Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018

New Glasses

“The Bible was not given for our

information but for our transformation.

Dwight L. Moody

What is the Condition of Your Frames?

Early last month I had to get a new pair of glasses, after the earpiece of my old pair fell off one evening. This old pair was my first pair of multi- focal glasses and I did not have a spare set. The optometrist tried to fit a temporary earpiece to keep me going until my new glasses were ready; what a disaster this turned out to be! The temporary earpiece stuck out from the frame at about 140° and, for some reason, when this earpiece was behind my ear, it would cause the rest of my frame to slowly rise up, releasing the other earpiece so that the glasses would suddenly swing off my face and dangle from my left ear! I would usually notice this spectacle-creep when I was doing the washing, or working in the garden, and my hands were either wet, dirty, or otherwise occupied so that I could not stop the process other than by using my shoulder, and that usually ended with my glasses in the washing or in the dirt... So it was a grand occasion when I received the call to say my new glasses had arrived! The assistant handed the glasses to me, told me to put them on, and handed me a piece of text to see if I could read it. I paid my bill, and was told I could come back at any time to adjust the frames if necessary. The joy of the new glasses faded very soon after leaving the optician, but I thought I just needed time to adjust to the new lenses. After two weeks I went back; not only were the frames uncomfortable, but it felt like everything was out of focus most of the time. As the technician examined the lenses and the frames, he showed me that the lenses were perfect for my requirements, but the frame had been bent so that it was higher on one side of my face than the other. Being multi-focal lenses, this meant I was not looking through the correct focal strengths most of the time. In addition to this, the nose pads were too tight, which not only brought physical discomfort, but caused the glasses to be higher than where the focal point of the lenses were set. After a few adjustments to the frame, I was asked to take a walk around the shopping centre for five minutes and see if the glasses felt better. I was hardly out of the optician's shop when I could feel feel my eyes relax and my vision become clear and comfortable. This experience reminded me of when I did my coaching training. At that time, I was strongly impacted by the teaching on frames of perspective. When you look at situations from different perspectives, you see different aspects to that situation that you might not otherwise see. These perspectives may be different angles, or different sizes of frames. But my experience with my new glasses, provided additonal insights regarding frames. Sometimes we are looking at life through lenses that are perfect for our eyes to see clearly. The size is good, the strength is perfect for our needs, but our frame is somehow distorted, or not sitting well. This is different to framing a situation, and speaks more about the clarity of our vision. I believe our lenses are the Holy Spirit. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we begin to see things differently. Did you notice that before you surrendered to Jesus, reading the Bible was like trying to read text that is blurred. Though physically we can read the words, the Bible is spiritually discerned, and it is only through the Holy Spirit that the words have life to feed our spirit and transform our hearts and minds. We receive the 'lenses' of the Holy Spirit when we put our faith in the completed work of Jesus, surrendering our lives to the will and authority of God. With our lenses being Holy Spirit, I believe that the frame that holds those lenses in place, is made up of our beliefs. If our beliefs are based on, or tainted by, lies, our frames will be distorted or sit in a way that prevents us from having optimal vision. Beliefs reside in the heart, and are influenced by our living according to the fruit of the tree of ‘yada’ knowledge, or experience, of good and evil. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had 20/20 vision, where their beliefs were in accord with what God said was Truth. After eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their vision became impaired as they began to form their own beliefs based on their experience of good and evil. Beliefs are formed in our minds by the association of ideas and experiences, and the meanings we associate with them. These beliefs become part of what the Bible refers to as the heart, and they drive our behaviour. Just because these beliefs were formed by experiences, ideas, and meanings that seemed true, it does not mean that they are true. Much of the time there are elements of untruth woven into our beliefs. As we evaluate new experiences through the frames of our existing beliefs, our mind looks for patterns of meaning and categorises the information as it seems to support existing beliefs. This process may even involve the distortion of information by our mind, to make it support a particular belief.  As we reinforce our beliefs in this way, strongholds begin to form. Strongholds are the source of knee-jerk responses; they are thought- habits that result in seeming automatic, or impulsive, behaviour. Not all strongholds are not all based on lies; you can choose to  build strongholds that are based on truth. These good strongholds are built as we meditate on God's Word, His nature, and His ways, allowing God’s word to fill our hearts and not just our minds. When we are born again, and we receive the Holy Spirit, we effectively receive a brand new pair of glasses. These 'glasses' help us to see truth, enabling us to apply that truth to our lives practically. The clarity of vision we now experience, enables us to identify untruth in our beliefs as we hold our belief against the truth of God. As we do this, we can begin to replace the untruths in our beliefs, with the solid truth of God. This is the process of repentence; the identification of untruth and the replacing of that untruth with the truth of God that is found in His Word. This process of true repentance brings about a change in the way we think, so that we begin to think with the mind of Christ, the mind of Truth. It is our beliefs that drive our behaviour, and if you try to change your behaviour without changing your beliefs, you will eventually revert back to your old behaviour over time, especially when under stress. It is only as you form new beliefs that you can experience lasting change. Herein lies the rub in legalism. Legalism is about changing behaviour without purifying our beliefs. It is an adherence to a set of rules, while trying to manage the internal conflict resulting from deep-seated beliefs that run counter to the rules. Instead of examining our beliefs, we often distort the rules to fit our beliefs. Though outwardly there may even seem to be a conformity to the laws, or rules, it is in a twisted way that is not in line with the spirit of the law, as intended by God. Then, feeling a sense of self-righteousness, we begin to judge others according to our concept and understanding of the law. This judgemental attitude actually highlights the fact that we have missed the essence of God’s intent, and missed His heart. Though our new lenses are perfect to correct our vision, our flawed beliefs cause our frames to become distorted in some way, so that our vision is not as clear as it ought to be. Our flawed beliefs cause us to misinterpret what we read in God's word, what we hear Him say to us, as well as how we see the events in our day. Psalm 19:7 tells us that “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul…” The word interpreted as 'law' is the Hebrew word Torah, which consists of the first five books of the Bible: Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Hebrew word speaks not only of law, but also of instruction. The Torah is really God's handbook for life. The Hebrew word translated as 'perfect', means complete. The instruction in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is complete; there is nothing lacking. In fact, it was this Torah, that fed the early church. The Hebrew word translated as 'restoring', means 'to turn'; the King James Version translates this word as 'converting'. The Torah is sufficient to restore or convert our thinking and beliefs, so that they reflect the truth of God. The ‘soul’ is the place of our emotions, will, and intellect. The soul is the place where our beliefs are formed. Jesus never negated the Torah, but took the instructions from the Torah, put them up against the far wall of His optometrist's wall, sat us down on the seat of His optometrist's chair, and began to adjust many focal strengths, until we could see the length, breadth, height, and depth of those instructions, as seen with the perfect vision of the Kingdom of God. These adjusted lenses are the lenses He gave us in the Holy Spirit. When we start taking our beliefs and measure them against the instruction of God's Word, as seen through the 20/20 vision of Love, we can take those flawed beliefs to the workshop of the soul and watch the Holy Spirit begin to bend the frames of our glasses back to the shape that gives us comfortable 20/20 vision, enabling us to confidently walk with God in Love, looking at life from God’s perspective, through the eyes of perfectly- focused faith. How clear is your vision?
Prev Next
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018  

New Glasses

“The Bible was not given for our

information but for our

transformation.

Dwight L. Moody

What is the Condition of Your Frames?

Early last month I had to get a new pair of glasses, after the earpiece of my old pair fell off one evening. This old pair was my first pair of multi-focal glasses and I did not have a spare set. The optometrist tried to fit a temporary earpiece to keep me going until my new glasses were ready; what a disaster this turned out to be! The temporary earpiece stuck out from the frame at about 140° and, for some reason, when this earpiece was behind my ear, it would cause the rest of my frame to slowly rise up, releasing the other earpiece so that the glasses would suddenly swing off my face and dangle from my left ear! I would usually notice this spectacle-creep when I was doing the washing, or working in the garden, and my hands were either wet, dirty, or otherwise occupied so that I could not stop the process other than by using my shoulder, and that usually ended with my glasses in the washing or in the dirt... So it was a grand occasion when I received the call to say my new glasses had arrived! The assistant handed the glasses to me, told me to put them on, and handed me a piece of text to see if I could read it. I paid my bill, and was told I could come back at any time to adjust the frames if necessary. The joy of the new glasses faded very soon after leaving the optician, but I thought I just needed time to adjust to the new lenses. After two weeks I went back; not only were the frames uncomfortable, but it felt like everything was out of focus most of the time. As the technician examined the lenses and the frames, he showed me that the lenses were perfect for my requirements, but the frame had been bent so that it was higher on one side of my face than the other. Being multi-focal lenses, this meant I was not looking through the correct focal strengths most of the time. In addition to this, the nose pads were too tight, which not only brought physical discomfort, but caused the glasses to be higher than where the focal point of the lenses were set. After a few adjustments to the frame, I was asked to take a walk around the shopping centre for five minutes and see if the glasses felt better. I was hardly out of the optician's shop when I could feel feel my eyes relax and my vision become clear and comfortable. This experience reminded me of when I did my coaching training. At that time, I was strongly impacted by the teaching on frames of perspective. When you look at situations from different perspectives, you see different aspects to that situation that you might not otherwise see. These perspectives may be different angles, or different sizes of frames. But my experience with my new glasses, provided additonal insights regarding frames. Sometimes we are looking at life through lenses that are perfect for our eyes to see clearly. The size is good, the strength is perfect for our needs, but our frame is somehow distorted, or not sitting well. This is different to framing a situation, and speaks more about the clarity of our vision. I believe our lenses are the Holy Spirit. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we begin to see things differently. Did you notice that before you surrendered to Jesus, reading the Bible was like trying to read text that is blurred. Though physically we can read the words, the Bible is spiritually discerned, and it is only through the Holy Spirit that the words have life to feed our spirit and transform our hearts and minds. We receive the 'lenses' of the Holy Spirit when we put our faith in the completed work of Jesus, surrendering our lives to the will and authority of God. With our lenses being Holy Spirit, I believe that the frame that holds those lenses in place, is made up of our beliefs. If our beliefs are based on, or tainted by, lies, our frames will be distorted or sit in a way that prevents us from having optimal vision. Beliefs reside in the heart, and are influenced by our living according to the fruit of the tree of ‘yada’  knowledge, or experience, of good and evil. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had 20/20 vision, where their beliefs were in accord with what God said was Truth. After eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their vision became impaired as they began to form their own beliefs based on their experience of good and evil. Beliefs are formed in our minds by the association of ideas and experiences, and the meanings we associate with them. These beliefs become part of what the Bible refers to as the heart, and they drive our behaviour. Just because these beliefs were formed by experiences, ideas, and meanings that seemed true, it does not mean that they are true. Much of the time there are elements of untruth woven into our beliefs. As we evaluate new experiences through the frames of our existing beliefs, our mind looks for patterns of meaning and categorises the information as it seems to support existing beliefs. This process may even involve the distortion of information by our mind, to make it support a particular belief.  As we reinforce our beliefs in this way, strongholds begin to form. Strongholds are the source of knee-jerk responses; they are thought-habits that result in seeming automatic, or impulsive, behaviour. Not all strongholds are not all based on lies; you can choose to  build strongholds that are based on truth. These good strongholds are built as we meditate on God's Word, His nature, and His ways, allowing God’s word to fill our hearts and not just our minds. When we are born again, and we receive the Holy Spirit, we effectively receive a brand new pair of glasses. These 'glasses' help us to see truth, enabling us to apply that truth to our lives practically. The clarity of vision we now experience, enables us to identify untruth in our beliefs as we hold our belief against the truth of God. As we do this, we can begin to replace the untruths in our beliefs, with the solid truth of God. This is the process of repentence; the identification of untruth and the replacing of that untruth with the truth of God that is found in His Word. This process of true repentance brings about a change in the way we think, so that we begin to think with the mind of Christ, the mind of Truth. It is our beliefs that drive our behaviour, and if you try to change your behaviour without changing your beliefs, you will eventually revert back to your old behaviour over time, especially when under stress. It is only as you form new beliefs that you can experience lasting change. Herein lies the rub in legalism. Legalism is about changing behaviour without purifying our beliefs. It is an adherence to a set of rules, while trying to manage the internal conflict resulting from deep- seated beliefs that run counter to the rules. Instead of examining our beliefs, we often distort the rules to fit our beliefs. Though outwardly there may even seem to be a conformity to the laws, or rules, it is in a twisted way that is not in line with the spirit of the law, as intended by God. Then, feeling a sense of self-righteousness, we begin to judge others according to our concept and understanding of the law. This judgemental attitude actually highlights the fact that we have missed the essence of God’s intent, and missed His heart. Though our new lenses are perfect to correct our vision, our flawed beliefs cause our frames to become distorted in some way, so that our vision is not as clear as it ought to be. Our flawed beliefs cause us to misinterpret what we read in God's word, what we hear Him say to us, as well as how we see the events in our day. Psalm 19:7 tells us that “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul…” The word interpreted as 'law' is the Hebrew word Torah, which consists of the first five books of the Bible: Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Hebrew word speaks not only of law, but also of instruction. The Torah is really God's handbook for life. The Hebrew word translated as 'perfect', means complete. The instruction in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is complete; there is nothing lacking. In fact, it was this Torah, that fed the early church. The Hebrew word translated as 'restoring', means 'to turn'; the King James Version translates this word as 'converting'. The Torah is sufficient to restore or convert our thinking and beliefs, so that they reflect the truth of God. The ‘soul’ is the place of our emotions, will, and intellect. The soul is the place where our beliefs are formed. Jesus never negated the Torah, but took the instructions from the Torah, put them up against the far wall of His optometrist's wall, sat us down on the seat of His optometrist's chair, and began to adjust many focal strengths, until we could see the length, breadth, height, and depth of those instructions, as seen with the perfect vision of the Kingdom of God. These adjusted lenses are the lenses He gave us in the Holy Spirit. When we start taking our beliefs and measure them against the instruction of God's Word, as seen through the 20/20 vision of Love, we can take those flawed beliefs to the workshop of the soul and watch the Holy Spirit begin to bend the frames of our glasses back to the shape that gives us comfortable 20/20 vision, enabling us to confidently walk with God in Love, looking at life from God’s perspective, through the eyes of perfectly-focused faith. How clear is your vision?
Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Prev Next