Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Through His Eyes

Very few people in this world have the wherewithal to offer an unbiased opinion of themselves, to be brutally honest concerning either their appearance, or their spiritual condition, to the point of tears. On the contrary most often we tend to overestimate every aspect of our lives, at least in our own minds, whether the topic is spirituality, looks, aptitude or intelligence.
Even I find myself sometimes, especially after a long winter, looking in the mirror, sucking in my gut, and thinking to myself, 'it's not that bad, I haven't gained that much weight this winter.'
It takes someone with the aptitude for brutal honesty to bring the truth home, in this case the vehicle for that brutal honesty being my little brother, who looked at me one morning while he was visiting, and through bites of his breakfast cereal said, 'you're getting fat, you should start hitting the gym.'
This is why the better yourself, and self esteem doctrines have such a huge following, because in essence they teach you to look in the mirror, and lie to yourself every time you do so. Believe me, lying to yourself is easy, especially when you don't really want to confront the truth. It's much easier for me to look in the mirror, while sucking in my gut, telling myself that I'm OK, or the old cliche, I'm beautiful on the inside, rather than start jogging again every morning, or cut down on the fun foods I enjoy eating. I know this post seems like I'm talking about my weight issues, but bear with me, it does have a spiritual application.
Unless we begin to see ourselves through God's eyes, we will always be able to justify ourselves, to ourselves, finding an excuse not to draw closer, and get deeper in Him. Whether it's looking at our neighbor, who attends the same church, but who we know is a much bigger sinner than we are, or at disgraced pastors who were found guilty of more vile sins than we've even thought of committing, it is easy for the human heart to justify compromise.
Only when we see what God sees, the God who's expectation is that His bride be without spot or wrinkle, do we begin to realize the depth of our depravity, the necessity of being washed in the blood of His Son, and clothed in His righteousness.
Whenever I hear yet another self betterment, or self empowerment speech, dressed up as a sermon, I go back to the words of Paul, and realize just how full of error these teachings are.
Here was a man who could have boasted, who by all rights should have had confidence in the flesh, who out shined most of his contemporaries due to his upbringing, his heritage, and his education, yet who was humble enough to see himself through God's eyes, and realize the nothingness of all that came before he knew Christ.
Philippians 3:4-11, "If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me these I have counted loss for Christ. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
So here was a man, who didn't just look in the mirror and spew out some worthless mantra about how he'll try better tomorrow, or how he tried his best, so the fact that he fell back into sin was OK, but one who was blameless concerning the righteousness which was in the law. Having seen however, the beauty of the righteousness which comes through faith in Christ, the selfsame righteousness that is from God by faith, he counted his own righteousness as nothing more than rubbish. Can most even say as Paul said that they were blameless concerning the righteousness which is in the law? Then how can so many persist in their folly, believing they can achieve only what Christ can freely give?
If only for an instant God would give those who call themselves His children eyes to see, they would perhaps realize that God will accept nothing less than seeing His Son in their hearts, their past washed clean by His blood, born again to a new life in Him, and that without the presence of Christ, no quirky mantra, no self empowerment book, or self esteem tape series will keep them from spending an eternity in hell. The cross, the blood, the Christ, no man can come to the Father, but through these.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


Anonymous said...

The Church of Jesus Christ has done a 180 degree turn.
Instead of helping the saints crucify their flesh ,they have placed it upon a pedastal to be worshiped.
This is the anti-Christ spirit which ahs taken over the Church today.
Those who would speak the brutal truth in love are persona no grata in the pagan temples of flesh worship which used to be called Church.
Until we understand what Paul understood we are not even in the race to the finish line.

Elm Street Chapel said...

2 Corinthians 10:12
12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Good point Michael.
They, "the feel good boys", say the same of us though, right after don't judge.

That spot, wrinkle or blemish thing can only apply to those who look at themselves in working out their own salvation. The beauty of their (TFGB) deception is that they get to say your okay god loves you. Sure you sin, thats acceptable, everyone sins (insert appropriate scripture). Just keep coming back and sooner or later you will feel good about yourself.

My point is if God's servants/ministers "allow sin in the camp" or "strange fire" or offer sacrifice with "unclean hands, lips, heart" they themselves are accountable to God for the state of those they have ministered to. So many think that their job is to pacify and hold rather than teach the "flock" how to receive from God directly.

Elm Street Chapel said...

I love little brothers (well mine isn't that little anymore). I just thank God that mine (and yours) has the love of the truth in them.

"Bodily exercise profits little, but rather put on Godliness which profits in all things." Just keep reminding yourself that Mike. I try to remind myself of that often(just kidding.

On a more serious note, knowing that he persecuted the church in times past, Paul called himself the 'least of the apostles.' It truly is a wonderful thing to see a man so filled with the Spirit of God, so used to signs and wonders following after him, having such a love of the truth that he even rebuked Peter when he saw him being double-minded (regarding the Jews and the Gentiles), and still looking at himself as nothing but a servant.

This is what walking in Christ is all about. How so many have missed it in the church world of today is a sad truth to bare.

God bless,

A Seed Sower said...


Anonymous said...

Brother Michael,

This issue of comparing ourselves to others must be one that the Lord has His finger on and wants to address among his people. I fellowship with a small band of saints in my neighborhood and we meet in different houses throughout the week, so we are in each others lives and know what struggles each person is having.

About 45 days ago, we were discussing whether or not certain activities in people's lives were sin or had become idols. The Bible says that sin is transgression of the law, so there are many things that come up in our lives that are not directly mentioned in scripture (ie. transgress the law). In this case, it was watching lots of movies and football, not necessarily evil in and of themselves.

One person was letting his conscience be the judge reasoning that what he was doing must be okay, because he wasn't convicted when doing it.

We concluded that we can't always trust our consciences because they can become seared as with a hot iron. In this culture, it is very easy to become desensitized to certain things because sin is so rampant and we are continually bombarded by the media telling us what's right and wrong. It's easy to compare ourselves to the world (or even most so-called Christians)and think that we are doing pretty good, but what we need is the double-edged sword to judge between soul and spirit. Jesus warned against a seared conscience and judging ourselves by ourselves when he said, "If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness..."

I think Paul gave good advice in this matter as well when he said, "Everything is permissible to me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible to me, but I will not be mastered by anything." If anything is mastering us, we are a slave to it and it has become an idol, even if it is as seemingly harmless as a football game. Please don't start calling me a legalist, because I'm not saying that watching a football game is wrong. Many saints can enjoy a football game on occasion and be fine, but for some it can easily become an idol.

If someone is worried whether or not something has become an idol in their lives, even if they have no conviction that it could be wrong, I would encourage them to give it up for 30 days. If you can live without it and not be mastered by it, you are probably okay, but give careful thought to your ways. As Michael warned in a previous post, idols need to be burned and not buried. Many of us can probably go without anything for 30 days only to return to it with the same excitement and attachment as before.

As the title of this post implies, let us look at everything "Through His Eyes."


Brother Andrew

Anonymous said...

Amen, Bro Michael. People think it strange that we separate ourselves from the world, choosing to say no to even harmless pusuits...but of course anything can become an idol, otherwise John would not have put it as the closing line of his first epistle. What you said was also good, Andrew, I agree.
Sometimes I feel as if I am trying to hold back a flood - my husband is an unsaved man, so the music and movies and television which he chooses to have in the home is often offensive. It seems that the harder I try to keep the home free of things, the more they appear. But I also have to be careful that I don't become passive, and sit hypnotised in front of the television myself, or allow myself to be desensitised. Christians, it takes constant vigilance doesn't it? You are right, Michael, it is always easier to look at someone else's standards rather than the Lord's and say 'I'm not so bad'.

richa said...

Further to what brother andrew said--
in 1john,chapter 2verse 15 says clearly...
do not love the world or the things in the world.if anyone loves the world,the love of the Father is not in him...
see brother,it is that clearly written.
so indeed why do we care to love anything else, when jesus himself said that anyone who loves his life
more than Him cannot be His disciple.

i learnt this lesson,
that once we are born again,we are crucified in the flesh..
make no provision for flesh...this is also written in the bible.
and the more and more you let jesus crucify your flesh,more and more God's power will work in you...

lots of love to everyone ,
(sister in christ)