesus—and that my friend, probably scared him silly.  The power of our potential resides with Jesus.  And, it’s this power that often frightens us.

Imagine yourself walking on water – the real possibility of it. Frightening? Yes. It’s trust without borders and a faith reality—our true potential in Jesus.

Enjoy this beautiful song and prayerfully consider where Jesus may be taking your feet:

When Faith Fails

Perspective is a powerful thing.  It can influence and even ingrain what we know as truth, or it can distort what we perceive as truth. Does that make sense?

Faith in itself cannot fail, but our perspective can cause faith within ourselves to remain dormant.

Capture

When John the Baptist (Mathew 11: 2-5) was imprisoned and sent word through his disciples to inquire of Jesus on whether He was the one whom they had all expected to come, John displayed a moment of lost faith.

Was it his imprisonment that distorted his view of Jesus?

John may have never expected to end up in prison, especially not after prophesying in the wilderness all of those years about the coming Messiah, and encouraging those around him to ‘prepare ye the way for the coming of the Lord.”  John doubted. His faith failed him for a moment, until Jesus sends back a response – with a different perspective:

“Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.”

Was the kingdom of God that John preached in the wilderness different from Jesus’ response—the manifestation of the kingdom? Perhaps.

The bible is clear in its saying “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

In order for faith to succeed and be active in our life, we have to set aside our views and expectations of outcomes and trust God’s sovereign will for our lives, no matter what the circumstances dictate. Our current views are only a part of the picture and not the whole story of God’s will for our lives.