Repenting on a twisted perspective

17 01 2008

As usual, i do not read every of the Elijah List’s mail, except this one which i did. (As it is the only unread email in my mailbox).

Parable of the Gas pump

Do you ever have one of those “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed” days? Recently I was having one! I’m not a negative person and I tend to always see the glass half full rather than half empty, but not on this particular day. It was a day filled with things I didn’t want to do, and I left the house in the morning with a very negative perspective regarding my day ahead. Sure enough, everything seemed to go wrong. From traffic to lack of parking spaces and delays in meetings, I was living out what I had expected.

Finally I was on my way to the last meeting of the day, running a bit late. I jumped into my car and began driving only to look at the gas gauge and saw the needle pointing to “E.” I had no time to stop and get gas! Now I was really frustrated. I pulled up to the gas station, mumbling all the way, and tried to fill my tank. But gas spewed back at me and the pump wouldn’t stay on. In my frustration, I quickly pulled forward to the next pump, believing that the first one was broken. Now I was really frustrated and to top it off, I smelled like gas. I put the nozzle in my tank and once again, gas spewed at me. I was so upset that I shouted (under my breath), “What’s up with this?”

Right as the last word came out of my mouth, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Go check your gas gauge again.” I quickly did and it read “F.” It had been full all along. Right then the Holy Spirit spoke to me again and said, “When your perspective is not aligned with Mine, even the things that are full in your life will appear empty.”

This lesson has been incredibly helpful over the past months. When I begin to have a bad day, the first thing I do now is check my “perspective gauge”–is it on full or empty? After God speaking to me about my perspective, I realized that much of our warfare comes from the view we choose to look at life with. Will I align myself with truth or a lie? Will I live in the hope of tomorrow or the disappointments of yesterday? Will I praise or complain?

Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

As the months have passed since the “empty tank” incident, the Holy Spirit has not stopped speaking to me about this issue of perspective. To be aligned with His perspective is a posture that He is asking us to take as we enter into 2008. Let’s look at the word “perspective” from the Wikipedia site:

Perspective (visual) is the way in which objects appear to the eye. Perspective (graphical) means to represent the effects of visual perspective in drawings. Metaphorically in relation to cognitive topics, perspective (cognitive) is one’s “point of view,” the choice of a context for opinions, beliefs and experiences. Point of view (literature) is the related experience of the narrator. For example, with art, perspective can determine how you view a particular piece. Often you must draw things smaller if the viewer is at a distance or if you view from a particular angle, you will see things in a distorted way.

The same is true with God. Our lives can appear distorted if we view them from a wrong angle, such as through circumstances or through disappointments. Just because something appears to our natural eye as being true, doesn’t make it actually true. I remember being in a counseling session with some parents and their adult child as they all tried to relay a story from many years before. The parents’ view was very different from their daughter’s view, since she was seeing from a child’s perspective with less awareness and a more limited view. Was her version of the story wrong? No, but she was given a greater awareness hearing her parents’ view many years later, which brought her into much healing regarding the memory.

God wants us to stop and ask Him what His view (perspective) of our situations is. He is training us to see with our spiritual eyes and to hear with our spiritual ears. “Then Jesus said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'” Mark 4:9

The Praise Perspective

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.” Job 8:21-22

I returned home from my last trip of 2007 on December 7. I was so excited to spend the next few weeks focused on my family and the holiday season. But by December 8, I started to have a sore throat and earache. Within a few days, a terrible infection had spread throughout my throat and ears, causing one ear drum to rupture and my throat to have ulcerated sores. The pain was so intense that I was put on continual morphine for over two weeks. The antibiotics weren’t working, and I was spending my “family holiday” too ill to do anything but try to manage the pain.

As I lay there in pain (pain like I’ve only felt in childbirth), overwhelmed at the disappointment of losing this time with my family, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Enter the gates of My peace with praise.” In the midst of such physical pain, by His grace, I began to praise Him. I praised Him for the family that I have, for the ministry that I have been honored to serve in, for “choosing me,” for dying for me, and on and on. Although the pain continued, so did the praise. My spirit was having a wonderful holiday season with the One that we celebrate. My spirit had risen above the physical pain. The peace continually flooded over me. Praise changed my perspective, even in the midst of pain!

It was like entering into a spiritual Lamaze childbirth. It was breathing truth and praise into my spirit and blowing out all the wrong perspectives that pain can usher in. All of a sudden, I was not feeling a loss of the holiday, but I was ushered into His living room and was being cared for by the hand of My Father. I was realigned with His perspective rather than the wrong perspective that pain can cause.

Aligning Ourselves to Enter 2008 with Praise

Some of you came to the end of 2007, saying, “Why am I still in so much pain?” or “Why have my circumstances not changed?” I encourage you right now to enter into the gates of this new year with shouts of praise. No matter the circumstances, no matter the pain level–begin to praise Him. He is worthy. Allow Him to carry you into this new year like a bridegroom would carry His bride over the threshold of intimacy. There is never a lack of what we can praise Him for. Move beyond the “whys” and into the absolutes — HE IS ABSOLUTELY WORTHY OF PRAISE!

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5

New Year’s Dream

My year started with a dream I had in the wee hours of New Year’s day. In my dream, I was in a worship band that was playing Spirit-filled instrumental music. We were waiting for the Lord to speak to us regarding 2008. As we waited, I saw a picture of a large sunflower, pointed towards the brightness of the sunlight. As I saw this picture, I clearly heard the Lord begin to sing over His Church the song: You Are My Sunshine. Most of us are familiar with the words to this simple song:

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

In this dream, I felt the Lord’s delight for His children in a way I have never experienced before. As I awoke, the Lord’s delight continued. I was quite moved by this experience because when my husband and I adopted our oldest daughter, we would sing this song over her every night before putting her to bed. Just looking at her would fill us with such delight that it would often leave us in tears. We had never known such love for another human being. This was the same delight that I felt the Lord showering over His children.

Then I heard Him speak to my spirit, saying, “This will be a year that I express My delight for My children. I will sing over them as a Father who is filled with delight. This is how I see you, and I want you to receive like a child would receive and to believe like a child would believe. This is the year of My delight!”

“You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, ‘Forsaken,’ nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’; but you will be called, ‘My delight is in her,’ and your land, ‘Married’; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:3-5

Allow His light to shine on you and His delight to be showered over you. He is singing over you with love and joy. Expect to feel and experience His delight this year. We can sing this song back to Him too! When your skies are gray, He will be your warmth and light. He is our sunshine. We will never know how much He loves us, but this year, we will experience a new and fresh revelation of His love. May your perspective be aligned with the praise that comes from knowing that we are “His Delight.”

Happy New Year!

Kathi Pelton
Light Streams Ministries

This article came in the right time when everything seems to go wrong and when nothing seems to be moving, and i feel like i am under siege from all sides – financial debt mounting, stress in relationship, rising demand in work expectation, lack of rest, restlessness, apparent loss in hope and vision, and it seems for a second, at the darker side of life which i cannot see God’s help and rescue.

Am i seeing everything as empty and hopelessness, or do I continue to trust in God when everything goes wrong? For a moment, i feel my faith is diminishing and disappearing fast, and i feel the odds are against me, like the giants, and i can’t move into actions, whether through fear or lack of faith, in either way, i am a wretched soul. I do not know how to handle this feeling, i should keep it in perspective under the lordship of Jesus, who has never failed. Faith over circumstances and feelings Daniel!!!!!

How to trust God – Habakkuk

9 01 2008

“The Lord answers me: Write down the vision; write it down clearly on clay tablets so whoever reads it can run to tell others. It is not yet time for the message to come true, but that time is coming soon, the message will cone true. It may seems a long time but be patient and wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be delayed.”

Habakkuk complained to God on the injustice he saw around him, when God’s people, the Jews were made into slavery by the wicked Babylonians. The prophet lamented on God’s timing. It was an interesting conversation which i read through the entire book yesterday that has significant meaning for us today. We are all, tired of God not working; it seems, nevertheless, it is not time yet for the fulfillment of His Word, Promise and His justice to come. We may not understand, and most of the time we can’t, however this particular verse caught my eye and gave me tremendous encouragement

The evil nation is very proud of itself; it is not living as it should. But those who are right with God will live by Faith.” Habakkuk 2:4

The very essence of Christianity that we will live by faith, that we are called as a people who live by an unchanging God, on His unchanging character, eternal, righteous, and just. That, despite the troubles, the injustice in this world, the pain, the heartaches, that we can count on Him. The just shall live by FAITH.