Maybe this question made you think of that famous line by Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men. Tom Cruise’s character is telling him he wanted to know what happened. He wanted the truth. And that famous line: “You can’t handle the truth.”
Sometimes I feel like that’s so true in life. If we knew all the things, we wouldn’t be able to handle it. If God let us know what was up ahead, we probably couldn’t handle it. If we were told why something happened, something that we just don’t have an explanation for now, we probably couldn’t handle it. I know that’s me and maybe that’s you, too. You’ve had something happen in your life and you just can’t understand why or even see a greater purpose for it. And we probably couldn’t handle it - not because we couldn’t intellectually understand it - but more so that we couldn’t actually process it. As in, it wouldn’t make sense to our human minds. We can’t handle the truth. Mainly because we tend to view things from an earthly perspective instead of a heavenly one. We have to - on purpose - try to see things from a different perspective. Because - God says - “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55, verses 8 and 9.
So, as we try to understand our lives and what’s going on around us, God in His compassion, “remembers that we are dust,” - Palm 103:14. Our best efforts to make sense of our experience leaves us scratching our heads in wonder or wringing our hands in worry. And so He says to us, “If any of you lacks wisdom,” - and boy do we ever - “you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you,” James 1:5.
So, here’s the exciting part, and I get to see this all the time in my Life Coaching business as we integrate brain science and our Biblical faith: When we invite God into our situation, He helps us detangle our thinking that keeps us only seeing things from our little perspective. And here’s something about each one of our perspectives, and this is the brain science part: our perspective has been born out of childhood experiences that is subjective to each one. It’s been born out of generational norms, out of cultural norms, and religious traditions, and also out of what we’ve been taught - directly or indirectly - in our families of origin that have created neural networks of thinking. And this thinking is usually not questioned as we get older. We just believe it to be true and operate our lives out of that particular perspective. But inviting God into our detangling of the mind, so to speak, allows us to see where those perspectives are without wisdom and truth. It allows us to begin seeing through a new lens with which we begin to see and understand the things in our lives with a heavenly perspective - God’s perspective. And God’s perspective is always truth. So, though we may not be able to understand the ‘whys?’ of life, we can ask God to be able to understand things from His eyes and His heart.
And now, when we think of the circumstances of our lives, we see through the lens of God’s truth, we find the peace and light in what was once only darkness. He wants us to see our earthly days with the heavenly lens of eternity.
So how do we determine to purposefully see things from a heavenly perspective? It seems like it’s not a natural thing for us to do. I mean, I think we get so wrapped up and pre-occupied with what’s going on in our lives here on this earth. I certainly remember doing this as my kids were growing up and being in the throes of all the things. Finally adulting - getting married, buying a house, having children, climbing the corporate ladder, navigating a troubling medical report, kids graduating from college and moving off on their own, parents getting older and frail, marital strife, our financial portfolios taking a significant hit, needing to find a new job that pays more money, fighting for truth and justice, defending our freedoms. Every day it seems like there’s something more that keeps our focus tightly tethered to this world. These are the things of man.
Jesus was telling His disciples that He must go into Jerusalem and that He would suffer and be killed. That’s in Matthew 16. But Peter rebuked the Lord saying, “No, this shall never happen to You.” Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Another translation says, “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matthew 16:23)
2 Corinthians 4:18 reminds us to not look at the troubles we can see now; rather, fix your gaze on things that cannot be seen.
Okay, how do we do that? How do we see things the way God sees them - especially as we remember that His thoughts are higher than ours?
Number one, we need to consider our lives within the bigger picture. How does who we are and what we are going through fit into God’s overall plan and will for this world? God has a heavenly purpose for all that we’re watching play out on this earth. Ask yourself, “How is God working through this situation for His glory and for my ultimate good?
He is using every circumstance to draw people to Himself. I think of even the death of my husband, as tragic and sad as it was, there are many that the Lord called into His kingdom because of his death. And there are many more that came back that were far away. I’ve heard this “reaping of the harvest,” if you will, through many other tragic stories, not just mine. His ways are beyond our ability to understand. Our minds cannot fully comprehend it.
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” - Romans 11:33
Another thing we can do as we determine to purposefully see things from a heavenly perspective is to examine our earthly input. By that I mean, we need to be aware of those things and voices that distract us from God’s perspective and purpose. We must be careful what and who we are listening to. Earthly input. Perhaps that’s the news for you. Or even a well-meaning person trying to educate you on “relative truth” or some other worldly opinion. Maybe it’s getting caught up in a protest or rally or political fight; images you’re seeing that distract you - images on social media or advertisements on tv that try to keep you tethered to this world and its thinking. What’s the message that’s keeping you from remembering that God has a bigger picture and a higher purpose behind all that we’re experiencing here on earth. What’s the message you’re hearing over and over? Is it helpful? Uplifting? Is it true? Is it God’s perspective?
There are probably a hundred other things that you can do to be purposeful about seeing things from a heavenly perspective, but I’ll end with this one: Filter everything you see and experience through the lens of the Word of God. The more we put this into practice, the easier it is to see our circumstances with a godly view and how they fit into God’s plan and purpose.
As you search the Word for answers, know that the Holy Spirit is there to give them to you. We already saw the scripture that promised that if we needed wisdom we could ask the Father knowing He will give it to us. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find.” God is promising that if you’re trying to understand your situation within the context of His bigger plan, He will give you understanding. Now, please don’t hear me say you can shake Him like a magic eight ball and get your answer. No. A lot of times, the specific answer - the whys and the how comes - do not come. But what you will get is a settling and a peace that surpasses all human understanding. He will definitely give you truth, though. And this truth, we’ll be able to handle! It’s a truth that puts everything in right perspective - God’s perspective.
So, friend, what’s going on in your life right now that needs a new perspective? Where can you take the brain science of detangling your mind and transforming your thinking and integrate it with your Biblical faith that allows you to see things from a heavenly perspective? Are you willing to ask God for wisdom in understanding truth and how your circumstance fits into His bigger plan? We may never know all the answers to the questions we have about life. But we know that God is actively shepherding life’s circumstances, good and bad, for our good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that Godcauses all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” You are called to His purpose. And somehow what you’re going through is part of that bigger purpose. You can trust Him with it. You can keep a heavenly perspective about earthly things by directing your mind to God’s truth. You can trust His truth.
Want some help detangling your brain? If you’ve listened to this and thought, “My brain is a knotted mess and I have no idea where to begin straightening it out, I’d love to be your Life Coach and teach you the tools to integrate brain science with your biblical faith to transform your life. Let me help you get clear so you can purposefully and consistently direct your mind to heavenly things so that you’re not overwhelmed by the things of this world.
I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
Also, don’t forget to get the free, downloadable guide that complements this episode. It has a few prompt questions that will help you personally work through some of the things I’ve talked about today.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.