Last week, we learned that attitude allows us to:
- Influence The three Hebrew children influenced the king.
David endured in Ziglag; he encouraged himself.
- Make the right choices
Caleb and the scouts
Perspective is a sub-topic of attitude. We can have a worldly perspective or a Godly perspective.
- A particular attitude or way or regarding something; a point of view.
I need a volunteer. Jay, would you come up here? Now, like the picture in your handout of hands holding the world, Jay is going to represent the world, and I’m going to represent the hand of God. Sometimes we feel like God is (holding Jay by the neck) right here, and sometimes we feel like we’re (holding Jay’s hand by the fingertips) dangling. But no matter where God has us, the important thing is to remember that we’re always in God’s hands.
- For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
- For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
- So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
There are scriptures that say God’s ways are high and holy and righteous, but it says here that God’s thoughts are literally not our thoughts. So we shouldn’t feel bad when we don’t understand what’s going on. God’s word will do what he set out for it to do; it won’t return void. We as humans in the flesh have a choice whether to be a part of that plan. That’s our choice: how we receive God’s words. Hopefully we will have the perspective to realize that God has a plan, and want to be a part of it.
God didn’t make anything by accident; everything is by design. We strive to overcome faults and shortcomings, but God gave them to us for a reason. He doesn’t improvise and patch things together; he builds each of us by design.
What is God’s Perspective?
- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
- For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
So God wants us to keep his commandments. He knows what is going on, and he says “I need you to have the trust and faith to keep my commandments.” You know what? God is going to equip us to do just that.
> A happy person is not a person with a certain set of circumstances; rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
God gave us all different circumstances. We have a choice in how we react to them.
- If ye love me, keep my commandments.
That’s how we can show God that we love him. And God is going to help us:
- And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
- Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
So far we’ve covered:
- God’s ways are higher than our ways
- God expects us to obey him
I remember a story Pastor Thomas told. There was an established businessman, and a young man who wanted to be his apprentice. So the older man said, “You need to shave off your mustache.” The younger man said, “That’s rediculous! I’m not going to do it.” So the older man refused to mentor him. He was only trying to see whether the young man would obey him or not.
God is looking for us to have the simple seed of faith to obey him.
- Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
- Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
- If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
- Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Who is a parent in here? Sister Ulysse, do you ever have a desire to not give your kids what is best for them? Your primary instinct as a mother is to do what’s best for them, even when that’s discipline that they don’t want.
God is our father: the perfect father, if you can fathom that concept. The natural instinct of a father is to put the kids’ needs above his own. Keep that thought as we roll this video clip.
We’re talking about the concept of God the Father. What are a couple of lessons we can learn from this?
- God is patient with us; we should be patient with each other.
- If God asks us something constantly; we should just do it without getting mad.
God sincerely desires us to obey. Our perspective is so small and miniscule; sometimes what he asks us to do seems so rediculous. But when we do it, God is pleased.
- Sometimes ministering to people is doing th e same thing over and over again, whether it’s for the same person or for other people.
- Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
- Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
- Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
- And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
- Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
- Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
- For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
At times, doesn’t it seem like an evildoer is running by you, getting all good things that he doesn’t even deserve. That happens in the world often, but sometimes it even happens in ministry. Suppose you’re out there on base, sharing with people faithfully. But other people seem to reap the benefits.
A lot of times, God wants us to rest in his faith. Maybe God wants us to hold our tongue, and just be that testimony. “I’m content with what I’m doing.” Sometimes we have to be that “spiritual punching-bag.” There are times when everyone’s attitude toward each other won’t be perfect, whether in the church or outside the church.
When you hold your tongue, or you don’t hit “send” on that email you wrote in anger, your perspective may change a bit. I’m not saying to sit still and do nothing, but use wisdom.
- I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
- For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
- I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
- If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
- Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
- Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
What are physical things to God? How much do you really have control over? Do you have any control over the economy? Suppose you build a business: a multi-million dollar business. Can that system fail? Can your health fail? We don’t even have control over how much time we have left in this life. It could be ten minutes or a hundred years.
That’s why attitude is so important.
> Life is ten percent of what happens to me, and ninety percent of how I react to it.
> John C. Maxwell
Are we doing things with love and charity?
God manifest in the flesh as Jesus had a certain perspective, but somebody else had a different perspective:
- And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
- But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
- And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
- But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
So was it wrong for Martha to make sure people had food and water and all that stuff? No, but there was a perspective to minister. Mary’s perspective in this case was to minister. Sometimes when we go through the motions we miss a ministering opportunity.
Let’s say, Ben, you’re walking to church because the people who are doing the lawn are meeting at 10am. You guys are going to meet with all the lawnmowers, bust it out, and be ready for church on Sunday. Let’s look at three different perspectives:
Ben is walking down the street, and God sees Ben is faithful. “Here is a brother or sister who needs comfort; I’m going to place this person on Ben’s path so he can minister to him.”
Man’s perspective is, “I’m in a hurry. I’m focused; I know what I have to do. Here’s this person making eye contact with me; he could slow me down, so I’m going to walk on the other side of the sidewalk.”
A spiritual perspective is, “God, I’m ready to do whatever you would have me to do. The grass is still going to be there an hour from now.”
- Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
- And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.
- And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
- Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
God was pleased because Solomon’s attitude was toward ministry. In this case, God’s answer was, “Okay, you’re a wise man now; I’m going to equip you to do ministry.” So people gathered from miles around to see Jerusalem and hear the wisdom of Solomon.
What should man’s perspective be?
> I may not be able to change the world I see around me, but I can change the way I see the world within me. > John C. Maxwell
Let’s look at another two people who ministered in a different way from King Solomon:
- Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
- And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
- Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
- And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
- And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
- Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
- And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
- And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
- And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
- And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
Solomon had a lot of influence, but Peter an d John didn’t have much of anything in the world. So using nothing, God worked a miracle and healed that man. How quickly do you think news of that miracle spread? God will give us just what we need to do ministry, whether that’s a church the size of ten Rock Churches, or just meeting people in the street. When you throw a rock into the water, it makes ripples across the whole surface of the pond.
Keep this perspective: We have what we need to do ministry.
Once again, there are no right or wrong answers. There are lessons we can take from that:
- He gave the man hope.
- Being able to find a positive aspect in a negative situation
- Making a friend in any situation
I think all three of those combine perfectly, because that was all he could do. He did all he was equipped to do, in ministry. He had a voice, and he used it to make a friend. God gave him just what he needed.
- For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
- Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
- So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
We hear all the time that we have to walk in the spirit. But “the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” We have to walk in the spirit to know what God’s will for us can be. God is going to guide us and direct us, and he may use different things to do that.
Job had a lot taken away from him, but we can encourage ourself with these scriptures. Job was stunned; he sat for a week and didn’t move or speak. There’s nothing wrong with taking “time out” when things happen that affect us spiritually and emotionally. But what did Job do next?
- Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
- And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
- In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
We wait on the Lord and rest in the Lord. We’re not superman; sometimes all we can do is wait. Sometimes things will happen and all we can say is “God, I don’t understand what’s going on, but I know you’re in control.”
How does God communicate his perspective to us?
It doesn’t have to be a shining light from heaven.
- And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
- For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
2. The word of God
It doesn’t have to be audible to be the word of God. Sometimes we have to read it.
3. The Holy Spirit
> (John 14: the whole chapter)
Sometimes we get perspective from God’s holy spirit dealing with us.
Hopefully a story or example in this study will help when you’re trying to keep a Godly perspective.
what is God’s perspective?
- God expects us to obey
- God makes us promises and keeps them
What should my perspective be?
- We should be looking for ministry
- We have what we need to do ministry
- God has the whole world in his hands
- God is a perfect father