God's Vantage Point
Have you ever wished to know, even if but for a moment, what your future might hold? Wouldn’t it be great to know if your next sales call would be successful? If your new business venture would take-off? If your marriage would go the distance? If your kids would turn out all right? If, if, if. Wouldn’t it be great, if for just one moment, we could see the future from God’s Vantage point?
There’s an interesting story in the Bible, found in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9. While Jesus and three of his disciples (Peter, James, John) have taken a day-hike to the top of a high mountain. While they are away, the rest of Jesus’ disciples are engaged in what appears to be a failed ministry venture. A crowd had approached them with a demon-possessed boy and requested that they heal the boy but, after what appears to be several tries, Jesus’ disciples were unable to drive out the evil spirit from the boy. And what happens when the product in which you placed so much hope fails to deliver? You call up the company and complain. Right?! That is exactly what the crowd did with Jesus’ disciples. A large crowd had gathered around Jesus’ disciples and part of the crowd was composed of the ‘professionals’ in the field, the religious leaders and teachers of the law, and they were arguing with the disciples.
This was the scene Jesus saw when he and Peter, James, and John returned from their hike.
Did the crowd disperse when Jesus arrived? No way! They quickly ran to Jesus, after all, he’s the boss, the leader, the man whose name is behind the label. And the crowd quickly informed him of the situation and the father of the boy, frustrated by the disciple’s ineffectiveness, tells Jesus “if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22). C’mon Jesus, this healing thing that you’ve been doing, well, it ain’t working with the people using your name. It kinda looks like this is defective. If you would just make it right, we’ll call it even. And with Jesus’ terse reply the age-long tension between human initiative and divine ability come into sharp relief: “if you can? Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23). And the boy’s father learned, what the disciples were yet to discover, and of which we all need to be reminded: success is not limited to ability, human or divine. Success is experienced when human initiative is married with God’s desire and ability. I think it is this perspective that lies at the center of Jesus’ frustration with the crowd, causing him to exclaim: “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” (Mark 9:19).
So how do you go about discovering God’s heart’s desire and connecting with God’s ability in such a way that it transforms your world?
Jesus’ answer is this: “This kind can come out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29). In other words, it is only when you are in the presence of God that God will reveal His desire for you and unleash his ability to accomplish his will. And this is exactly what Jesus had been modeling for Peter, James, and John when they had taken their day hike because it was while they were on the top of the mountain that the three men experienced God’s reality, the ultimate reality which ought to inform everything we seek to accomplish. While on the proverbial mountain top, Peter, James and John, not only heard the voice of God but witnessed the transformation of Jesus into his true holy, character and caught a glimpse of the eternal reality where dead people live fully and they were hit by the full force of their true nature and identity. It is only when we begin to see things from God’s Vantage Point will we be able to operate in God’s power because we will be aligned with God’s purpose.
Do you want to know if your next business venture will be a success or if your marriage will go the distance? You will need the discipline to move into the presence of God and be diligent to remain there because God’s perspective is the correct perspective and the one we need in order to move forward in confidence. The Spirit-filled life pleases God. Success and victory in life is rooted in the reality of our true nature. Failure, on the other hand, comes from ‘unbelief’ and unbelief brings the frustration of God.
I pray that as you seek to live the Kaleo Life, you will develop the skills to seek the Lord, the discipline to remain in his presence, and the privilege of knowing his perspective.