Heavenly Perspective

Heavenly Perspective
“The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” - Psalm 19:1

God is the greatest artist. Think of all the paintings you have seen. Sunrises, sunsets, sunny days with blue skies and billowing white clouds. Nothing compares to what God places in the sky in real time. As beautiful as these skyscapes are, they are God’s creation. God created the world through Christ Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Everything we see in the world as beautiful and good was put there, (Genesis1) and was meant to point us to the Creator (Romans 1:19).

Romans 1:25 tells us of those who ignored that truth. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. What creations in your life are not in their proper place, taking you away from or not giving you that proper heavenly perspective?

Having been incarcerated for the past two decades I have watched technology advance. I have seen how technology has made people's lives easier and more convenient. But I have also seen the bad. A woman so focused on her phone walked right into a hole. Everybody around was walking around with their heads down, unaware, focused on their cell phones. My college professors lamented that students in the so called “free world” were texting rather than paying attention to lectures.

I could never imagine the day when the incarcerated individuals were issued tablets. It was new technology for us who had been locked up for decades. Having become eligible for parole, I eagerly explored my tablet hoping to become accustomed to technology prior to my release.

Just as the advent of World War II and the mass production of airplanes shrunk the world by making the ends of the earth quickly accessible, as a Christian, my tablet shrunk the world. Suddenly I was watching church services from different parts of the world and listening to lectures from one of my favorite theologians, R.C. Sproul.

I also listened to podcasts where people who looked like me – formerly incarcerated individuals – were interviewed. I heard their stories of struggle and success, stirring up encouragement and hope within me, causing me to contemplate what God's good plan for me might be (Jeremiah 29:11). In addition, I was able to electronically message loved ones and friends. It was a great experience.

It was not all good though. Little by little I noticed people throughout the prison engrossed in their tablets, heads down, unaware. Little by little I became engrossed in movies and games. All of a sudden, I was caught like so many others in the thorns of this life (Matthew 13:7, 22).

Not only was my entertainment cutting into my commissary funds and competing with my monthly budget for food and hygiene, I was also mindlessly consuming my time with no tradeoff for edification, exhortation, and consolation (1 Corinthians 14:3). A technological creation that started off as a tool for me had turned into a snare, taking precious time away from my Savior and other priorities, and leaving me void and unfulfilled. At every opportunity I reached for my tablet to entertain myself and further neglected my relationship with Christ.

Thankfully, God released me from that entanglement and enabled me to put the Creator and the created back into their proper perspectives. I still use my tablet, but I am not consumed by it.

Fellow believers, reflect inwardly with me now. Ecclesiastes 7:29 says that God has made us upright, but we have sought out many inventions. In the balance of our lives are those inventions, seemingly harmless, slowly edging God out. Those things may not be harmful in and of themselves but think of the words of Paul: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12).” Make that your declaration.

Take a moment to ask our Lord how to put things back into perspective so that God receives His glory. When God receives His glory, we are further sanctified. Pray for His direction in your life that you take on that heavenly perspective, that your daily walk declares the glory of God. You have heard, now let your spiritual eye see (Job 42:5). Let the beauty of our Creator direct you to the Son!