You can’t lie in the gospel. Be honest as you pray and honest with one another, because otherwise nothing will work with God if we are not straight with Him.
Recently, one soul asked one brother a difficult question about prayer. It was a question about prayer that Christians don’t understand so deeply. And he should have answered in the negative. But he didn’t do this, saying: “I look at it from a different angle and I will answer you from a different angle.”
And today I would like to talk about a look from a different angle. We judge some issues or people through the prism of some specific points – for example, through our experience, through the opinions of other people, through our upbringing. The set of our life experience is how we look at questions or at people. This is the prism through which we look.
But the Lord looks without a prism. His eyes are clear. It is written that He is of purer eyes than to behold evil. We need to gain with time, with each spiritual step, a season of our life – it is the seasons that are this Jacob’s ladder, not the years and not even the Jewish calendar, but our seasons of life are the rungs of the ladder. It can be big, small, oblong or narrow – but these are the steps of our life, destiny, that we are ascending the mountain of the Lord.
This is very important so that we can see as His eyes see. Gradually we gain this sight. Unfortunately, I have met older people who have lost this view of perception of reality. It was terrible for me to see how a brother, who preached in the past, or a sister who prayed and prophesied, subsequently had a removed lampstand or they were captured by resentment. I understood that this was not according to Christ, and I wondered why the person can’t see this. How can you not see that Jesus is not like that? How can you not see that this is not according to the doctrine? I was surprised that a person at such an advanced age seemed to go off the way, because he judged things prejudicedly, for example, being captured by resentment. This is trauma. It can’t be. I was then a young believer and didn’t understand how this could be. The Lord said to me: “Yes, you see it, but don’t imitate it.” So I turn both my eyes to the Lord. There were old women who said: “Brother, you will face the dark sides of people, do not get tempted! Imitate Christ!” It helped me a little to understand about people. But I didn’t have to understand about people, but about God. I realized that I was not going to understand about people.
The contemporary church today greatly distorts the view of the world through the distorted prism of the view of their God. Sometimes we say things that God has nothing to do with at all. Sometimes we speak for Him what He is not. It’s scary, because the world believes the church or is already ceasing to believe. Many worldly people have a very serious attitude towards God. They may not follow Him, but they take Him seriously. Sometimes their relationship with God is more serious and closer than they hear some banalities from the church, some categorical, extremely radical things. And worldly people know God more correctly than our theses and words.
This is very important to understand so that we do not rush. Because we must speak what we know for sure. And that’s the Word of God.
I will give a few examples of how Jesus spoke a different point of view.
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1: 45-51).
Basically, Nathanael indirectly expressed an insult. But Jesus, as He saw him coming, said that he was an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no deceit. Imagine, here comes a man who doesn’t really like you – well you have to take this up yet. But Nathanael continues, “How do You know me?” Jesus says He saw him under the fig tree.
And then Nathanael exclaims: “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel.” Now it’s Jesus’ turn: He continues to “pump”, He didn’t just rejoice that Nathanael understood everything, he simply “crucifies” Nathanael to the end:
“You believe because I told you: I saw you under the fig tree; You will see greater things than these.”
Jesus delights me! Whenever I expect a human act from Him, Jesus always responds as God. I see that He is not corruptible, He is incredibly brave, He is pure and holy! This is what delights me – that God is not man, and I admire Jesus. It’s the same here – Jesus remains God – how He speaks, how He leads, how He treats people – this is God. This is wonderful!
Looking from a different angle is Jesus talking about Nathanael’s defiant attitude to Him. When we see people who don’t like us, who don’t like you, try to treat them with no prejudice – and you are already on your way to the glory of God. And then start treating them warmly, and then – with love. But first, be open-minded.
Jesus could have spoken to him the way he spoke. And just imagine, a man who speaks so daring – about Him and to Him – but Jesus goes to meet him and simply embraces him. The Lord doesn’t seem to hear that he is saying such words about Him. That is strength! It’s Jesus!
If only we had such ministers! That is power! These are the kind of shepherds that should be – who, no matter what they say about them, just go with hugs and do their work!
One more example. Paul writes about one man who caused damage.
“Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you, being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ – I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I gave begotten while in my chains: who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to m. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be compulsion, as it were, but voluntarily. For, perhaps, he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave – a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. I, Paul, am writing with my hand. I will repay – not to mention to you that you owe me your own self besides” (Philemon 1: 8-19).
Onesimus, the runaway slave, may not have just run away, but caused some kind of loss, for which Paul was even ready to make up for the damage. He ended up in a prison cell with Paul. Paul brought him to Christ, and when Onesimus’ term ended, Paul took care of him so that Philemon would receive him again. So that Onesimus would not roam somewhere around the world, but that Philemon would take him to himself. Paul says that he will repay for him, for what he stole.
Look – this is a view from a completely different angle! Paul did everything in such a way that he really took care of a completely alien slave, and even called him his son, whom he begot with his gospel. This is true fatherhood! If only we would treat our people like that, whom we bring to the Lord, whom we baptize, whom we care for!
The church is like a net for a big fish: small fish pass through it, we don’t want it, but the big one is good, we want it. And in churches today, the grid is too large. We say: “Hello, fellows! The Lord loves you! Goodbye!” “Where are you going?” – “I’m on business!” Here is this coldness, remoteness, we don’t care for each other’s lives, we don’t know who lives and how, who does what. And this is bad,
because in God’s kingdom it is the Body, it is joined and knitted together by what every joint supplies, it grows building itself up in love. Not each one grows separately, but we all grow together. This can only happen with a very tight connection of life, when our lives are so intertwined that it is one Body. Therefore, we will be getting closer to each other. Someone says: “Don’t get into my personal life!” It’s not a personal life, but a life with one other.
Paul trusted about Onesimus, trusted in him, although he had not yet repaid the debt to Philemon. But Paul begins to look at him as his ministering son. This is a look from a different angle. Let’s look so at those who have not fully recovered yet. Perhaps even now we need to look into the essence of things, into the heart.
Another example is very powerful. Like one man who had faith but had a low opinion of himself. There are many such people.
“Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles, which our fathers told us about, saying: “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt”? But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:11-14).
Gideon began to complain. But the Lord looked at him and told him to save Israel with this might. This vision, this pain that he released, was his might, because it symbolized that he saw God correctly. “If the Lord is with us, then why are we in disgrace?” It was with this strength that the Lord told him to go.
“[Gideon] said to him, “O my Lord! How can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house”. And the Lord said to him: “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Book of Judges of Israel 6: 15 – 16).
Today Angels see us through the calling of God, not through our feelings about ourselves. And the Angel of God releases these words to the man with low self-esteem. I used to think that destiny comes after believing. But now I think that from the womb, as it is written. Remembering my life before believing, I perceive it as one whole journey. The Lord led us by His grace until we met with Christ – He protected and preserved us.
We are not here by chance! And no matter what we think of ourselves, no matter how low we think, the Lord looks at us in His own way. We complain that something is wrong with us. But the Lord comes to Gideon in his den and tells him that he is a mighty man.
I encourage you to hear what the Lord has to say about you. God’s testimony for you.
One day a man of God, a prophet, saw a vision, he saw the Lord. We see the earth, but we do not see the Lord. We must first see the Lord, and then we will see the earth as the Lord sees it.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood Seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts! The whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3).
The whole earth is full of His glory! – How to understand it? Do you think that there used to be less evil, less wars? It was, just not on that scale. But yet the whole earth is full of His glory. Although it is filled from a different perspective with atrocities, yet we see the coming Kingdom full of the green that presses on. How do we see? Seraphim, as it is written here, see the earth and the world filled with the glory of God.
Today I am talking on the topic – a view from a different perspective, a view from a different angle. From what angle do we see God, the church, the world, ourselves. This is very important. As we see, this is how we will treat people. Let us treat in the power of our goodness, in the power of holiness, in the power of our faith!