What Is Your Perspective Of God?

Posted by Steve Nyhof on 29 July 2011 | Add a Comment

Over the last few months I have been giving a lot of thought to our personal unique perspective of God. I hope what I share here will open your eyes as it did mine to just how unique, yet infinitely large and wonderful God is.

The image below shows the statue of Liberty in the center, and 8 different people equally spaced around the statue. Not only does each person see the statue from their specific angle but also from their unique, possibly colorful perspective.

There is only one large statue of Liberty erected on the Liberty Island. Depending on what angle you see her at and what time of the day or night or season, what you see may be very different from what another sees. Through the years people have taken pictures, made small replica statues and painted this beautiful statue in a array of formats, styles and colors. All of them beautiful, each of them unique, yet there is only one statue.

As you look at the picture above, what perspective is the correct one? Surely the front view shows more features. What about that abstract one? Surely that persons perspective is skewed! Right? Maybe? Wrong? Who really knows? Do you?

What would you think if I told you that my perspective and angle and color and format and style, was the right one and everyone else's is wrong? And if I really really believed that with all of my heart, shouldn't I try my best to help you see what I see? Maybe even form a non profit group called The Right Perspective - Mine, create a mission statement and give my life to finding followers who wish to see my perspective of the statue.

There is one thing all people have in common around the world, a desire to group and put a name on it. Then, try their best to convince others that what they see is right and true. I believe we do this because we do not like to stand alone. We somehow desire to know that at least one other person sees how we see and if we can accomplish that, justify ourself as right.

Now I realize that when I say I believe there is only one God, that I am standing with some and not standing with others - a type of group, yet I stand alone in my belief and others are welcome to believe the same. By faith alone I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of only one God, and my understanding or perspective of Scripture reinforces or is used to test the truth of what I know or believe in my heart to be true. Outside of this, I really do not know a single human being that can tell me what the truth is because no one in all time has ever seen or known God completely to know all the truth, or the right perspective. Is there a right perspective?

The argument is that what I believe is right, and 33,000 denominations and doctrines that exist today are wrong, and therefore the whole world is wrong and my group or denomination of 500 or so people out of 6 billion (6,000,000,000) people are going to heaven, and everyone else is going to hell.

A doctrine as it is used by man is to tell others what God thinks and means.

Think about the statement. Are you the one who knows all the truth about God? Am I? Conflict within churches that cause splits, and differences around the globe between religions do not happen because people are not following God, but because they are not following the doctrine of their religion. What is that?

The picture below is an example of religions, denominations and doctrines. Nicely grouped in their own comfortable rows, neatly dressed and controlled in their own settings. Are you part of the purple group? Maybe you have a friend in the yellow group and an enemy in the burgundy group.

Are our minds so small not to see the variation of color within each group? If you learned the whole truth of your closest friend, would he or she believe exactly like you? Would you really want them to? Do you really want to confine God to something you fully understand? Can you?

While the heart of any people or group may be to reach out and share the good news of the Gospel, I have found that most people including myself are afraid to say anything about God lest we offend the listener. We are not sure where another stands, what group they are a part of. I'm purple, what are you? Oh, I'm burgundy, and my parents said not to associate with purples.

What may start out in love, quickly turns into believing that I'm right, and therefore I find myself wanting others to see as I see, and a doctrine is born. Therefore, the desire for man to form a doctrine turns by it's very nature into control by using God as it's leverage.

When you hear someone say (and I know I have done it most of my life), "scripture says..." - they have just stepped into their perspective of truth as they know it in their hearts, tested by way of the Holy Spirit. Is this person interested in making you see their perspective, or sharing their perspective as they see and understand God? To me, that is the difference between love or control.

"The multitude of your sacrifices--what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations--I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:11-18

The picture below tells a different story. One filled with uniqueness and amazing color. Each flower unique and beautiful all by itself. There are close friends who look and think very similar yet not part of any group. There are others who are completely different who are sharing the same space. If there is a doctrine in this, it is the doctrine of love and what that means to you. It is a doctrine of a large infinite God who is able to be unique to every single persons uniqueness, culture, family life and circumstances.

Without God nothing exists, therefore God is everywhere and in every thing. He is not the blade of grass, but gives the grass it's life. I am not Him and He is not me, but I live and breath in Him and He in me. I am beautiful because of Him. I can walk with Him and talk with Him as Adam and Eve did in the garden. God created me to "know Him", not to "understand Him".

When I think of an archaeologist and their pursuit to find out about past civilizations, to learn so they and others can know something about these cultures, I wonder if we are also learning about their views of God? I wonder if we spent our time pursuing the living among us in love if we would learn and know more about God and our fellow man?

I wonder if instead of trying to control others to see my view of God (and therefore a single mans view which is very small), I would love to learn about the uniqueness of others view of God, that I would know more about God, and find Him infinitely larger and more wonderful?

 

I think of Facebook. One set of a number of web pages, millions of users viewing the same pages, yet have unique perspectives because of the ads that are displayed that fit their profile. One Facebook system, millions of unique experiences.

Instead of confining God by trying to understand Him with my little mind, and place Him only within my small group and view, I can now with each person I meet, expand my knowledge and understanding of God, and allow freedom to love all people - be my hearts desire.

 

What is the difference in the two pictures of flowers above? One is ordered, controlled, divided and boring. The other is wonderful, large, unique and free - wild flowers!

Instead of living in my small world in which I want others to think like I think, I will spend all of eternity getting to know God more by getting to know more people.

My hope is that you too will expand your love for God and all people. To want to know God and others more so you and others can know God and others more...

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Mark 12:30-31

 



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