Got Heaven’s Perspective?

When we finally got our PCS orders, and had to move in a month to beautiful Colorado we had no idea the gift we were given.

We’ve been here almost three months, and in three months we’ve had so much fun as a family.  The truth is we have  bonded as a family more in three month than in the last thirteen years! This was my thought the other day on our way to the zoo. I felt so thankful as I was glancing at the beautiful mountains, but at the same time I had this sense of looking back to our lives and thought “I don’t know why we never did this,” “I wish I could have those years back and have a redo.” To be honest, at that moment I began to feel discontent and my thankful attitude was fading away… immediately the Holy Spirit reminded of a familiar scripture:

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”

(Isaiah 43:19, NASB) 

It was like a sign saying, “STOP!” and whispering to me “Enjoy what I’m doing now! Forget what’s behind! Look forward and BELIEVE for the new thing I’ve prepared!” It was Ephesians 2:10 all over that! So I spent the next minutes, reading the chapter of Isaiah 43, and Ephesians 1-2, shortly after I entered His presence with worship and thanksgiving, and the shifting alignment with His perspective in my mind and attitude where evident.

It made me realize how easy it is to look back on situations of the past and miss the joy of what God is doing in the now. We could miss the enjoyment of the “new thing” and the best part of this is if that since it is something different we have no idea what it looks like or how it will unfold.  So, it’s an adventure waiting to happen. The one thing I can always expect is that His plan is good and perfect in every way (Jeremiah 29:11)

It’s easier said than done right? Just a few minutes back I was about to be discontent!  However, one thing I learned during times of painful trial in my life was that I need a heavenly perspective at all times in all my circumstances!

It doesn’t matter if you are in the heat of the battle or enjoying a new season; we need God’s perspective all the time.  Because prayer and worship is not something we simply “do” (washing dishes is something we do) prayer and worship must become our life style.

Why? Because worship always leads me into prayer and prayer leads me into worship.

This brings me to a few points I want to make.  I’ll follow my friend Carleene’s advice to always try to write in bullets

Prayer/worship aligns us with God’s will and His word.

During difficulties I learned to surrender my list of requests, where I was telling Him what I needed (like He didn’t know or forgot), telling Him how He needed to fix it, and when to do it. But the most valuable lesson He was teaching me was that in prayer He is aligning me with the truth of who He is and His perfect plan; that I was not changing God’s mind, but He was changing my mind and heart to help me gain a heavenly perspective, a kingdom perspective. Because every victory is not just for me, but it happened to create a testimony for others to see and bring hope to their lives (Mathew 6:10, 28:19)

To be aligned with the truth, especially in times of trials, is to see not how big the mountain of difficulties is (or how strong my enemy looks) but to see how big and mighty our heavenly Father is!

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Prayer/worship without the truth of the word of God lacks of substance and power. 

A story that is dear to my heart is where Jesus spoke to the women at the well in John. He said: 

”But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”

(John 4:23-24, NASB)

In explaining this passage John Piper eloquently says:

“I take “in spirit” to mean that this true worship is carried along by the Holy Spirit and is happening mainly as an inward, spiritual event, not mainly as an outward bodily event. And I take “in truth” to mean that this true worship is a response to true views of God and is shaped and guided by TRUE views of God.” 

So we know that Jesus is the word (John1:1) and Jesus is the truth (John 1:46).  We need to spend time in the word, to know who He really is and allow Him to reveal Himself to us, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and carry us along into His presence.

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In the truth of the Word we come face to face with the meaning of the cross, and grace changes everything. For when I really receive and understand it, I can put every hurt and every offense at the foot of the cross, and I don’t have to look back at those offenses. If I look back it’s to see the cross and His blood covering those things, because that’s the only thing I don’t want to forget.

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In worship/prayer we can find rest and victory. When we face extreme difficulties we need to come to the place where the impossible becomes possible, to a place of rest beyond our natural abilities.  A place where we realize that the finished work of Christ is our rest, where we realize that its fine to be weak and not have it all together.  His grace will be sufficient every time that God’s power comes to its full strength in our weakness; when we like Paul can boast in our weakness. You can rest assured that in the heat of the battle worship, prayer, and the Word will give you a strategy, and the weapons you’ll use to fight and win because worship and prayer becomes both your battle cry and a strategy to lead you to victory.

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In 2 Chronicle’s chapter 20 we read where God used praise and worship as a weapon to defeat the enemies of God’s people:

21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,  for his love endures forever.”

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

(2 ChronicleS 20:21-23 NASB)

In our military lifestyle where we are constantly on the move we have the opportunity to enjoy new places and to begin a new season. Let’s live out our marriages and lives based on grace, filled with forgiveness.  Let’s not look back pondering on was done to us, what we didn’t have, or what we used to have.  His mercies are new every morning, there’s a new thing waiting. 

Don’t let the past steal the joy of the present. So whether you are in a season of calm, going through a season of difficulties, or helping someone get through a difficult season I invite you to get heavens perspective.  Because there we need to realize that all we need is HIM!

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Lucy Cantrell,

Army Spouse of thirteen years, joyfully married to Brad and proud mother of Colin.