The Amazing Power of a New Perspective
Paul L. Garlington
 
“And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever...Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.’ Then Abram moved his tent...” (Gen 13:14,15,17,18a)

It is imperative at the outset that we understand exactly why man finds himself in such a quagmire of despair. The Apostle Paul summed it up in a nutshell when he said, “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:21 KJV) The Psalmist bears witness and was probably the inspiration for the Apostle Paul when he said, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Ps 2:1 KJV) In other words, the journey into the far country, the flight from the spirit of the consciousness of the presence of God, good as all there is, is an inner voyage that occurs entirely through the process of futile imaginings. Because God is all there is, of all there is, to imagine an alternative to God is an exercise in futility and nothing but vain imagination.

The Hebrew word for imagination means formation, frame, pattern, image, conception, thought, device. The primary meaning is form. It may refer to either the shape of an object or the object itself. It is what is formed in the mind. It is essential that one understand that the mind does not see ideas, thoughts, things and forms as a phenomenon objective to itself. Hence, when one has a dream, one experiences the whole scenario in a three-dimensional world via all of his/her five senses, only to awaken and discover that he/she never left the bed. By the same token, there is utterly no difference in the waking dream in which man finds himself based upon futile imagination. Therefore, the return trip back to the Father’s house can only be accomplished by, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5 KJV)

Luke confirms Paul’s teaching when he said, “He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” (Lk 1:51 KJV) In the light of these undeniable truths, you can now understand that it was when the prodigal came to his senses (i.e., cast down vain imagination), that he got up and came to his father. Since man’s futile imagination is based entirely upon a lie, nothing in reality has changed. A lie can never become the truth. The eternal God, who is all in all, changeth not, and this is the eternal good news. It is from this perspective that we are bold to declare that, through casting down imaginations, we begin a journey of no distance, returning to a place we never left, acquiring what we never lost, and becoming what we already are.

Abraham is the prototype of all those who are awaking from the dream of separation from God, good, and have begun with joy unspeakable and full of glory the return trip to our native state. Since vision alone determines relationship, you can only find meaningful, naturally supportive fellowship among those who share your perspective. This is not a judgment of other people, but simply an acknowledgment that we can only speak the things that we have seen and heard, and only those who share the experience will understand what we are talking about. Therefore, after it became quite obvious to Abram that he and Lot did not share the same perspective, they had an amicable separation. It was immediately following this parting of the waves that God appeared to Abram and said, in essence, “It’s time for a new perspective.” Awesome things happen when we are willing to make a simple shift in perspective and attitude.

When we look at things from a new vantage point, we also gain a fresh advantage. So, for example, when Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me and the Lord has forgotten me,” Isaiah responded by saying, in essence, “This is impossible.” In fact, hear ye the word of the Lord: “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” In other words, God is saying, I could sooner forget Myself which would be tantamount to self destruction. Surely you can see the utter impossibility of such a scenario. Moreover, the Lord said, “Lift up your eyes and look around;...your builders hurry; your destroyers and devastators will depart from you.” That is, if you’ll consciously choose to look at this situation from a different perspective, you’ll see that the thing you desire is going on right now. Isn’t it true that, “He speaks and it is done; He commands and it stands fast”? Didn’t the scriptures say that, “He calleth the things that be not as though they were (already)”? (Read Is 49:14-23)

To lift up one’s eyes is the signal that one’s depression, futility, deprivation, and humiliation is over. Beginning with God, we ascribe all glory to the one God, besides whom, there is none else, and experience the same kind of glorious restoration that occurred in the life of Nebuchadnezzar. “But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven (cast down all of my vain imaginations), and my reason returned to me, and I blessed (gave thanks) the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation...At that time, my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me (the glory of His latter state was greater than his former).” (Dan 4:34-36)

This new perspective also does wonders for our mood. What you will see from God’s vantage point, and is there really any other, will literally make you radiant and your heart will thrill and rejoice (See Is 60:4-9). Jesus by precept and example demonstrated the amazing power of a new perspective when he raised Lazarus from the dead, for example. He first raised his eyes (from the painful circumstances and from all those who were grieving over the loss of Lazarus) and said, “‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me.’ Then He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’” Are you ready for your Lazarus (i.e., your dreams, visions, desires, yes even your sleeping friends and relatives) to come forth? If so, then:
  1. You must acknowledge that, in spite of what the experts might say, “He is not dead, but merely asleep.”
  2. You must raise your eyes from your grief and contemplation of years of frustration and futility.
  3. You must enter into the joy of it is so now because not only have you already been heard, but he always hears you. Since God is present as the self that I am, the same one who has the request is the same one who will grant it. And finally,
  4. You must decree the thing, call it forth, speaking as One having authority. Do not entertain, not even for an instant, the slightest probability that your word will return unto you empty. Moreover, you should question even the existence of a mind that could entertain such a doubt. “We have the mind of Christ.”

When Jesus fed the multitude, the gospel writer said, “And looking up toward heaven (the realm of perfect everything), He blessed (i.e., gave thanks that He already had everything that was necessary to feed the multitude) the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them;...and they all ate and were satisfied.” (See Mark 6:34-44) In fact, John says that they returned to the place, “Where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.” (Jn 6:23) Do you see it? John is stating emphatically that the miracle of multiplication took place primarily because Jesus assumed a different perspective with joy, gladness and gratitude.

The healing ministry of Jesus was established upon the same foundation of looking at the sick from a different perspective. Hence when He healed the deaf mute, “He took him aside from the multitude by himself...and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ that is, ‘Be opened!’ And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.” (Mk 7:32-35)

By giving thanks, we glorify God and he who glorifies God will experience the truth that His presence is salvation. This is such a radically new perspective that it will, more often than not, be dismissed out of hand as utterly absurd. However, let me hasten to assure you that once you return to ascribing greatness to God alone, this new viewpoint will not only be seen as exceedingly reasonable and possible, but the only one that indeed makes any sense. Hence, if you would find true fellowship, you must begin now giving priority to associating only with those who devote themselves to the grand and glorious, God-glorifying, new perspective.

Returning to Abram, can you now see why it is imperative that we begin the inner journey by lifting our eyes mentally from the place where we are? Surely we do not believe he who was said to be heir of the world physically walked over the whole of his inheritance? Hence the command, “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth,” is a scenario that must occur totally in mind. Therefore, consistent with this, God later said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.” Or again, God said to Joshua, “Arise, go up to Ai; see I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.” (Josh 6:2; 8:1) We must see it in our mind’s eye as a “fait accompli”. Make it real to yourself by feeling the joy of, “It is so now!” Remember, in the beginning was the word, thought, idea, form, and it exists first in mind. Furthermore, to feel joy, gladness and gratitude implies present possession of the thing desired. “To him that hath shall be given and he shall have more besides.” The inner journey precedes the outer journey. We must possess it within before we can manifest it without.

Lest you should feel that your situation has passed the point of no return, let me hasten to remind you that it was during an ill-fated voyage when Paul and his companions were being violently storm-tossed and all hope of being saved was gradually abandoned that Paul demonstrated the amazing power of a new perspective. “Then Paul stood up in their midst and said, ‘...This very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘DO NOT BE AFRAID, PAUL; YOU MUST STAND BEFORE CAESAR; AND BEHOLD, GOD HAS GRANTED YOU ALL THOSE WHO ARE SAILING WITH YOU.’ Therefore, keep up your courage...’ And having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all.” (Acts 27:21-35) In other words, he began to celebrate, even in the midst of what seemed to be a hopeless situation, as if this new perspective, once accepted with thanksgiving, could not be denied.

Finally, Jesus admonished us that we must cease and desist from putting the realization of our dreams and visions in the future tense. “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” (Jn 4:35,36) How is this doable except it occur in our mind’s eye? It is in our mind’s imagination, based upon truth that we collapse past and future into the glorious realization of the kingdom of perfect everything ever at hand. Hence, both the one who sows (accepts the kingdom seed of present truth) and the one who reaps (manifests his desires) is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life and that more abundant. All of this occurs when we stop thinking in the past and future, and begin now a celebration based on the new perspective that the kingdom of perfect everything is eternally at hand.

The assumption of this new perspective is so awesome one would almost characterize it as magical. However, only you can decide if you will stubbornly insist on holding to a viewpoint that has you in the throes of death and separation from good, or if you will simply lift up your eyes from the place where you are and accept that there is another way of looking at your situation that will literally cause the former things to no longer be remembered or come to mind. I assure you, you will have joy in the presence of God, “as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” (Is 9:3) If you will receive it, I say unto you, “Ephphatha!”

 
 

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