…there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. —Revelation 4:1-3
Here you see the Holy Spirit giving John a glimpse into heaven. This scripture prompts me to sit still long enough to put my life in proper perspective—to focus on my purpose for this gift of life, to reflect on my ultimate destination, and to avoid being constrained by any shortcomings of this world. Doing so, I am reminded not to allow life’s tough circumstances and disappointments to enslave me.
This world is not bigger than your God, so there is no reason to allow this world to knock you off balance and disrupt your faith. Since we all will have to deal with unpleasant situations during our lifetime, it is important to have the perspective that this world is only temporary—so why be dragged down by it? The good news is you can rely on the very power of Christ, who overcame death, and God’s love to keep you uplifted.
Your perspective on life is so important because it fuels your actions. The wrong perspective can cause anger to stir, it can cause you to lash out, it can cause darkness to fall on your faith, etc. However, the right perspective on your final destiny leads to hope, peace, understanding, forgiveness, and a healthy faith. Most importantly, it leads people to the Lord. Be careful not to allow your perspective of this precious life to become contaminated. Focus on your final eternal destination, and ask the Lord how to use your experiences, both good and bad, to advance His kingdom.
A great example of this is found in Acts 16, the story of Paul and Silas when they were falsely accused, stripped, severely beaten, thrown into prison, and shackled. Now that would be one horrific day. Were they bitter and angry? No, as we see them around midnight praying and singing hymns to God while the other prisoners were listening to them, including the jailer, who in the end gave his life to Christ.
Every time I read this scripture I think WOW! What great perspective and faith they had, amazing vertical alignment. I want that for my life, what about you? Even though they personally suffered greatly, there was purpose that needed the proper perspective. A big question: are you willing to suffer at the gain of someone else’s salvation or as encouragement to another believer?
So there can be a great testimony in your suffering, but the testimony requires the right perspective. When you are sometimes joyful, sometimes prayerful, or sometimes thankful, then your eyes have become horizontally focused on the world, which is spiritually unhealthy and unaligned. A healthy spirit is one of constant vertical focus, one that embraces the gift of one day living in eternity with our Lord. The temporal things of this world must never weigh you down. There may be situations where you receive an earthly blow that knocks you down. Just don’t let it knock you out. Rise back to your feet knowing that God works for the good in all circumstances.
You may not understand, but that’s okay because faith does not require understanding. Faith knows you have a loving God. After all He allowed His one and only Son to die for your sins. How was that fair to Christ? Faith is not intended to equal fairness. Faith does require vertical perspective. Because of Christ, you can give thanks in every circumstance knowing that you have eternal security. So hold on tight to the right perspective on your life—live with vertical focus.
Your final destination is not within this world; it is in the heavens above, so put your focus there in order to keep whatever events are thrown your way in the right perspective. Focus on the final destination and not on the bumps in the road.
Align your spiritual perspective vertically, not horizontally.
- Have you ever lost the right perspective for your life?
- Lately, has your perspective been more horizontally focused or vertically focused (eternal)?
- Take a few minutes to pray to the Lord asking Him to filter out any contaminants of this world that are hindering your ability to focus on your ultimate destination. Ask for the perspective of Paul and Silas. Afterward, sit quietly and listen for how the Spirit is guiding you.