Beyond Our Perceptions
What does it feel like when you miss something that was right in front of you? Our human nature often misses what can seem painfully obvious later. Our Lord is the God of surprises and even on the road to Emmaus Jesus was unnoticed until He broke bread with them, then He was gone from their sight in an instant. At least at the end of their encounter with the living God, they recognized who was with them. In these crucial times ahead, we will need to increase our sensitivity and expectation of the holy presence of God showing up.
Jehovah “Sneaky,” as Larry Randolph once said, loves to surprise us. He has been with us since we first believed. We read in Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
I have heard there are more than four hundred prophecies in the Old Testament pointing to the coming Messiah, and yet when Jesus walked in the midst of the Sadducees and Pharisees, most did not even realize whose presence they were in. Our sensitivity to the ways of the Lord shapes our perceptions of who He is and can even open the gate to our own deception if we are not pressing in to His presence continually in His Word and His fellowship. Remember when He was in Nazareth. In Mark 6:4-6, we read, “But Jesus said unto them, a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching” (KJV). The people in Nazareth expected little of this Jesus they grew up with. He was just a carpenter’s son in their minds. What could he do? Their perception and expectation could not “see” in this familiar face anything unusual. He would have to go where people were not limited by their frail perceptions and unbelief, that which is not based on heaven’s reality.
In preparation for the great harvest that is coming, let us examine ourselves to determine what areas in our line of sight need to be honed and sharpened so we may see accurately the opportunities and hazards which lie before us. We see in part and prophesy in part. In the days ahead, our gathering together and covering each other will become even more crucial to our survival, balance, and maturity in wisdom. We need trusted and loyal friends to lovingly reveal our own blindspots. Do not forsake the fellowship with others in the days ahead.
How do we embody the anointing of the sons of Issachar so we may discern the times and the seasons we have been in and the seasons of hyper-change we are entering? What got us through before will be insufficient for our survival in the days ahead. Thankfully, we know the Captain of the host of the army of God, Jesus, who sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, and assures those who overcome the world by faith, will enter into His eternal joy, rest, and reign with Him. If we are training to reign with Him, we better know the voice of our Shepherd. The gates of deception are open doors for our frail intellect. Our chain of command and final outcome of victory are known certainties. Bold faith and confidence are our shields against snares, curses, accusations, and darts from the enemy of our soul. Declare your faith boldly and prophesy to yourself and your family to encourage each other and build each other up in the most holy faith.
It is our perception of what is seen and what is unseen by faith which shapes our attitude and confident expectations of what is coming that invites the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Our prophetic vision and Holy Spirit encounters while trusting and obeying our Lord will determine our effectiveness and lasting fruit in the strategic battles ahead. We must boldly overcome all evidence of any religious spirit and fear of man that may linger in us.
The Parable of the Talents
In Matthew 25:14, we read about the servants who received varying talents from their master. The first two invested their talents by faith and brought increase to their masters, were made rulers over cities, and were commended for their faithfulness. The one who perceived his master as a hard man and a taskmaster was spurned and cast into outer darkness. His level of expectation and fear led to his horrible outcome.
The Dangers of Our Perception
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
‘And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
‘So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.
‘Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents’” (Matthew 25:24-28).
This servant’s unfounded perception of his master as a mean and hard man was fulfilled by his negative level of doomed expectations. His lack of faith and fearful views, which were unrealistic, cost him his eternal rest and reward. Where did this wicked servant get such an idea? Where have we gotten our ideas about God? In the Book of Revelation, we read about those that will be cast into outer darkness and the first in that list are the cowards. The fear of the Lord is the only wise fear that leads to life. Our God is a holy God and He will not allow sin to be near Him. As we read in Romans 14:23 “…for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
Remember, the Veil Has Been Torn
We must guard our hearts, our senses, and our tongues. Let us examine our thoughts in the dark. We may come from families where our attitudes or perspectives were shaped from a different era or circumstances that are not present now. Either way we can pray for our family lineage with mercy and grace and say, like Jesus, “Father, forgive them they know not what they do” (see Luke 23:34). Only Jesus is perfect. Man (and woman) will always let us down. Rick Joyner has written some great books in his Overcoming Series on how to recognize and get free from the religious spirit, the control spirit, racism, poverty, the spirit of fear, and more. Every follower of Jesus needs to read these gems of wisdom.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Indeed the power of life and death is in our tongue. In James 3:9-10, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (KJV). My Dad used to say to his six children, “if you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.” I wish he had taken the time to explain why that is good advice. It took many years and trials to find out on my own. The enemy of our soul seeks to divide God’s people through envy, jealousy, greed, hatred, control, and more, and we must learn how to recognize, discern, and wage battles against evil spirits sent to destroy us.
We are eternal spiritual beings living in these temporary vessels of clay. II Corinthians 14:18 assures us: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (KJV). The work of the Father is to believe. I pray almost every day these words, “Lord help me to believe the way You desire me to believe. Help me to see others the way You see them, Lord. Lord, help me to see myself the way You see me. Amen.” These are just a few of the thoughts I have living on heaven’s side of the veil. More will be addressed in future articles.